Green Mountain Falls: An Unexpected Escape to Soothe the Soul
By Joanna Borelli, travel enthusiast and Little Beaver Inn guest.
The last 20+ months have been difficult on many levels, and with three girls under the age of 4 it is needless to say my husband and I were really in need of an escape.
The last 20+ months have been difficult on many levels, and with three girls under the age of 4 it is needless to say my husband and I were really in need of an escape. I started researching for a new place to visit, a new adventure – somewhere we had never been before. And then a post scrolled through my feed from this positively charming hotel called the Little Beaver Inn in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. We booked a trip immediately!
Having never heard of Green Mountain Falls, I was excited to explore and see what they hype was all about. Just west of Colorado Springs and at the foothills of Pikes Peak, this idyllic town is perfect for an intimate retreat completely surrounded by nature. As we approached our destination, my husband and I were stunned by the breathtaking beauty and surprising art installations around town.
Nestled in the heart of this enchanting valley are the Outlook Lodge and Little Beaver Inn. These boutique hotels are the perfect escape, where time truly seems to stand still. Enveloped by a beautiful landscape, these remote, hidden gems are the perfect place to connect with nature.
We chose the Little Beaver Inn, which is adjacent to and shares amenities with the Outlook Lodge. We had a room on the second floor with a balcony that provided tranquil vistas and ultimate relaxation. At night we thoroughly enjoyed slipping into the hot tub and listening to the aspen trees flutter in the wind. Next door at the Outlook Lodge we loved nestling around the fire circle roasting s’mores and listening to the serene sounds of wildlife – including a few deer who didn’t seem to mind sharing the space with us. It was amazing!
In the mornings we walked over to The Pantry and enjoyed the best and biggest pancakes I’ve ever had. A local tradition, The Pantry has been in Green Mountain Falls for more than 60 years and we’re so glad we just happened upon it! They have a lovely outdoor dining area Creekside with live music played by the sweetest man with a yellow lab sitting at his feet. His repertoire is excellent, and his John Denver game is strong! As I closed my eyes, sipped my Bloody Mary, and swayed to the music he commented that he actually played for John Denver in the 70s – how cool!
We also enjoyed dining at the Mucky Duck on their rooftop patio enveloped by the mountains that gave the town its name. Cute shopping is also walking distance from the hotel, and you have to check out both The Painted Bear and Stones and Bones for their unique Colorado wares and gifts. We found their pottery, art, and handcrafted jewelry to be unique and priced well compared to shops in neighboring Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City.
Daily hikes, sometimes twice a day, were a MUST during our stay! There are 16 trails totaling over 20 miles of hiking surrounding the town’s center, the beautiful Gazebo Lake. The waterfalls on several trails were delightful to encounter along the way.
What was most surprising to discover was an organization in town called Green Box that brings performing and visual art to town every summer, including many permanent installations by renowned artists such as Charles O. Perry, Bernar Vanet, Richard Serra, Julian Opie, Pard Morrison, and Cat Balco. They are all easy to walk to, enjoy, and learn about – such an unexpected discovery!
I was stunned to hear that a permanent Skyspace sculpture by legendary light and space artist James Turrell is being constructed on the side of a mountain overlooking Gazebo Lake! It will be the first Skyspace in Colorado and will be composed of natural stones and wood species, materials specific to the state. I learned there will also be a new nature trail leading up to the sculpture site. It will open in 2022, and we are already making plans to come back and check it out!
The last morning of our trip we decided to attend service at the Church in the Wildwood and it was a special experience. I believe the church was one of the first buildings in town and the setting is spectacular. The quote overlooking the congregation is also very fitting: “The Mountains Shall Bring Peace to the People.” And I felt grateful to be a recipient of that peace.
Following church, I went for a solo hike on Mount Dewey. This quiet, lovely pathway up the mountain was both mystical and spiritual at once. I encountered another delightful surprise when I came upon a yoga/spiritual platform overlooking the valley and with views of Pikes Peak in the distance. I can close my eyes now and feel my back being swathed in sunshine as I sat there taking in all of God’s creation, which to me looked like a colorful Bob Ross painting. I was awestruck! As I started my short ascent back down Mount Dewey, I realized I felt entirely relaxed, refreshed, and reconnected with nature.
In summary, nothing quite soothes your soul like a stay at the Little Beaver Inn and the Outlook Lodge in Green Mountain Falls. This vacation proved to be the most authentic, meaningful, and surprising trip we’ve ever had. Where quirky and first-class art meet natural beauty, this charming destination is as much cathartic as it is educational. Don’t hesitate and book your stay today. Your soul needs it!