Lance Benzel

Out There Reporter

  • Red Rock Canyon Open Space set to reopen; popular Colorado Springs fountain closed

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    The flood-battered Red Rock Canyon Open Space will reopen Friday, a little more than six weeks after it was closed for repairs amid record rainfall, city officials said Thursday. Repairs to trails, roads and other features have addressed most of the city's safety concerns, though...

  • Colorado by trail: 5 classic backpacking trips in the state

    Updated: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    You've inventoried your gear, cleaned your water filter and replaced your boot laces. And now that the snow is melting from the high country, it's all about to pay off. Here are five suggested backpacking trips - all of them Out There tested and approved - to reacquaint you with...

  • Whitewater rafting conditions in Colorado 'as good as it gets' even with some areas closed

    Updated: Thu, Jun 25, 2015

    Stew Pappenfort perused the data on a recent morning and wondered if the Arkansas River was about to reach its peak. After weeks of high water, a single heat wave could melt what's left of Colorado's banner snowpack in the Arkansas River Valley, potentially pushing the churning river...

  • State grant will help complete trail around downtown Colorado Springs

    Updated: Wed, Jun 24, 2015

    A $1 million state grant will be awarded to Colorado Springs to complete its long-sought Legacy Loop trail around downtown. Great Outdoors Colorado, or GOCO, announced the award Tuesday in a news release. It is among 37 GOCO grants approved Tuesday that will be distributed statewide....

  • Sand Dunes park to raise fees

    Published: Tue, Jun 23, 2015

    Fees are set to rise on Oct. 1 at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve near Alamosa. The park said Tuesday that it will introduce a flat fee of $15 per vehicle fee. That replaces the current fee structure of $3 per occupant in noncommercial vehicles. Motorcyclists, who...

  • Yay for Dads: There are plenty of reasons to thank dear old dad on Father's Day.

    Updated: Sun, Jun 21, 2015

    Is Father's Day destined to be an afterthought? Established as a federal holiday in 1972, it sure came late - some 58 years after mothers were first honored with an annual holiday - and some studies suggest that dad is less likely to receive a gift than mom, and that it will be a...

  • Spring rains in Colorado result in bounty of morels, other mushrooms

    Updated: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    Nutty, meaty and a little bit sweet, morels hold a unique allure among the wild mushrooms of Pikes Peak's damp understory. Sauteed in butter with salt, pepper and a dash of chardonnay, they boast flavors "indescribable" to the uninitiated, said John Spengler of Colorado Springs, a...

  • Red Rock Canyon to reopen in 'next few weeks,' official says

    Updated: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    Closed for nearly a month for flood repairs, Red Rock Canyon Open Space is nearly ready for the public - though the question of when remains open. "We are hoping that we can open it up and have people in there in the next few weeks," said Kurt Schroeder, park operations and...

  • Adventure camps aimed at 'sparking a light in women'

    Published: Thu, Jun 18, 2015

    Storms troubled the waters on Quail Lake, but Erin Elkaim, fresh from a lesson on the basics of stand-up paddle boarding, was smiling just the same. "It's really neat," said Elkaim, who joined a handful of participants at a women's-only adventure camp in Colorado Springs despite a...

  • Colorado Springs man sets Manitou Incline record despite suffering from diabetes

    Updated: Wed, Jun 17, 2015

    To the growing body of myths surrounding Manitou Incline excess and adventure, Greg Cummings adds the tale of a rare odyssey. Think of him as the guy who marched to the firmament and back. A day before the Incline closed in August for repairs, the Colorado Springs resident says he...

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