Mountain Almanac for the Week of December 19

Wednesday, Dec. 20

Wellness Walk. Scheduled for Dec. 20 at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center at 9 a.m. Meet at the upper level and choose a one, two or three-mile hike. Maps are available. Healthy living tips and mindfulness exercises to enhance your walk. Dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water. Free admission

No Council meeting. The Cripple Creek City Council has cancelled its regularly scheduled meeting for Dec. 20. No other council meetings are scheduled for 2023.

Thursday, Dec. 21

TOPS. Takes Off Pounds Sensibly.  Meets every Thursday morning at 9 a.m. in the basement of Church in the Wildwood (10585 Ute Pass Ave.) Green Mountain Falls, CO 80819. Affordable, effective weight-loss.

Meeting Cancellation. The  Woodland Park City Council has cancelled its Dec. 21 meeting. No other council meetings are scheduled for the remainder of 2023.


Friday, Dec. 22


Final Week for Angel of the Christmas Mine show. The Thin Air Theater company is back in action and will feature another great Christmas show at the Butte Theater and a brand new Olio, with community actors and veteran performers, showcasing a variety of future stars and local celebrities. Plus, the infamous Mel Moser is back for a guest appearance. The show, which kicked off on Nov. 24, continues through Dec. 31, with daily shows Thursdays through Sundays. The Christmas show is one of the most popular performances at the Butte. For reservations and for more information, call 719-689-6402 or visit their website at


Shining Mountain Links Activity.  The Shining Mountain Golf Course is closed for the season. But the facility is still open for special events and for Christmas parties. Call, 719-687-7587 and visit the Shining Mountain facebook page


24th Annual Holiday Headframe Lighting Tour. The giant headframes that are the remains of 1890’s gold mining days will again light up the night sky around Victor and Cripple Creek again this holiday season on weekend nights (weather permitting) from now through Jan. 1.  These unique mining structures are one-of-a-kind remnants of the gold rush era. Holiday ornaments, some as large as 20 feet tall, will be lit against the starry night skies of the Victor and Cripple Creek region.. Everything from a Christmas wreath to a snowman and a toy soldier will be on display this year. A self-guided driving tour map will be available online at  The lights will be best viewed after dark and will be in place Friday through Sunday nights through New Year’s Day, weather/safety and volunteers permitting. Between Christmas Eve and New Year’s, weather allowing, the lights will be on nightly. Please respect private property and stay on public roads to view the ornaments.  This holiday lighting tradition is sponsored by Newmont Cripple Creek & Victor gold mine, on whose property most of the headframes are located and the Southern Teller County Focus Group who coordinates generator crews. Volunteers from the communities staff the generators and line power connections each weekend. Other sponsors include the City of Victor, Cripple Creek Parks & Recreation, Cripple Creek Fire Department, and the Cripple Creek District Museum. Support also comes from Black Hills Energy crews who help refurbish the lamps on the ornaments. More information and maps are at


Saturday, Dec. 23

Winter Art Show Galas. the Reserve Our Gala shop, located at 400 West Midland in Woodland Park, is a great place to view the work of local artists and shop for unique Christmas gifts.  The gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m. every day. The gallery’s December featured artist is Michael Gault. For  more information, call 719-401-2301.

Last minute Christmas Shopping in the High Country.  Check out local retail stores in Woodland Park, Cripple Creek, Divide and Florissant for last-minute Christmas gifts.  Support small businesses in our community, and discover that rare gift you can’t obtain down the Pass. Plus, this is a great way to avoid the crowds.

Sunday, Dec. 24

A number of local churches in the Pikes Peak area are holding  Christmas Eve celebrations. Visit their respective websites for more information. This is one of the prime time for church services in the region.

Sunday, Dec. 25

Merry Christmas from TMJ News. Enjoy this special day with your family and friends.


Christmas Tree Cutting Permit Deadlines. The Pikes Peak Ranger District is now offering Christmas tree cutting permits in person at the Ranger office, located at 601 South Weber in Colorado Springs, from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also obtain the permits online. The cost is $20 per person (limit 5 per family) for the Pike National Forest. There is no quota so permits will not sell out. All sales are final. Make sure you are purchasing a permit for the Pikes Peak Ranger District and ensure you print your permit, map and cutting information from the website. Tree may be cut any time after purchase until Dec. 17. For  more detailed information, contact the Forest Service office or visit the Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce website

New Years  Eve Celebration at UPCC. Get ready to welcome 2024 with a bang. This annual event will take place on Sunday, December 31, 2023 starting at 7 p.m.  in the Main Room of the Ute Pass Cultural Center in Woodland Park. Our celebration promises to be a night to remember, with a live DJ, delicious food, and an energetic ambiance that will keep you dancing all night long. This is the first year that the new Event Center Manager, Melody Klema, will be hosting. The $55 ticket includes delicious food served all night long as well as dessert, a prize or activity every hour, two drink tickets, a champagne toast and an amazing experience. This is an adults only event so please no one under the age of 21. Bring your friends, family, or loved ones to share this special moment with you. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening or a fun-filled party, our New Year’s Eve Celebration at UPCC has something for everyone.

Ticket Link:

New Years Day Hikes. What better way to start the 2024 New Year than with some fresh air and movement on New Years Day. There will be multiple hikes of all levels led throughout the morning and early afternoon along with an activity table and swag at the Visitor Center of Mueller State Park, located off Hwy. 67, just south of Divide. Come to the Visitor Center early to get information on the hikes throughout the day that begin at 9am. An annual pass, Keep Colorado Wild pass, or $10 day pass is required to enter the park. You can easily purchase a day pass at the visitor’s center or at the self-serve station located at the first information sign on your right when you enter the park. For more information, call 719-687-2366, ext. 107.