Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in the Rockies: October

Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in the Rockies: October

Article excerpt

BOULDER

Drink black magic

Treat yourself on Halloween-or any blustery October evening-with a decidedly grown-up goody: the Black Cat Martini, a wickedly sweet, midnight-hued potion of vodka, blue curaçao, and Chambord complete with a feline charm hanging off the glass rim. It's on the menu at Black Cat restaurant, the latest culinary venture by kitchen wizard Eric Skokan. $$; closed Sun; 1964 13th St.; 303/444-9110. -ELISA BOSLEY

DENVER

SAVOR STILTON Cheese lovers, take note: Fine English stilton made with milk from grass-fed cows is at its prime in fall, when the cheese ripens to its fullest and richest. Stop by St. Kilian's Cheese Shop in the Highlands neighborhood to try some topnotch examples like Cropwell Bishop and Colston-Bassett. Pair them with apples, pears, and walnuts for the perfect fail snack. Closed Sun; 3211 Lowell Blvd.; 303/477-0374. -KELLY BASTONE

DENVER

TOAST THE CHILE There's nothing like the scent of just-roasted green chiles, which is what you'll find at Jack-n-Grill, a bright-hued New Mexican food temple that worships the piquant pepper. Perch on the patio for views of the chiles blistering (they're roasted outside), and while you're waiting for your own bag or bushel to go, lap up a bowl of Jack's green-chile stew, whipped up in the restaurant's tiny kitchen. $; 2524 federal Blvd.; 303/964-9544. -LORI MIDSON

NEAR GRAND JUNCTION, CO

HIKE AMBER WOODLANDS Savor autumn's final days of golden foliage on a hike along the West Bench Trail, which meanders along the honey-colored hillsides of the Grand Mesa - one of the largest flat-topped mountains in the world. The trail skirts the mesa's north rim on a medium-difficulty course through amber-hued aspens that shimmer in the breeze at 9,800 feet; fallen leaves make the path look paved with gold coins. After 2 miles, you reach the Powder Horn Ski Area, a good turnaround point where vistas of the dusty brown Bookcliffs below seem other-worldly compared with your perch atop the lush Grand Mesa. …

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