Lance Benzel

Out There Reporter

Lance Benzel reports on outdoor recreation along with feature stories - occasionally dipping into hard news. Benzel is a former courts reporter at The Gazette.
  • Report card: Love for trails on Colorado 14ers comes with a cost

    Updated: Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    Peak baggers prepare to shell out: The trails you love to climb to 14,000-foot summits will cost $24 million to build or replace. That's the upshot of a new report by Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, a Denver-based nonprofit that spent three years evaluating trails on 14,000-foot...

  • Bicyclist falls victim to angry Colorado Springs driver

    Updated: Wed, Jun 10, 2015

    As an experienced road cyclist, Max Bennett says he's used to hearing verbal taunts from drivers who believe bikes have no place on the road. Until last week, it was always bluster. That changed Thursday, when the driver of a maroon Jeep Grand Cherokee screamed at Bennett to get off...

  • Gazette travel: Sedona offers plenty of natural beauty and plenty of tourists

    Updated: Sun, Jun 7, 2015

    Dominated by red rock towers, winsome spires and imposing monoliths, Sedona boasts all the beauty of a national park without the pesky entrance fee. Unfortunately, the secret's been out for a while. Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon - the lovely gateway into town - are among Arizona's...

  • Fish for free in Colorado this weekend

    Updated: Sun, Jun 7, 2015

    Anglers are invited to fish without shelling out for a license this weekend courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. During the state's annual Free Fishing Weekend, which falls on Saturday and Sunday, the $9 daily licensing fee will be waived. Just be aware that if you're heading to...

  • Journey to summit of Cheyenne Mountain remains a long trip

    Updated: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    High in the upper reaches of Cheyenne Mountain State Park, the efforts are giving shape to Dixon Trail, a long-awaited route to the summit.

  • A hike into Cheyenne Mountain's rugged history

    Published: Thu, Jun 4, 2015

    Dixon Trail is named for Thomas Dixon, one of two homesteaders who in 1917 laid claim to an 800-acre swath of land atop Cheyenne Mountain. Dixon built a house from timber harvested from the surrounding forest and reached his home by means of a hiking trail that descended the...

  • Interested in new trails for Manitou Springs? Time to speak up

    Updated: Wed, Jun 3, 2015

    Interested in new trails for Manitou Springs? The time to speak up is at hand. On Monday, the city of Manitou Springs launched a 10-month review of the city's parks, trails and open spaces. The review will culminate in an update to the city's parks master plan that will shape...

  • Colorado Springs pastor the conscience of 'Geezer Hockey,' whether he likes it or not

    Updated: Mon, Jun 1, 2015

    He's the conscience of Geezer Hockey, whether he likes it or not. When Stan Lightfoot III hits the ice for adult pickup games, fellow players are prone to watch their p's and q's. It's actually kind of annoying. "There goes my language!" goes one familiar refrain, according to...

  • Wintry month still wreaking havoc on Pikes Peak Highway, Colorado high mountain roads

    Updated: Fri, May 29, 2015

    Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park opened for the season Friday, but icy conditions have restricted its debut. The road will be closed daily at 8 p.m. and opened the next morning only if conditions allow, park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said in a news release. Road...

  • Pikes Peak's South Slope reopens to chilly fanfare

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    The South Slope Recreation Area on Pikes Peak is open for the season, but count on a chilly reception if you have early reservations. Visitors to the city-owned chain of lakes, which opened Saturday, report that McReynolds and Mason reservoirs are iced over and that trails are...

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