Mt Elbert Colorado Flag Hats
14er

Hiking to the Top of Colorado - Mt. Elbert

With extra time during the pandemic, John and I planned to make a short mid-week trip to one of the highest cities in Colorado – Leadville. Our objectives were to paddleboard on Twin Lakes, hike Mt. Elbert and check out some of the local shops/eateries. We were also excited to stop by The Twin Lakes General Store where ColoradoCool has some custom Twin Lakes Colorado Flag Hoodies and shirts available, as well as a variety of Colorado beanies and Colorado flag hats. The day before leaving, both John and I had a wild day. His car broke down in Denver while making some deliveries and I had to last minute clean out my Jeep from the past winter and perform some routine maintenance before we left. Somehow, we still managed to compare our mental checklists, bring everything we needed, grab John's and Erika's dog/ColoradoCool mascot Raji and leave on time the next morning. I knew going into Thursday that we had a high chance of rain and that it could halt our plans. After we made the turn for Twin Lakes, I looked up at the Mt. Elbert and saw darker clouds forming. Here it comes! We found a quiet campsite and began to feel raindrops as we finished setting up our tents. FYI- The road to this dispersed campsite took some legit fourwheel drive and a lift to get to, but my Jeep made me proud! We ate lunch from inside the tent, while Raji ran around outside in the rain fulfilling his lifes' mission to stay as muddy as possible...but now what? Paddleboarding was a no go, which was a bummer as we would have loved to get our Sol Paddle Board out on Twin Lakes.... but instead of sitting around, maybe we could drive up to Independence Pass? Fifteen minutes later we found ourselves in a downpour that would have us questioning why we were driving to begin with. We had been in a car 2 and half hours already that day, do we really need to drive more, much less in a downpour? We changed our plans again, deciding to hang out at the campground until the evening when we would head over to the Twin Lakes General Store to say whats up and talk some business.  Sitting in our tents in the rain, we were interrupted by a phone call. The dealership called John about his car that broke down. Immediately my interest was piqued! I had rebuilt an engine earlier this spring, so anything automotive related had my attention. John hung up and sighed as he told me he received a $600 quote for replacing a sensor. I rushed to my phone and after 10 minutes could not understand how it could cost that much. John’s dad works at a dealership; he also thought it was bit outlandish and suggested we try to replace the sensor ourselves. We decided we would try to do that on our way back home and got back to being present on our adventure. We cooked a few burgers with bacon and made our way into town. We met with Bob from the Twin Lakes General Store that evening. John had a delivery of various Colorado beanies to resupply the store, and Bob as well as his staff are super friendly so conversation begins...before you know it, there was a creative brainstorm regarding designs for the fall season. Stopping at the Twin Lakes General Store is a must for anyone exploring this area. The authentic old-style store provides everything from camping equipment and hiker-oriented food to Colorado apparel and CDT (Continental Divide Trail) souvenirs. And don't forget to check out the customized ColoradoCool/Twin Lakes General Store Colorado Flag apparel. This design is one that John worked closely with Bob on and is made up of a bunch of graphics depicting all things Twin Lakes, its pretty awesome. Bob drove the bus on this design regarding the content that was included, so you know its going to depict Twin Lakes well!  Back at camp, we did the last of our fueling for the big hike. By 9 o’clock, we were in our sleeping bags and dozing off. 5 AM hits and we were up… at least mostly. We were both rocking different colorways of ColoradoCool's Colorado Flag Collage design. These triblend fabric t-shirts are made of great material for hiking and the graphic is perfect for repping the Colorado outdoors. I’m not much of a morning person, but within an hour we were on the trail and saw the sun rising on the peaks across the valley.  The route we chose was the Southeast Ridge of Mt. Elbert, and it did not disappoint, and it did not withhold its challenge. After cruising through the first few miles, we hit the proverbial wall climbing around 1500 feet of elevation in less than a mile! But with a little perseverance and some inspiration from Raji, who was scooting up and down the trail no problem with a giant smile on his face, we made our way up. Once past that stretch, we stopped and soaked in some sunshine, refueled, and then continued on. We still had to traverse over South Elbert to get to our objective mountain. I underestimated how long it would take us from there. The Elbert massif takes up a lot of space, breathing gets harder, and the ridge is deceptively longer than one would think. But we sucked it up and reached the summit by 10 AM, greeted by hikers who primarily took other routes. After hours of hiking, we were on top of Colorado! The views up there are incredible....we felt on top of the world. While I have summited Elbert a few times before...that view doesn't get old! I had also never taken the Southeast ridge route, which provided a new challenge. We relaxed for a bit, enjoyed the views and did our best to stop Raji crawling into everyone's laps while they tried to take a load off. Of course, with John running a local Colorado business, opportunities for epic photos can never be missed. So we busted out a few unique ColoradoCool Colorado Flag hats and snapped a few shots before the descent. Our original plan was to be in Denver to repair John’s car that evening before the auto parts store and dealership closed. In order to do that, logistics would have to move fast, and we were running out of time. Between the saddle of Mt. Elbert and South Elbert, and knowing what traffic would be like in Denver, it became clear to move to plan B: take our time, enjoy the space (which also meant getting more photos for ColoradoCool's marketing manager Erika) and save fixing the car for the next day.   Hiking along the ridgeline was  quite peaceful; gentle breezes,  speckled clouds, and sunshine floated by us like ripples on a lake. Patches of Columbine flowers sprung out along a stream as we hiked back down. We had clearly made the right decision not to rush back to civilization (as always right?)...this should have been Plan A all along  We arrived back at the Jeep and took a deep breath. The stats for the day were 11.5 miles, 5300 feet of elevation gain, in just under 7 hours. Then began the devising of our next plan: stopping by the General Store for snacks and souvenirs, then dipping our toes and washing our faces in Twin Lakes. From there, we would walk main street in Leadville, eat mouthwatering burritos at Casa Sanchez, and then finally hit the road for home. The following morning we cruised back down to Denver, were able to easily replace the sensor in John’s car (saving hundreds of dollars - a big deal when running a young, small business during a pandemic) and provided a relief that would allow us the rest of the weekend to unwind, reflect, unpack, and get ready for the next week. We had an awesome time on this trip and want to give a special thanks to Bob and his staff at Twin Lakes General Store for the hospitality, looking forward to being back up soon!  Until Next time...Cheers Colorado! -Zeke      
Camping and Hiking - A Weekend in Crested Butte, Colorado
camping

Camping and Hiking - A Weekend in Crested Butte, Colorado

In one weekend in Crested Butte, we shared trails with mule deer, chipmunks, songbirds, a bear, and even a bull moose in velvet!  Our quest for wildflowers was a success. We were surrounded by awesome mountains and breathtaking scenery in every direction. We were recharged by soaking in the beautiful Colorado outdoors!
Why our Colorado Flag Hoodies are your new must-have wardrobe addition for fall (or winter, spring, or summer)
Apparel

Why our Colorado Flag Hoodies are your new must-have wardrobe addition for fall (or winter, spring, or summer)

Maybe the best thing about our Colorado Flag Hoodies is that they are a great product to wear year-round. The fall, in particular, is an awesome time to pick one of these Colorado Flag Hoodies up. They are a lightweight, cotton/polyester blend fabric that is perfect for those brisk fall mornings, but aren't heavy enough to have you sweating as the day warms up. As things get colder up in the Colorado mountains, our Colorado Flag Hoodies are ideal to wear under your heavier jackets as a comfortable base layer. They are also amazing for lounging around the house during those cold, short winter days when you're taking a break from braving the cold and getting out in the snow (skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, whatever your favorite CO winter hobby is). Even in the summertime, our Colorado Flag Hoodies are a perfect lightweight hoodie option for those Colorado summer nights that are just a little too chilly for a t-shirt or tank. If you purchase a ColoradoCool Colorado Flag Hoodie here, we would be surprised if you go more than a week anytime throughout the year without putting it to good use! Aside from the functionality and high-quality of this product, the Colorado Flag graphic is really popular both among tourists and locals. It incorporates popular Colorado destinations from all over Colorado - from Denver, to Colorado Springs, to Fort Collins to Telluride....and many more! Its also incorporates a lot of aspects of the Colorado lifestyle that we all love so much! Checking out the graphics on this Colorado Flag hoodie that can be rocked year-round is always a lot of fun and it is printed in a high quality ink that won't fade by a fantastic, Colorado based company, Superior Ink. We have yet to have a disappointed customer who purchased our Colorado Flag Hoodie. Finding a unique, well executed depiction of the Colorado Flag isn't easy these days, but we take a lot of pride in ours - both because of the quality of the product as well as the effort we put into executing our popular Colorado Flag design. With the holidays coming up, this is a perfect Colorado holiday gift. Consider ordering one now for you or for a loved one for the holidays and we know you won't be disappointed!!
Mt Democrat Colorado 14er Hike
14er

Mt Democrat - ColoradoCool Apparel

Colorado 14er Hike in Late June. Rockin ColoradoCool Apparel (of course) hiking Mt. Democrat. f you're looking to hit a Colorado 14er that's not too intense yet still has some awesome views and will make for a great half day, Mt. Democrat is an awesome choice. It is pretty common to hit Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Bross all in one as you can traverse from peak to peak without losing too much elevation, but as we had a few more inexperienced hikers in the group last weekend (6/24), we decided to keep it chill and just summit Mt. Democrat.
Dream Lake/Emerald Lake (RMNP)
bear lake

Dream Lake/Emerald Lake (RMNP)

If you are looking for a mild hike and countless opportunities for great views and photos, Dream Lake is a great spot to hit. Make sure if you come when the weather is nice you get here really early, or its not gonna be enjoyable. (Unless you don't mind crowds). A must see at some point for everyone!  
Blue Lake (Mt. Sneffels, San Juans)
blue lake

Blue Lake (Mt. Sneffels, San Juans)

The trailhead is just right up the road from several camp spots and the hike to the lake is about 3.5 miles (to lower Blue Lake). It is a moderately difficult hike for frequent hikers, but you have constant excuses to take breaks. The views of the peak of Mt. Sneffels, the meadows filled with wildflowers, the wildlife and waterfall had us constantly stopping and taking in the views.
Black Canyon Colorado ColoradoCool Apparel
apparel

ColoradoCool Apparel at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

First off, I don’t know how this isn’t a better known spot...its epic. I had heard of it in passing but had no idea how amazing it is. The depth of the canyon is insane (deepest point-Warner Point-2,722 feet), with a flowing river at the bottom that echoes through the canyon, clearly audible even at the top.
Hewlett Gulch (Poudre Canyon, Fort Collins)
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Hewlett Gulch (Poudre Canyon, Fort Collins)

Hiking/Mountain Biking Hewlett Gulch Trail Hewlett Gulch is a beautiful back woods trail located just outside Fort Collins, about 30 minutes west in the Poudre Canyon. The scenery in the springtime makes for an absolutely breathtaking experience. The intense smell of columbines flourishing in this area and the refreshing sound of snow melt parades while you gasp for air churning up this challenging trail. Stream crossings vary with the time of year, in the spring you may have to hike your bike across the several slippery crossings of the roaring stream, but most of the time you will be fine to challenge yourself to ride through them. There is an abundant amount of rock gardens located along the trail with no shortage of difficulty. It is a ten-mile loop. For an average weekend warrior, you might have to hike your bike through some steep climbing sections. Luckily this trail has a few expert sections available for those who want to push their ability to the limit. Usually, I don't pack much water for the doggies because the streams will be running all year long. As for yourself, you will want to pack your normal amount. Like most single track trails in Colorado you may encounter bears and mountain lions, so prepare yourself for a possible mid-trail battle. Personally, I always bring my 9 mm pistol, you are allowed to shoot recreationally 150 yards off the trail with proper knowledge in regards to weapon safety. Remember to always pack out your trash!!!!! Keep it "Colorado Cool". Cheers, Mikey B
uncompahgre peak san juans colorado 14er
14er

Uncompahgre Peak (San Juans)

ColoradoCool Apparel featured hike: Uncompahgre Peak Alright, alright. This is a submission from one of our ColoradoCool Apparel OG's, Nick Gendill. Shout out to our boy Nick for trekking up Uncompahgre, the sixth highest summit in the Rocky Mountains and the highest the San Juan Mountains has to offer. Appreciate the submission brother!  "So it started at about 5:00 in the morning on Saturday, July 23rd when I woke up in the back of my Trailblazer at the Nellie Creek trailhead outside of Lake City, Colorado. Ate a couple granola bars and some jerky, and met up with some other rad hikers at 5:30. From there we drove up 4 miles of a pretty muddy, intense 4WD road... took about 45 minutes to jossle us all awake, and we hit the trail by around 6:30. After pushing through switchbacks for a good solid hour, we approached the base of the base of the peak; it would take us about another hour and half and about 2000 more feet of elevation gain to reach the summit. After a short class 3 scramble as the trail wraps around the southwest part of the mountain, it leveled out to where the summit was in view... and there were definitely views an exposure! The San Juan mountain range is definitely one of the most lush and unique mountain ranges to hike in. You can get everything from smooth rivers and waterfalls, lush grassy slopes, to gnarly boulders, and extreme crags and arêtes. From the top of the 14309 foot Uncompahgre Peak, I saw roughly another 10 14ers. All together made for a fun adventure, and Lake City isn't too shabby of a mountain town to stop and get a burger and beer afterwards before a long drive back." Cheers Nick!!! Thanks for the DOPE ColoCool photos and submission!!