Wilderness Camps at The Broadmoor in Colorado

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Each of the wilderness camps at The Broadmoor in Colorado—The Fly Fishing Camp, The Ranch at Emerald Valley, and Cloud Camp—is luxurious, unique, and fun in its own way.

The Broadmoor resort, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is well known for its luxury accommodations and 100 years of impeccable service. However, The Broadmoor is more than just an opulent resort. It also includes three incredible wilderness experiences: Fly Fishing Camp, Cloud Camp, and The Ranch at Emerald Valley. The wilderness camps at The Broadmoor in Colorado are all-inclusive and feature rustic-luxe accommodations, delicious dining, and unforgettable adventures.

Fly Fishing Camp

The first wilderness camp at The Broadmoor—Fly Fishing Camp—is the ideal place to fish, hike, read, or enjoy nature. Visitors have access to more than five miles of world-class private fishing on the Tarryall River, 85 acres of land owned by the camp, and 120,000 acres of Lost Creek Wilderness that borders the Fly Fishing Camp. These areas feature a vast array of wildlife, and it is not uncommon to spot deer, rabbits, and other forest animals on camp property in the early morning hours.

Fly Fishing Camp. Photo courtesy of The Broadmoor.

Fly Fishing Camp. Photo courtesy of The Broadmoor

Rest Well

The camp features seven 1920's-era beautifully restored miners' cabins, a grand lodge, and a fish house. Each of the cabins offers well-appointed, comfortable furnishings. Two cabins offer private bathrooms and the remaining five share an ample bathhouse with lovely tiled showers, embroidered towels, and attractive woodwork.

Eat Well

I recently visited the camp and found the meals substantial, tasty, and served family-style. The happy hour began around 5:30 pm, and guests were free to help themselves with several options at the bar. At about 6:30 each evening, Aaron Kuper, The Broadmoor Fly Fishing Camp manager, brought in delicious hors d'oeuvres to nosh on while we got to know one another.

Fly Fishing Camp dining room, wilderness camp at the Broadmoor

Fly Fishing Camp dining room. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

Dinner started at 7:30 pm. There were eight guests the first night, and one gentleman was celebrating his birthday. The entrée was a savory bone-in pork chop accompanied by a frittata casserole and broccolini served as the side dishes. The frittata contained eggs, cheese, and green chilis that perfectly complemented the pork chops. Aaron made the Broadmoor's Death by Chocolate Cake, a spectacular culinary delight and a delectable way to end the evening.

Broadmoor's Death by Chocolate cake

Death by chocolate cake. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

After a restful night of sleep, I awoke excited in anticipation of my day of fly fishing lessons. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain, and at 9,000 feet elevation, it was freezing cold. I made my way over to the lodge and filled my mug with hot coffee. To help fend off the cold, I spiked the java with a bit of Baileys Irish Cream to speed up the internal warming process. Aaron served a hearty breakfast of fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, golden hash browns, and sweet blueberry pancakes.

Catch and Release

One of the best things about Fly Fishing Camp at the Broadmoor is that they will provide everything you need. Taylor, my guide for the day, arrived with my preordered waders and boots in hand. After wrestling myself into all the appropriate warm/wet weather gear, we headed down to the first fishing hole.

Taylor shared words of wisdom with me. He said, “Always cast your line at a 45-degree angle, let your indicator or bobber go, and keep a lazy J in the line.” He told me, “It is important that whenever you catch a fish, you should wet your hands before you grab it so that you will not hurt the membrane on their scales. Then release the fish facing upriver so that the water fills their gills faster.”

Fly fishing guide with a rainbow trout

Taylor with one of my rainbow trout. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

Taylor was a brilliant guide, and he showed an abundance of patience. He baited my hook and released every fish. Taylor climbed up into a tree to release my biggest catch of the day—a colossal branch rising 20 feet in the air hanging out over the river. You see, I snagged several flies that day, and he was willing to rescue as many as possible. Overall, my fishing for fish was a success; I caught and released five rainbow trout.

Fishing guide retrieving a fly from a tree

Taylor rescuing my fly from the biggest catch of the day. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

There are multiple other fun ways to spend your time at Fly Fishing Camp. The Fish House offers an extensive library and a big-screen TV, and the space is also used for group meetings and fly-tying classes. The lodge contains another TV and several board games. Outside, guests can play horseshoes, hike the trails, or sit by the gigantic campfire.

The Ranch at Emerald Valley

The Ranch at Emerald Valley is so much more than a dude ranch. This wilderness camp at The Broadmoor is set amidst more than 100,000 acres of the Pike National Forest, a paradise that includes impressively furnished cabins with modern amenities. My daughter-in-law lives near Denver, and since the ranch is located just 30 minutes from The Broadmoor, she was able to join me on this portion of my trip. We stayed in one of the spacious two-bedroom cabins.

Sleep in Opulence

Our cabin sat across from the small lake and adjacent to the pavilion with a fireplace. Upon entering the cabin, we were amazed by the stunning stone fireplace. The earth-toned, high-backed chairs and a leather couch with fur pillows created a well-balanced motif and comfortable ambiance. It was just steps from one of the two hot tubs on the property, so we immediately discussed plans to use it later that evening.

Victoria and I settled into our room and then headed out for a short hike with Krista Heinicke, Director of Public Relations at The Broadmoor. First, we shimmied over a log bridge, then hiked through the woods, and finally meandered through a grassy meadow back to the lodge, where we relaxed on the deck with a cocktail. Here we were greeted by the local wildlife, the ranch cat.

Guest and cat at The Ranch at Emerald Valley

Victoria and the resident wildlife at The Ranch at Emerald Valley. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

Dine Heartily

Dinner at the ranch was outstanding. I began with a frisée salad topped with luscious watermelon, savory feta, spicy radish, crunchy cucumber, and a refreshing mint vinaigrette. Victoria opted for a hot appetizer—venison sausage rolls wrapped in puff pastry with piperade sauce. We both chose the braised bison short rib with mashed Yukon gold potatoes, roasted broccolini, tomato jam, and bourbon jus for dinner and the mini apple pies for dessert. The pie crust was light and flakey, and the apples were delightfully sweet and tart. As previously decided, we donned our swimsuits after dinner and went for a dip in the hot tub before bed.

I am not a big breakfast eater, but the buffet at the ranch had something for everyone—coffee, tea, eggs, sausages, and an excellent selection of pastries. Victoria and I shared a colossal croissant, and I added a small portion of eggs and a sausage link to my plate. After breakfast, we went to Elk Glade Ranch for the day with a few other guests. Upon our arrival, Jim, the owner of Elk Glade Ranch, showed us around the ranch and split us into two groups. He shared some horseback riding tips with everyone and set out on a ride with the first group. Victoria, Krista, and I were in group two.

Saddling up the horse

Jim saddling up the horses. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

Driving Fearlessly

Victoria, Krista, and I began our ATV adventure with Chris, a local retired police officer. I rode with Chris so that I could video and photograph the action. The ride was invigorating, and the scenery was magnificent. Victoria was a wild woman. She raced full speed through creeks sending vast sprays of water in the air, soaking her and anyone else that followed too closely. We stopped at a mine for photos and traversed a narrow gap where snow covered the pathway. After the riveting adventure, we returned to the house and enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by Lauren, Jim's daughter.

Riding an ATV

Victoria is ready to ride. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

Now it was our turn to ride the horses. Jim selected horses for each of us, and we mounted up. We rode for about 15 minutes, and Jim asked about my riding experience. I told him about the horses I had owned and that Victoria had a horse growing up. He asked, “Are you interested in a double-black-diamond technical ride?”, to which I replied, “Sounds great!” The ride was an adrenaline-charged, nerve-wracking, roller-coaster ride with numerous steep ups and downs through trees and streams and over and around huge boulders. What a blast! After a challenging ride, we returned to the house, met the rest of the group, and headed back to The Ranch at Emerald Valley (EV) for dinner.

It was EV's spectacular, twice-a-week cookout—lobster tails with drawn butter, sautéed shrimp, ribeye on the bone, brisket with horseradish and BBQ sauce, numerous delectable side dishes, and tasty desserts. It was a magnificent feast and a great way to end an incredible day.

Cloud Camp

One of the most unique wilderness camps at The Broadmoor, Cloud Camp looks down at The Broadmoor from a 3,000-foot perch on Cheyenne Mountain. There are 11 one- and two-bedroom cabins and seven, well-appointed rooms in the grand lodge. One special suite, The Fire Tower, boasts a 360-degree view and is often reserved by honeymooners.

Aerial view of Cloud Camp, wilderness camp at The Broadmoor in Colorado

Cloud Camp aerial view. Photo courtesy of The Broadmoor.

Slumber in the Clouds

My son Garrett joined me on this trip. We rode halfway up the mountain in an SUV and the second half on mules. We settled into our two-bedroom cabin and later joined the other guests in the lodge for a cocktail and a cooking demonstration with one of The Broadmoor chefs.

The dining room and long table at the lodge feel like something that belongs in a castle ballroom. Beauty is all around, memorabilia from the movie Dancing with Wolves decorates the walls, and the outside deck offers stunning views of the valley below.

Feast Like a King

Dinner was served family-style. A luscious corn soup started the meal, followed by a few tasty salads. Platters with potatoes and asparagus with Hollandaise sauce arrived from the kitchen, along with hot plates of the chef's family recipe for fried chicken. Entrée options for that evening included beef, salmon, duck, and a vegetarian option; fresh berry cobbler or a chocolate tart were the dessert choices. Everything was scrumptious.

Cloud Camp dining room, wilderness camp at the Broadmoor

Cloud Camp dining room. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

Savor the Outdoors

Garrett and I walked through the woods to the hot tub after dinner. It was fun to be out in the forest at night, relaxing in the steamy water under the stars.

The next morning we watched the sunrise from the wraparound deck. The staff keeps several hummingbird feeders full, and the resident hummingbirds are accustomed to people. I approached a feeder, remaining very still, and one landed on my finger. Not long afterward, breakfast was served, and a yoga stretching class was available on the deck for those interested in participating.

Hummingbirds at Cloud Camp

Resident hummingbird at the Cloud Camp. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

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Luxurious and Magical Accommodations Won't Disappoint

The Fly Fishing Camp, The Ranch at Emerald Valley, and Cloud Camp are all fantastic places to stay, eat, and play. Each of the wilderness camps at The Broadmoor in Colorado is luxurious, unique, and fun in its own way. Book a trip to one or all of the Broadmoor Wilderness Experiences and create special memories for you, your family, and your loved ones.

Whether your next adventure is a camping trip for the family, exploring new wilderness areas, or finding a unique destination, let Wander lead the way.

Each of the wilderness camps at The Broadmoor in Colorado—The Fly Fishing Camp, The Ranch at Emerald Valley, and Cloud Camp—is luxurious, unique, and fun in its own way. Each camp offers a great outdoor adventure and perfect family vacation in Colorado.


Wilderness Camps at The Broadmoor in Colorado

Written by Tracy Ellen Beard

Tracy Ellen Beard, Wander With Wonder Senior Editor, is a freelance writer, editor, and photographer based in Longview, Washington. She is an avid traveler, wine connoisseur, foodie, hiker, cyclist, and kayaker. Tracy is the “Out and About” columnist for the Columbia River Reader and writes monthly for Upscale Living Magazine. She also contributes regularly to LuxeGetaways, Northwest Travel & Life, Country, Country Extra, and several other magazines. Her stories focus on luxury and adventure travel, fine dining, wine, libations, road trips, and recipes. Tracy shares a unique perspective on the world from her personal journeys and the excursions she took as the founder and past president of an international children’s nonprofit. Her twenty years of experience writing in various genres, and her culinary training in San Francisco, California, have added to her knowledge and expertise.

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