By Joanna Borelli, travel enthusiast and Little Beaver Inn guest.
For a group of Colorado twentysomethings looking for something to do, an escape to the foothills of Pikes Peak in beautiful Green Mountain Falls was the perfect low-key getaway we were looking for.
Not your typical Colorado tourist town, Green Mountain Falls lies nestled in a valley next door to Manitou Springs and is a short 20-minute drive from downtown Colorado Springs. Don’t mistake this place for “not enough.” The charm of this town is found in its unassuming nature – and it’s not putting on any kind of show.
Green Mountain Falls is a modest destination, complimented by incredible scenery, hiking, and public art on-view all year round (be sure to check out Green Mountain Falls Skyspace by artist James Turrell). Once experienced, this town will be at the top of your Colorado quick get-away list!
Our group stayed at the Little Beaver Inn, located on Ute Pass Avenue next door to its sister property, The Outlook Lodge. Guests at both properties share each other’s amenities. Our first morning began with a short walk to the iconic restaurant in town, The Pantry. All seven in our group were delighted to be sat outside right away with brunch treats and coffee galore! The weather was beautiful, and the surrounding mountains and small-town charm felt like a Hallmark movie. Quaint and colorful shops were beginning to open, so we stopped by Stones and Bones and met co-owner Melissa Nord and her sweet cat that hangs out napping in the window all day. They had a great selection of handmade jewelry, wood-turned bowls, artwork, pottery, textiles, and more – all created by local artists.
We quickly changed into our hiking gear and hit the trails to enjoy more weather and sights! Not everyone in our group loves a difficult hike, so an easy one for a good warm-up is the Kirkpatrick Trail. There are 16 trails that cover more than 20 miles in town, but this one was the perfect hike for us, and we eventually stumbled upon waterfalls the town was named after. As we wandered back down to town, we encountered several art installations that seemed to actually be a part of town! We were so impressed by the works and their placement in nature.
Our favorite piece on one side of the valley was a contemporary work by Israeli artist Yaacov Agam at Mountain Road Corner. Communication X9 is a colorful tower that strikingly pops out of the green landscape. The colors and shapes change as you walk around. Check out more on public art in Green Mountain Falls here.
As we continued our adventure we encountered Terry along the way, the sweet concierge we met the day before at the Little Beaver Inn. She was cleaning the cutest cottage for new guests: The Holiday House. She invited us in to look at the immaculate, gorgeous interiors, design, art, and stylish furnishings.
We were so impressed she took us to two more VRBOs: the Otter Inn and Saltbox. If you’re in to being autonomous or need a spot for romance, these VRBOs are THE place to stay!
We made our way back to town and stopped for drinks at the local watering hole, the Blue Moose Tavern, followed by s’mores at The Outlook Lodge’s fire circle. The aspens whispered around us as we laughed and talked for nearly two hours. Since it was about dinner time, we walked to dine at the Mucky Duck, a rustic restaurant with a rooftop that overlooks the mountains and spring colors.
After dinner, we strolled back to the Little Beaver Inn for a well-deserved soak in the hot tub. It was a beautiful night, and the stars were out and were sparkling around us. We lost track of time yet again, but eventually hurried off to bed so we would be rested enough for the next morning’s sunrise show at Green Mountain Falls Skyspace.
The next morning, we sleepily slipped into our sweatpants and started a quick hike up Red Butte from the center of town and reached the Skyspace just in time for the 6 a.m. showing. It was slightly dark, but convenient lanterns placed along our path happily lit the way. Once inside Skyspace, we were filled with peace and calm as the sunrise color and light show began, which features an oculus in the ceiling that perfectly places the colors of the sky as an art “experience” in real-time.
When we exited, the sun was up and we had a spectacular view from the Town Overlook of Gazebo Lake. On our walk back down, we encountered a group of deer about five feet from us that were completely unphased by our presence. Just, wow!
In Green Mountain Falls, the harmonious relationship between art, nature, and wildlife is palpable. Words our group used to describe the experience: unexpected, surreal, mystical, and spiritual.
Many thanks to our guest blogger! Be sure and check out our new merch here!
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