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.
  • San Juan Mountain Range: Sporting event in Colorado

    Updated: Thu, May 14, 2015

    Hardrock 100: Kicking off in Silverton at 6 a.m. July 10, this annual exercise in pain and self-discipline packs an astounding 67,984 feet of total elevation change in its 100-mile course — enough to break a mountain goat. Be humbled by those capable of finishing this test of...

  • Southern Front Range: Two scenic drives in Colorado

    Updated: Thu, May 14, 2015

    Pikes Peak Highway: Not for the faint of heart, this 19-mile route takes motorists high into the clouds. Explore the North Slope Recreation Area, historic Glen Cove Inn and the Summit House. Don’t forget to save time for the view from the summit. More info: pikes-peak.com Gold Belt...

  • Southern Front Range: Two fairs/rodeos in Colorado

    Updated: Thu, May 14, 2015

    El Paso County Fair: Animal shows, exhibits, a petting zoo and deep-fried goodies are among the attractions at this down-home fair in Calhan, held July 18-25. There’s plenty of muscle, too, including a truck and tractor pull and demolition derby. More info:...

  • Southern Front Range: Sporting event in Colorado

    Updated: Thu, May 14, 2015

    The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: Billed as the second oldest motor sports event in the U.S., this race to the top of America’s Mountain celebrates its 93rd running June 28. Don’t miss the Fan Fest, held 5-10 p.m. June 26 on Tejon Street in downtown Colorado Springs....

  • Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range: Three adventures in Colorado

    Updated: Thu, May 14, 2015

    Hike to Willow Lake: Nestled among fourteeners near Crestone, this lake is pristine and filled by a tranquil waterfall. But reaching it is far from easy. The round trip is approximately 9 miles. Glutton for punishment? Push on to the summit of Kit Carson Peak. More info:...

  • Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range: Two scenic drives in Colorado

    Updated: Thu, May 14, 2015

    Highway of Legends Scenic and Historic Byway: Make your next trip to New Mexico count by skipping Interstate 25 between Walsenburg and Trinidad in favor of this tour of crumbling coke ovens and views of Lake Trinidad State Park. It’s especially scenic in the fall when the aspen groves...

  • Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range: Two fairs/rodeos in Colorado

    Updated: Thu, May 14, 2015

    Alamosa Round-Up: It’s worth a trip to the San Luis Valley on June 23-28 to see some of the top bull riders in the nation take on the top Honeycutt Bulls. A demolition derby is also on the schedule and country music singer Mark Chestnut will hit the stage June 28. More info:...

  • Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range: Sporting event in Colorado

    Updated: Thu, May 14, 2015

    FIBArk: Billed as “America’s Oldest and Boldest Whitewater Festival,” this perennial draw held June 18-21 in Salida brings out the best of the country’s whitewater paddlers. With rushing rapids and potentially deadly boulders and snags, they put on a show worth catching. More info:...

  • Sawatch Mountain Range: Three adventures in Colorado

    Updated: Thu, May 14, 2015

    Hike Quandary Peak: No 14,000-foot peak is easy, but this fourteener south of Breckenridge offers an excellent, moderate introduction — just don’t expect privacy. The mountain’s East Ridge offers a 5-mile, out-and-back route to the summit. More info: 14ers.com Ride a mountain pass:...

  • Sawatch Mountain Range: Two scenic drives in Colorado

    Updated: Thu, May 14, 2015

    Top of the Rockies National Scenic and Historic Byway: This 115-mile stunner near Leadville twice traverses the Continental Divide. Wildflowers, thick forests and wildlife abound on this climb over 12,095-foot Independence Pass. Pack a lunch and stop and savor the experience. More...

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