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Kit Carson and Challenger Point


Knock off two towering mountains in one hike; it makes checking off your 14er list go quicker. Taking the route up Kit Carson via Challenger Point also eliminates serious Class 4 cliff climbing. It’s a long hike, though, one that works best when you camp below Willow Lake. Or you can skip the Point and head straight to Kit Carson and gain more than 3,000 feet in elevation in the last mile—it’ll hurt, though.

Is there a more magical place in the Rockies? Probably not. In this isolated burg, there is a denser concentration of high Tibetan Lamas than you would find in parts of Tibet and plenty of other religious folks who’ve moved here in droves. The magic comes from the stunning Sangre de Cristos.

[The Food]
This is a small town, so it comes down to two options. The Harvest (719.256.6363) is the staple for organic breakfast and lunch options. For a worldly approach, try the Desert Sage (719.256.4402), an eatery with heavy influences from its Bhutanese owner—yak burgers are on the menu, for example.

[The Drinks]
Sure there is only one bar to choose from, but it still deserves credit for being a heckuva good time. The Silver Crest Palace (719.256.5577), housed in a stand out purple building, has a beautiful copper bar and a whole lot of beer. Enjoy live music and loosen up sore muscles on the dance floor.

[The Lodging]
You’ll struggle to find a Holiday Inn, but plentiful bed and breakfast options make up for it. A few still prepare made-to-order breakfasts, not that we are easily sold on home cooking or anything. Casa Alegria (719.256.5116) offers sweeping views of the valley—and an awesome breakfast.

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