The Broadmoor, an incredible Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort, consists of The Broadmoor Resort and three unforgettable Wilderness Experiences perfectly placed in four ideal locations near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Fly Fishing Camp, Cloud Camp, and The Ranch at Emerald Valley, which comprise the Wilderness Experiences, focus on exciting outdoor adventures while providing rustic-luxe housing and appetizing cuisine.
Fly Fishing Camp
Fly Fishing Camp, located just 75 minutes west of the main resort, boasts more than five miles of world-class fishing on the Tarryall River. The camp sits on 85 acres and borders 120,000 acres of Lost Creek Wilderness. This Wilderness Experience features vast grassy meadows, a diverse array of trees, incredible wildlife, numerous places to sit and ponder, and abundant pathways to wander and explore. Aaron Kuper, Broadmoor’s Fly Fishing Camp manager, oversees all aspects of the camp, including the accommodations, food, activities, and staff.
Accommodations in the grand lodge or one of the seven meticulously restored miners’ cabins originally built in the 1920s are well-appointed and extremely comfortable. I arrived alone and stayed in the Tabeguache cabin with a private bathroom, living room, bedroom with a queen bed, and a loft and twin beds. Two cabins at the camp have private baths, and the five share an opulent bathhouse. The bathhouse has tiled showers, embroidered towels, and lovely woodwork, making it worthy of any high-end spa. Fly Fishing Camp is all-inclusive, so accommodations, meals, fishing, guides, and most other activities are included in the initial price.
Meals at the lodge are hearty, mouthwatering, and served family-style. Happy Hour began with a help-yourself open bar at 5:30 p.m., and Aaron served empanadas with a tomato sauce and nachos with pulled pork shortly afterward. Dinner started at 7:30 p.m. in the dining room we all sat at one long table. There were eight guests, and we savored bone-in pork chops with broccolini and a casserole similar to a frittata made with eggs, cheese, and green chilis. It was just the right amount of spice and went fabulously with the pork chop. For dessert, Aaron made the Broadmoor’s Death by Chocolate Cake. It had a chocolate wafer on the bottom, making it gluten-free, chocolate mousse and chocolate crispies topped with dark chocolate ganache and dark chocolate shavings. It was all quite tasty. I returned to my cozy room and went to sleep.
The following day I awoke energized and ready for my fly fishing lessons. It was pouring rain, and at 9,000 feet elevation, it was freezing cold. I meandered over to the lodge and filled my mug with hot coffee. I spiked it with a bit of Baileys Irish Cream to speed up the warming process from the inside out. Aaron served a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and blueberry pancakes.
Catch and Release
Although some guests visit solely to bask in the peaceful ambiance of the camp, most come for the spectacular fly fishing. Boots, fishing gear, and Broadmoor’s expert guides are available to all guests. My guide, Taylor, arrived with waders and boots in hand. After I got dressed, he carried the fishing gear, and we made our way down to the river to the first hole. Taylor shared many words of wisdom with me throughout the morning. “Always cast at a 45-degree angle, let your indicator or bobber go, and keep a lazy J in the line. Whenever you catch a fish, wet your hands first so that you don’t hurt the membrane on their scales and let them go facing upriver so that the water fills their gills faster.” There are many “secret” fishing holes and spots along the river where guests catch fish one after another. My morning was a success, and I caught and released five rainbow trout within a couple of hours.
There are many other relaxing and fun things to do at Fly Fishing Camp. The Fish House is filled with books and a big-screen TV, and Aaron can direct guests to various board games, horseshoes, campfire supplies, and other activities.
The Ranch at Emerald Valley
Located just 30 minutes from The Broadmoor, The Ranch at Emerald Valley is surrounded by more than 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest. This all-inclusive paradise includes magnificently furnished cabins with modern conveniences. My daughter-in-law Victoria joined me on this adventure, and we stayed in one of their two-bedroom cabins.
Slumber in Luxury
We entered the cabin, and the gorgeous stone fireplace immediately caught our attention. Keurig coffee machines were in each bedroom and the living room. Earth-toned, high-backed chairs and a leather couch with fur pillows were the perfect furniture to snuggle up in and get warm by the fire, and a table and wooden chairs graced the corner of the room. Our cabin was next to the pavilion with a fireplace and one of two hot tubs on the property. The lake was just across the path, and the local mountains made a stunning backdrop.
After settling into our room, Victoria and I took a short hike around the lake, traversed through the woods, and then returned via the grassy knoll, where we saw the targets set up for archery practice. We ended at the lodge and stopped for a cocktail on the front deck.
Dinner was amazing. My salad consisted of frisée greens with refreshing watermelon, savory feta, spicy radish, crunchy cucumber, and a mint vinaigrette. Victoria opted for the venison sausage rolls wrapped in puff pastry with piperade sauce for her appetizer. For dinner, we both chose the braised bison short rib with mashed Yukon gold potatoes, roasted broccolini, tomato jam, and bourbon jus, and the delectable individual apple pies for dessert. The pies were perfectly sweet/tart, and the crust was light and flakey. We returned to our room and changed for a dip in the hot tub.
The bounty at the buffet breakfast the following morning was a sight to behold. We had eggs, sausage, a gigantic croissant (Victoria and I shared), and coffee. We joined a few other guests and headed to Elk Glade Ranch, where we had hoped to participate in a cattle drive. Unfortunately, we could not bring the cows in due to a poisonous plant blooming in the area. Once we arrived at the ranch, Jim, the owner, shared some horseback riding tips and took out the first group.
Ride with Zeal
Victoria and I went out on ATVs with Chris, a local retired police officer. The ride was exciting and the scenery incredible. Chris was amazing. I rode with him so that I could video and take pictures. I got some great shots of Victoria racing through the water. After the thrilling adventure, we returned to the house where Lauren, Jim’s daughter, fixed a lovely lunch. The ranch is entirely off the grid.
After we had our fill, Jim selected our horses and we mounted up. Jim confirmed that Victoria and I were experienced riders and asked me, “Are you up for a double-black-diamond technical ride?” I said, “Sure!” The ride was exhilarating with many steep ups and downs through trees and streams and over and around huge boulders. It was a bit scary, and Victoria almost lost her seat once when her horse unexpectedly jumped across a creek, but she held on tight and stayed steady. After a challenging two-hour ride, we were exhausted. We returned to the house and headed back to The Ranch at Emerald Valley (EV) for dinner.
It was EV’s twice-a-week cookout: lobster tails with drawn butter, sauteed shrimp, ribeye on the bone, brisket with horseradish and BBQ sauce, sausages, spectacular macaroni and cheese, stuffed potatoes, French fries, mashed sweet potatoes with oats, fried chicken, beans, salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, potato salad and individual coconut cream pies, rhubarb crisps and more. Yummy.
Cloud Camp rests on the top of Cheyenne Mountain looking down at The Broadmoor from 3,000 feet above. This all-inclusive experience includes lodging in one of the 11 one- or two-bedroom cabins or one of the seven well-appointed rooms in the grand lodge. The Fire Tower Suite with its 360-degree view from the summit is also available for guests.
Sleep in the Clouds
My son Garrett joined me on this trip. After riding the first half up the mountain in an SUV and the second half upon mules, we settled in. Our two-bedroom cabin, nestled in the forest, was very spacious, boasting a lovely porch and a warm, cozy ambiance. We joined the other guests in the lodge for a cocktail and a cooking demonstration with one of The Broadmoor chefs.
The main lodge, adorned with memorabilia from Kevin Costner’s movie Dancing with Wolves, was awesome and the views of Pikes Peak outside were breathtaking. After class everyone relaxed by the fire in the lodge while snacking on delicious appetizers and sipping on tasty cocktails. The dining table seemed like something right out of a castle. It set the stage for a delightful dinner served family-style.
Eat Like a King
The meal began with a tasty corn soup followed by a few salads. Next, platters with potatoes and asparagus with Hollandaise sauce arrived, and a hot plate of the chef’s fried chicken. The chicken recipe was handed down from the chef’s grandmother. Entrée options included beef, salmon, duck, and a vegetarian option, and a fresh berry cobbler or a chocolate tart finished the meal.
Enjoy the Outdoors
After dinner, Garrett and I joined a few guests for a short hike through the woods to the wood barrel hot tub. It was fun to be out in the forest at night soaking in the steamy water and meeting new friends.
The following day we got an early start watching the sunrise from the lodge’s wraparound deck. Hummingbirds frequent the area, and I waited very still until one perched on my finger. We watched the morning sky light up the city below while enjoying hot coffee and warm pastries. The chef served breakfast after everyone was up, and I joined a yoga class on the deck before we headed down the mountain.
The Broadmoor Resort is a magnificent, opulent, incredible place to visit, and the three Wilderness Experiences are equally luxurious in their own unique ways. Each one offers fabulous accommodation, tasty cuisine, and first-class activities. Book a trip to one or all of the Broadmoor Wilderness Experiences to create special memories for you, your family, and your loved ones.