Road trips are the travel trend for 2020 so when deciding on our next adventure, fellow travel writer Heide Brandes and I decided to experience the great outdoors of Colorado where we could learn fly fishing and falconry, tour the Royal Gorge Park, and take a train ride on the Royal Gorge Railroad.
Day 1: Denver to Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp
- Lunch in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is about midway on our drive from Denver to the fishing camp so we’ll stop for lunch at Urban Egg. I’m always on a search for the ultimate corned beef hash and eggs so will order the Rocky Mountain Corned Beef Hash. Or maybe the Blue Corn Huevos Rancheros (this is going to be a tough choice!).
- Garden of the Gods
After lunch we’ll spend some time hiking at Garden of the Gods. It’ll be great to burn off some of the calories from lunch while exploring this beautiful — and free — destination.
- Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp
Back on the road we’ll arrive at the fishing camp at 3 p.m., ready for our first fishing lesson at 3:30 p.m.
Located 75 minutes west of the Resort along a five-mile stretch of Colorado’s famed Tarryall River, The Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp is a private escape that pairs world-class fishing with exceptional accommodations and dining. This outstanding retreat borders 120,000 acres of the Lost Creek Wilderness, offering guests the opportunity to experience some of the best fishing in Colorado on more than five miles of private waters under the guidance and tutelage of professional Broadmoor guides.
Featuring more than five miles of private river, ranging from timbered canyons to grassy meadows and winding bends, guests can fish for wild brown and brook trout in whichever style they prefer: nymphs or dry flies. The picturesque camp features a beautifully restored Main Lodge with a wraparound deck and seven rustic yet well-appointed guest cabins. During the evenings, guests gather in the Main Lodge for artfully prepared meals and relaxation. In addition to the exceptional fly fishing, camp guests can enjoy a variety of fun activities such as horseback riding, hiking, and the opportunity to see some of Colorado’s most spectacular wildlife.
- Dinner at Fly Fishing Camp
The Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp offers incredible dining options throughout the day. With exquisite breakfast, lunch and dinner options, guests are sure to be delighted. After dinner, we’ll enjoy activities such as social hour, fly tying instructional, star gazing, evening campfire with s’mores.
Day 2: Fly Fishing Camp
The day will start with sunrise coffee and a buffet breakfast.
- Morning guided fly fishing
We’ll Fly Fish from timbered canyons with nymph fly fishing to calm grassy meadows and winding bends where trout gracefully rise to dry flies. We can also spend our off-the-river hours exploring nearly 120,000 acres of forests, underground streams, and incredible rock formations in the Lost Creek Wilderness on foot or by horseback.
- Buffet Lunch and Afternoon Activities
Hiking, horseshoes, cornhole, fly tying, board games, and bird watching all are afternoon options or enjoy more guided fly fishing. Then dinner and more evening activities.
Day 3 Fishing Camp to The Broadmoor Resort
After breakfast at the camp, we’ll depart for a tour.
- Tour The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway
We’ll preview The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway rebuild. Originally built in 1891, this historic railway is the highest railroad in America, the highest cog railway in the world, and one of Colorado’s top attractions. Since March 2019, it has been undergoing a $100 million renovation of its tracks, cogs, railcars, and depot. The railway is on track to open spring 2021.
- Check in to The Broadmoor
At The Broadmoor, this historic Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort offers the perfect destination where luxury and modern details create a memorable experience.
After checking in to the resort, we’ll enjoy lunch at one of the many on-site dining options.
- Falconry – A once in a lifetime Colorado experience
In the afternoon, we’ll experience “the sport of kings” through this unique opportunity. This incredible program allows you to experience an up-close encounter with majestic birds of prey. Our lesson will begin at the mews, where the birds are housed. Our falconer will begin the lesson by introducing us to their birds which include Harris hawks, Saker falcons, and an Eurasian Eagle owl. Continuing with the lesson, the falconer will show us the identifying characteristics of each species, discuss conservation of birds in the wild, and share the 4000-year history and culture of Falconry. Our lesson will continue in the field where we observe a flight demonstration and begin to develop an understanding of how the Falconer trains these beautiful birds while working with the idiosyncrasies of each of them. While in the field, we will have the opportunity to hold one of the majestic birds.
- Dinner at La Taverne
The rich woods and traditional décor of La Taverne welcomes guests to one of the most legendary steakhouses in Colorado. Savor the finest selection of hand-cut prime steaks, chops, and prime rib, along with enticing selection of fresh shellfish, including oysters, clams, and mussels.
Day 4: Colorado Springs to Royal Gorge region
After breakfast at The Broadmoor, we’ll check out and drive to Canon City
- The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey
Several years ago, some simple Benedictine Fathers had a dream…A dream of a fine Colorado winery located on the grounds of the historic Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City, Colorado. Today, that dream is a reality, and the staff at the winery proudly invites you to share in the vision of those dynamic and innovative monks.
Since July 2002, The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey has been attracting visitors from Colorado and all over the world. Striving to produce the best Colorado Wine, the winery is located on the pastoral and serene grounds of The Holy Cross Abbey, nestled against the spectacular backdrop of the Wet Mountains.
After the winery, we’ll stock up on supplies for our cabin in the mountains and head to Royal Gorge Cabins.
- Royal Gorge Cabins
Choose from a yurt or cabin at Royal Gorge Cabins. We’ll stay in a two-story, two-bedroom Double King Cabin for two nights. There’s even a pass-through fireplace to keep us toasty warm whether we are in the living room or on the private patio.
Day 5: Royal Gorge
- Tour Royal Gorge Park and Bridge
In the morning, we’ll take a walking tour of the Royal Gorge Park. Other activities while there include the Bridge, Aerial Gondolas, Plaza Theater, Tommy Knockerland, the Royal Rush Skycoaster, the Cloudscraper Zip line by ZipRider, and the Royal Gorge Via Ferrata.
Adrenaline junkies will enjoy this video of a free fall over the Royal Gorge on the Royal Rush Skycoaster.
- Royal Gorge Route Railroad
In the afternoon, we’ll ride the Royal Gorge Route Railroad inside the Dome, an elevated, partially dome glassed car with cushioned booth seating.. Plus there’s even an open-air car we can visit.
This spectacular train ride through the Colorado Rockies combines breathtaking scenery and exceptional service with delicious food, sourced locally and prepared fresh right on board the train for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 6: Return to Denver
- Drive to Colorado Springs for lunch at Four by Brother Luck
After checking out of Royal Gorge Cabins, we’ll hit the road with a stop in Colorado Springs for lunch at Four by Brother Luck. Brother Luck is the chef and has been on Chopped and Top Chef . The locally-inspired menu is divided into four sections: Spanish, Mexican, Native American, and Coloradan.
Chef Brother Luck says, “Our cuisine is continuously influenced by Four main providers who supply our ingredients; the hunter, the gatherer, the fisherman, and the farmer. These people are truly the beginning of every dish we imagine as the seasons change.”