Lance Benzel

Out There Reporter

  • Obama's plan to make Browns Canyon a national monument gets cheers, criticism in Colorado

    Updated: Wed, Feb 18, 2015

    Steeped in division for decades, the scenic Browns Canyon section of the Arkansas River is once again troubling political waters. The latest provocation: News that President Barack Obama will use his executive authority to designate the more than 20,000-acre area as a national...

  • Rider in Residence: Advanced trails possible for Ute Valley Park

    Updated: Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    Fans of expert-level downhill mountain biking soon could experience an unfamiliar thrill in Ute Valley Park: a place to ride that's actually legal. On the horizon at the newly expanded 540-acre refuge in western Colorado Springs is a plan for up to three downhill-oriented trails,...

  • For Colorado stargazers, winter offers portal to space

    Updated: Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    Even to the naked eye, the night sky over Palmer Park plays out ancient battles. To the east, Orion the Hunter readies a blow - so vivid on this Thursday evening that his outline can be traced with a finger. Beside Orion, his quarry: Taurus the Bull, its red eye glowing above the...

  • Woodland Park musician fighting for consciousness after January crash

    Updated: Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    A Woodland Park musician remains unconscious three weeks after he was thrown from a sport utility vehicle in a crash on Interstate 25 near Monument, friends and relatives say. Charles Ortega, 41, suffered a traumatic brain injury, a fractured pelvis and other broken bones in the Jan....

  • U.S. Forest Service updates status of Rampart Range Road

    Updated: Fri, Feb 6, 2015

    Rampart Range Road officially is closed to vehicle traffic for the season. Although the road was supposed to be shut down for a seasonal closure in early December, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Barb Timock said land managers kept it open until this month to make up for the...

  • Beginners embrace Colorado skiing after overcoming fear, impatience

    Updated: Thu, Feb 5, 2015

    For Tiffanie Miller of Denver, the path from "never-ever" to bunny hill bomber came with the squeeze of an orange - so to speak. Miller, 30, was among a half-dozen adults who learned a new vocabulary - and a suite of new skills - during a recent edition of Copper Mountain's ski...

  • Rocky Mountain National Park offers plenty of activities for 100th birthday

    Updated: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Rocky Mountain National Park - At 10,200 feet, Loch Vale is frozen solid and wind and snow fill a place of austere beauty. This lake in a towering canyon normally draws a crowd, but on Saturday, the icebound Loch had all but rolled up the welcome mat. Gusts came with such force that...

  • Air Force Academy remains quiet on new trail rules after on-campus attacks

    Updated: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    The Air Force Academy is keeping mum when it comes to a "buddy system" rule that bars solo hiking, running and mountain biking on academy trails and open spaces. Two days after releasing a statement attributing the new rule to on-campus attacks, the academy says it won't...

  • Ice fishing contest set near Westcliffe

    Updated: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Anglers are invited to put their skills to the test at an ice fishing contest planned for Saturday near Westcliffe. The competition is from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lake DeWeese, located off County Road 241. Anglers can register online at until 5 p.m. Friday. The...

  • El Paso County formally takes Jones Park ownership

    Updated: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    The Board of El Paso County Commissioners on Wednesday formally accepted ownership of the 1,200-acre Jones Park west of Colorado Springs. The transfer ended more than a century of ownership by Colorado Springs Utilities, which purchased the land in the 1890s for a water project that...

The Gazette’s Deal of the Day