Hiking: Just 10 minutes from trail heads in Rocky Mountain National Park and 30 from those for Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, and surrounded by National Forest, the Allenspark area abounds in hiking opportunities. Easy, short, scenic hikes nearby include Copeland Falls in the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park, Lily Lake about 10 minutes to the north, and scenic meadows and old mining sites in Roosevelt National Forest less than a mile from The Old Gallery. Options for moderate hikes include 10,000-foot peaks such as Estes Cone and Lily Mountain, 11,000-foot peaks such as Meadow Mountain and Three Sisters Mountain, and alpine lakes in the wilderness area such as Lake Isabelle and Blue Lake, or in the Park such as Dream Lake and Loch Vale. For serious hikers you could combine this workshop with a hike to the summit of Colorado’s most popular 14’er, Longs Peak, or a backpack over the Continental Divide. (Guided hikes available for additional fee – contact: Margie Patterson, 303-747-2089, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Scenic drives: The 15-mile trip north on Highway 7 (Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway) to Estes Park is one of Colorado’s most popular and scenic drives. The Byway also goes south to the old mining towns of Ward, Nederland, and Central City. Some of the back roads in Allenspark provide shorter yet scenic trips to forests, streams, and great views.
Dining: Casual mountain dining is available for breakfast and lunch right in Allenspark at the Meadow Mountain Café. Also in Allenspark is the Rock Creek Tavern for lunch and dinner, offering pizza, libations, and frequent live music. For a special dining treat you can try Allenspark’s Mobil five-star restaurant featuring central European-style delicacies, the Fawnbrook Inn. Many additional dining options are found 15 miles north in Estes Park. One of the first to be encountered on that trip is the Baldpate Inn, a rustic 1917 mountain inn named after the popular play at the time “Seven Keys to Baldpate”, and featuring the world’s largest key museum.
Shopping: Snacks and sundries are available 3 miles north at the Meeker Park Lodge store. In Allenspark you can shop for fine gifts at Distant Harbors gift shop, as well as local art, maps, and guidebooks right at The Old Gallery.
Wellness activities at The Old Gallery: Join neighbors for daily Tai Chi from 8:00 to 9:00 M-F. Massage services are available by appointment from Peggy Donahue or Rachel Ward.
Fishing: Licensed fishers can enjoy stream fishing on protected North St. Vrain Creek, just 2 miles north, or other streams in the Park, Forest, or Wilderness Area. Drive-up lake fishing is available at Lily Lake, Sprague Lake, and Mary’s Lake in and near Rocky Mountain National Park. Hike-in lake fishing is found in many lakes in both areas. Trout fishing with no license requirement is available at Trout Haven in Estes Park. Guide service is available in Estes Park.
Cell phone service: Most cell phones can use the service at The Old Gallery. Service is also available 10 miles north toward Estes Park, and 6 miles south in Peaceful Valley. Free landline service is also available at The Old Gallery.
Wi-fi: Free wi-fi is available with no password at The Old Gallery.
Post Office: Across the street in the tiny village of Allenspark, zip 80510.
Emergency services: A 911 call will bring a swift response for fire or medical emergency from the Allenspark Volunteer Fire Department, located next door to The Old Gallery, or for security issues from the Boulder County Sheriff. A full-service, 24-hour hospital, Estes Park Medical Center, is located 15 miles north.
High-Altitude tips: The Old Gallery is located at an elevation of 8,400 feet where the availability of oxygen in the air is 71% of that at sea level, due to atmospheric pressure being reduced by the same amount. It is also usually dry and sunny. It is common for visitors from lower elevations to feel one or more symptoms of mountain sickness such as headache, lack of energy, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath. To reduce the likelihood, take it easy the first couple of days, drink plenty of water, go easy on alcohol (it has a stronger effect up here), take normal pain relievers for headache, and consider taking Rolaids—it not only helps ease the stomach, but also contains magnesium which seems to help prevent headaches. Your doctor may wish to prescribe Diamox to help you adjust to the elevation. Also use lip balm, lotion, and sunscreen, and wear a hat outdoors. The thin dry air leads to large temperature changes, from the 80s F in the afternoon to the 50s or even 40s at night. Brief afternoon and evening thunderstorms, sometimes with hail, may occur, but are less common by late August. In spite of these warnings, you will most likely enjoy beautiful warm sunny days and cool nights.