Mountain Almanac for the Week of December 26

Wednesday, Dec. 27

Wellness Walk. Scheduled for Nov. Dec. 27 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

Reindeer and Animal Headgear Tour. Do you think reindeer have antlers or horns? Come to the visitor center of Muller State Park on Dec. 27 to find out! Discover the look, weight, and feel of various animal headgear. The tour is Led by Naturalist, Anna from noon to 2 p.m. Meet at the visitor center 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-service station located at the first information sign on your right when you enter the park. For more information, call 719-687-2366 (Ext. 107).


Ice Castles Is Open! This iconic, fantasy-like, attraction, capped by LED embedded ice walls, tunnels and slides, is now open to visitors and residents in Cripple Creek.  Ice Castles will be open daily through the winter months.  Great deals are available for locals on special days.  See related story in this week’s TMJ for details. The Cripple Creek Ice Castles location is one of only a handful in the nation. For ticket information, visit,, or visit the city of Cripple Creek’s tourism website.


Thursday, Dec. 28

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.


Friday, Dec. 29


Final weekend for Angel of the Christmas Mine show. The Thin Air Theater company is back in action and features 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


Final weekend for 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. 30

Post-Christmas Shopping in the High Country.  Check out local retail stores in Woodland Park, Cripple Creek, Divide and Florissant for post-Christmas sales and deals.  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. 31

New Year’s Eve celebrations.  This is a prime time to visit Cripple Creek casinos for one of their most festive evenings of the year. Plus, a number of local establishments in the area are offering special celebrations and dinners.  The Blue Moose in Green Mountain Falls, for example, will be hosting, Tava Blue, one of the region’s top local bands, an occasion that is bound to generate a festive party and plenty of dancing.

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:

Sunday, January 1

Happy New Year from TMJ News. Enjoy the kick-off for 2024 and the final pre-playoff action and Bowl Games at many local establishments.

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



Pirate Island Bingo. Ahoy matey!  Let’s trouble the water! Don’t  miss Pirate Island Bingo, sponsored by the Ute Pass Kiwanis Club.  This  is the first event of 2024, held on Jan. 18 at the Ute Pass Cultural Center, starting at 6:30 p.m. For $20 you get a 10 game bingo packet. Food and drink are available for purchase. Raffle tickets for 2023 Polaris Sportsman 570 ATV will be for sale. Proceeds go to youth programs and scholarships. For more information, call Pat Hyslop at 719-642-8679.

Cripple Creek Ice Fest. The organizers of the Cripple Creek Ice Festival are excited to announce that planning is underway for the 2024 Cripple Creek Ice Festival, which will be held February 17-25.  The head-to-head carving challenges will also be returning to the event on Saturdays at 12:00, 1:30 and 3:00.  Carvers will compete in a stadium setting for a $1,000 cash prize each weekend.  Carving teams will also be doing their best to win the People’s Choice Award for a huge cash prize.  Plan your visit and cast your vote for the most impressive carving. We are excited to have some of the top carving teams in the country participating in this event including SNICE Carving, Cool Hand Ice, The Bear Spot, The Ice Farm, and Ice Castles.  Come and see their imaginations come alive in ice. As always, this event is free and open to the general public.  Carvers will be working throughout the event on their sculptures.  Activities, vendors, and head-to-head carving competitions will only take place on the weekends (Feb 17-19 and Feb 24&25) including President’s Day.  Interested in sponsoring or participating more in the event? Reach out to for more information!