This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry. They’ve been to the A-lodge.
(A little while ago.) After a brief Austrian soujourn, I caught a Lufthansa Airbus back to the States. They sat me in a triple seat row with a guy it turned out worked for Recco, a fun coincidence. He was headed for the Outdoor Retailer show, just as I was.
Meanwhile, we’re again attending a press event at the Boulder Adventure Lodge (A-Lodge) near Boulder Colorado. A-Lodge has been here in one form or another since 1945. The present incarnation is the baby of owners Asa Firestone and Kris Klauber. When we were here last year they’d recently completed renovations of the lodge desk and common areas, and embarked on long needed repairs and upkeep of the old rooming infrastructure. By all accounts, they’ve done plenty of business these past twelve months. Their marketing as a place to base for “adventure” hit a nerve. More, their prices are good for the 27 private rooms, with a twelve bed hostel providing the budget rack.
They’ve been operating and renovating the place for more than a year now, During our last visit here last year, we only tapped the surface of the place. The history is deep, and the mission interesting.
Just a few miles from the city of Boulder, up a canyon, at the A-Lodge you feel like you’re in deep backcountry. But hop in your car or grab a municipal bus (or bicycle if conditions allow), in minutes you’re dining in the city or catching a show. More importantly, head the other direction, up-canyon, and enjoy a plethora of hiking trails, bicycle routes, and Boulder Canyon rock climbing that’s been popular since the first guidebook was published in 1961.
Keep heading up, and you eventually you’re at Eldora ski resort, the only skiing within a short drive of a Front Range city. Eldora is an eccentrically fun place. Compared to most other Colorado resorts, they’re short on vertical feet (that’s the eccentric part), but they make up for it with the full spectrum of snow sliding options, from uphilling to hosting race programs. Up until a few years ago the place was a staid, boring and uptight place, but new owners seem to get it and the future glows. Recommended.
Owners Asa Firestone and Kris Klauber purchased the historic lodge a few years ago, with the intention of creating an accommodations business that went beyond just another bunch of rooms with a reception office and grumpy manager. To that end, they founded their business on a triple-A of principles: Access; Adventure; Amenities.
Shifting from what was really nothing more than a “lodge” to something with an emphasis on adventure is not anything blatant. There is no climbing wall, and they don’t provide a ski tuning bench in every room. Instead, the adventure spirit is induced subtly. Climbers get a room discount (have some gear, ask for discount). Four-mile creek runs through the property, easily accessible for a quite sit next to the waters, or dipping your feet. The staff is young and enthusiastic. Keg taps next to the registration desk nod to the area’s micro-brew culture.
I travel all over the world experiencing mountain accommodations. Many are unique, A-Lodge definitly so in that it combines a bit of early Colorado “motel” lodging spirit with a modern integration of the hospitality business and recreation. If you have any reason for a Boulder, Colorado stay, make a reservation.
(A-Lodge comped our rooms for our stay, but had no editorial control over this review. All the above are my honest opinions. Lou)
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain. For more about Lou, please see his personal website at https://www.loudawson.com/ (Blogger stats: 5 foot 10 inches (178 cm) tall, 160 lbs (72574.8 grams).