I’ve passed Green Mountain Falls countless times, usually considering it a drive-by hamlet on the way to and from higher mountains and farther places. You’ve probably done the same. Green Mountain Falls, you think. We should check it out—some other time. Right now we’ve got skiing to get to. Or hiking or fishing or rafting—fill in your adventure of choice. But when a short window opened for an overnight getaway with my wife, Green Mountain Falls caught my eye—thanks to the Outlook Lodge. Only about 20 minutes up Ute Pass from the Springs, this looked like a spot to save the driving and do some escaping.
We pulled up, climbed the stone staircase to the hillside six-room retreat and found our keys in one of the antique brass post office boxes. Privacy from the start—there’s no front desk at the Outlook, but we found everything just as the local host had explained it beforehand. After settling into our room in the Carriage House, we were drawn to the artfully cushioned window box, big enough for two with perfect reading light filtering through its picturesque panes.
The Outlook Lodge was built in 1889 as the original rectory for the nearby Church of the Wildwoods. Now its historic charm is blended into rustic, mountain chic. Credit owner Christian Keesee, who is also responsible for bringing the summer annual Green Box Arts Festival and other world-class art installations to Green Mountain Falls. Works from Keesee’s private collection adorn the walls of the Outlook.
Bed Then Breakfast
You can’t overnight in Green Mountain Falls without a morning stop at The Pantry, an easy walk from the Outlook Lodge. The lakeside institution is where locals and visitors mingle over biscuits and gravy and bottomless coffee mugs. Grab a seat on the patio, and order the Mother Lode, a buttermilk pancake bigger than your plate.
After dinner (a five-minute drive to The Wines of Colorado), we considered our options. Green Mountain Falls is more microtown than mountain town, but that’s the point. We made s’mores over the giant stone fire pit. We soaked in the moonlit hot tub, shared with the sister Little Beaver Inn. We sat in rockers on the wraparound porch, breathing the scent of evergreen and holding hands to the drip of a rain shower from the 126-year-old eaves. We savored all the blissful nothing we could want and headed home with a brand new outlook.
by Jeremy V. Johnson