Best Place to Uphill Ski 2021 | Aspen | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

During a season when many skiers were looking for solitude — and trying to avoid making new friends in lift lines — uphill skiing became increasingly popular. And while almost any slope could look inviting to those willing to tackle the climb, Aspen definitely made uphill skiers feel welcome, with all four of the area's mountains — Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk — allowing uphill skiing during operational hours (with some variation on the rules because of COVID), along with two-day uphilling clinics and America's Uphill Race in March. It's all downhill from here!

It may not be part of one of the famous hut systems that traverse the state, but Weston Pass Hut, situated between Leadville and Fairplay, is every bit as comfortable and cool a backcountry experience (it's got all the hut basics and sleeps twenty) as those better-known mountain shelters. In true hut fashion, it requires a bit of a haul — via skis, snowshoes, snowmobiles or snowcat — to access in winter, with views of Mount Holy Cross and endless open sky en route. In summer, though, the hike or bike to this cozy, rustic lodging at 11,950 feet offers high-alpine wildflower-blanketed meadows and random wildlife sightings. Even better is that the owners — mostly longtime Leadville locals — constructed the solar-powered structure using earth for three of the walls and the roof.

While everyone else heads to Janet's and Francie's cabins in the Summit system, hardcore hikers and cross-country skiers make a six-mile beeline to well above treeline at Section House, a renovated 1882 building that sleeps twelve and overlooks South Park and Breckenridge on Boreas Pass at 11,481 feet. The road is closed to this winter-only lodging — which sits well past the also-intimate Ken's Cabin — adding to the isolation and stone-cold quiet, and if the altitude doesn't get you, the views of the Continental Divide from the no-frills historic cabin will take your breath away. Pretend you're one of the railroaders who lived in this old mining town by firing up the wood oven and reliving the days of the pit-toilet outhouse.

Although the Barstool Sportsbook mobile app has not yet landed in Colorado, the Barstool Sportsbook retail space at the Ameristar Black Hawk is definitely a welcome addition to the scene. In this well-designed area, bettors can grab a beer from the sportsbook bar, place a bet at the in-person counter and take in games from one of the many large, flat-screen TVs. Stoolies can geek out over the Barstool-themed nature of the space, and those feeling adventurous can even play card games, as the Ameristar has tables with dealers set up inside the sportsbook.

Conor McCormick-Cavanagh

While sports bettors around Colorado can place bets on mobile apps, placing wagers in person is limited to sportsbooks at casinos. But if you want to stay in Denver, the Celtic on Market — an official off-track-betting facility as well as a great Irish bar — offers the next best thing through its FanDuel Cash at Counter partnership, which lets you bet on the games, then watch them in the big first-floor bar.

Some of us don't want to do CrossFit or bike 25 miles on a Thursday night. Some of us just want to throw a little sack and drink some beers. Or go bowling and drink some beers. Or play mini golf and drink some beers. (Now, that's true coordination and performance.) The Rocky Mountain Bar League has these very athletic activities covered for you, hosting regular bouts of bowling and cornhole at bars like Moe's BBQ, the Dive Inn and Stoney's Bar and Grill, as well as booze-friendly putt-putt at Aqua Golf. League and tournament options are opening up in May, so get the crew together and start training for fun this summer.Best Sports Bar for WatchingGames
Dylan Burkhardt
Give us a beer and a comfortable seat, put that seat in front of a TV, and put that TV on the game we need to watch, no matter how obscure. That's what we want from a sports bar, and that's what the original Stoney's — with 31 HD TVs and two projection screens — is all too happy to provide. We're still not sure what team Stoney's represents the most — show up on a football Sunday and try to figure it out yourself — but that please-everyone mentality ensures that there's a spot for you at this big bar. (We like the location at 1035 East 17th Avenue, too, but the Lincoln Street spot is our go-to). And since Stoney's has a subscription to DirecTV (the only major cable carrier of Altitude Sports in Denver), you can go to the bar without worrying whether you'll be able to see the Nuggets or Avalanche. Watching the game in the world today takes everything you've got on some weekends, but at Stoney's, everyone knows your team. Maybe even your name.

Is bowling a sport or a game? If you ask the Dude or Walter Sobchak, they'd set you straight, but if your goal is just to have fun playing games while keeping an eye on the local sports scores, Crown Lanes has just what you need. League play is the best way to get in during prime hours, but call ahead for reservations if you and your pals just want to throw a few frames. You'll find good Denver-style grub (including spicy, savory cannoli!), cheap drinks, pool and video games, and enough TVs to keep up with the pro action. As Walter says: "Fuck it, Dude. let's go bowling."

The burgers and other bar bites are so good at Highland Tap & Burger — the first in the Tap & Burger group that has now spread to Sloan's Lake and Belleview Station — that most of us don't even look up from our food long enough to realize that, hey, this is a pretty damn good sports bar, too! But between nibbles of wings, scoops of extra-cheesy mac and cheese, and mouthfuls of the Shroom Luva's burger (our favorite), you and your friends just might realize that you're surrounded by well-placed TVs tuned into the best sports action during any given season. You don't have to be a Broncos fan, either; just don't badmouth the New England Patriots too much or you might find co-founder (and Tom Brady diehard) Juan Padró breathing down your neck.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of