One of the fun things about this area is you really are “out of town!” Bailey is sort of a “bedroom” community to Denver since it’s only 45 minutes away. A lot of folks have mountain homes here or homes they visit on the weekend. It’s not an Evergreen or Vail by any means… but fabulous just the same!
You actually get to Bailey by going back to I-285S and turning right at the Loaf & Jug. Bailey is a short beautiful 2 mile drive west from the top of Crow Hill to the bottom. In Bailey you’ll find good restaurants (see below) with great mountain cooking, a gas station, a Post Office, Moore ACE Hardware, a laundry mat, a dog wash, a liquor store, and of course an attorney’s office!
The newest addition to Bailey (June 2016) is Mad Jack’s Mountain Brewery. They have great craft beer, some local wine and cider. They also have a food truck that serves up some great BBQ brisket! They are located at 23 Main Street, Bailey, CO 80421. Call them at 303-816-BEER (2337).
In the heart of Bailey on your right… The Knotty Pine has many things you might want for your outdoor needs. They serve coffee and ice cream and other fun foods from their ole-time soda fountain counter. You can find sweatshirts, vests, boots, camping supplies, survival food, knives, Colorado Fishing Licenses… and flies… the kind you use for fishing!
A mountain cooking cuisine rustic local place including a great sports/bar is the Rustic Station. It’s on your left as you get in to Bailey. Great food, price and waitstaff. The locals love it and there are views of the mountains right from your table.
Breakfast and most any meal is fun and tasty at the CutThroat Cafe. It’s just across the parking lot behind the Chinese Village. Three meals a day, great prices, good food, local mountain folks. It’s on your right as you enter Bailey, painted in Denver Bronco’s orange and blue, you can’t miss it!
The amazing River Canyon Art Gallery in downtown Bailey, behind the Rustic Station, represents a vast cross section of art and fine craft in media ranging from oil, watercolor and acrylic painting, photography, beading, jewelry, wood carving and turning, weaving, knitting, art glass, sculpture and pottery.
About 15 minutes past Bailey, right on 285 you’ll see The Shaggy Sheep! This is a casual mountain cookhouse… lovely intimate dining with an attached bar/lounge… we love to eat here and are never disappointed… worth the drive!
The Riverbend Market & Eatery offers great dining indoors or on their beautiful patio, both sitting on the North Fork or the South Platte River! You’ll find their amazing menu well worth the visit. They also have a bar with great Colorado craft beers on tap.
Another wonderful artist gallery full of local artists work is a Borgata located in the Safeway Shopping Center in Conifer, just 30 minutes from the cabin. Go in for a “shopping adventure” for sure. Featuring friendly and helpful service and 4 different rooms to wander through and enjoy!
The Aspen Perk Cafe Bar & Grill, run by owner Paula Nesbitt, provides both locals and travelers a relaxing atmosphere to regroup and recharge over breakfast or lunch and dinner with a full bar and happy hour from 2:00-6:00pm Monday – Friday. Green Chile burritos, Huevos Rancheros, Deli Sandwiches and Creative Burgers are just a few of the favorites Paula and here staff serve… located next to “a Borgata” as well!
Like Mexican? Carreta Vieja is a serious Mexican family owned and homemade Mexican restaurant in the mountains! You will love the atmosphere… the huge freshly prepared mouth-watering Mexican menu… and of course the margaritas and don’t miss the sopapillas! It’s about 35 minutes from the cabin back towards Denver but right off 285N, it’s part of a gas station complex on your right.
Steve and Janice Brooks own and operate Brooks Place Tavern. Whether you are a local, a regular or visiting for the first time – it is their goal to make you feel welcome. Some of their taglines is “Make Brooks Place, Your Place” and they do mean it. It is common to find a group of firefighters, teachers, parent groups or even a local reality TV show star enjoying a meal or drink in their tavern. With 18 HD TV’s it’s a great place to enjoy a sports game too!
Just past Conifer on down on your left you’ll see the Snowpack Taproom! This is a brickish building but once inside the beautiful pine floors and walls and table and chairs will wrap you in a mountain ambiance. They have a rotating taps of over 30 Colorado craft beer as well as a great menu of food options. NOTE: if you don’t do bread, ask for your sandwich in a bowl, they are happy to oblige!
In Pine Junction, on 285 past Conifer, you’ll see Derrick Thai, a great place for Thai food. A nice atmosphere and lots of locals to enjoy and chat with there.
Also in Pine Junction is the Crossroads Market at the intersection of 285 and Hwy 167 offering a great menu selection, a nice bar with both draft and bottled beer… another place the locals really enjoy.
Then there’s The Buck Snort, is just 6 miles south of 285 in Sphinx Park. Turn south at Elk Creek Dr. at Shafer’s Crossing. Great burgers, BBQ, a full bar, mountain atmosphere! Keep driving it’s there, really it is. Call 303-838-0284 to check days open and hours before heading there!
ZipLine: Checkout Treetop Adventure Park at 60117 US Hwy 285 in Bailey, CO! It is a BIG ADVENTURE! The park is a unique climbing experience you’ll never forget. Set in the ponderosa treetops, the environment closely resembles an Ewok village, or a Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. Their self-guided zip lines and challenge bridges are designed to engage participants of any skill level and age. A staff member will always be close if assistance is needed.
Hiking: You are only minutes from great hiking trail heads in the Pike National Forest from Deer Creek Cabin. You’ll see those signs as you drive to the cabin. We have hiked the Rosalie Trail, the Tanglewood Trail and the Meridian Trail, all close to the cabin. Just Google some of those trails and you’ll find them.
Horseback Riding: Our guests have been happy with Bear Mountain Stables. They are nestled in the foothills of beautiful Conifer, Colorado. They do guided horseback rides for adults and children over 8. They also host birthday parties, special occasion rides & small group events. Rides are by reservation only. See their website for pictures and contact information.
Fishing: There is a catch and release pond a 5 minute walk from the cabin, part of our Elk Creek Highlands Association. It is stocked on a regular basis. It’s a great pond for the kids and where you can practice your fly-fishing skills. There are 4 permits on the wall at the cabin and info on rules and regulations. You will also need a Colorado Fishing License (available at The Knotty Pine in Bailey) to keep the game wardens happy!
If you are a fisherman there is no doubt that you have heard of South Park. South Park is the name and fishing is the game. For lots of updated information on fishing this area please see The Blue Quill Angler before you head this way! If you want some serious world-class fly fishing checkout the Boxwood Gulch in Shawnee.
Skiing: You are 2 hours from Breckenridge Ski Resort. Take I-285S to Fairplay, then Hwy. 9 through Hoosier Pass to Breckenridge. You are 1.45 hours from Loveland Ski Resort. Take 285N to Conifer and they Hwy 74 over to Evergreen where you’ll hit I-70W over to Loveland. You are also only 2 hours from Winter Park. Take I-285W East toward Denver to Conifer, turn right there to Evergreen to I-70 and follow a map from there. Best bet… do a Google Maps search!
Whitewater Rafting: We enjoy River Runners. Their Fisherman’s Bridge office is located on the banks of the Arkansas River just 5 miles south of Buena Vista on US Hwy 285. With gentle waters, awesome scenery and exciting rapids this section of river offers something for people of all ages and abilities. Best bet… do a Google Maps search!
Inspired by their own amazing Love Story, owners Tim and Christian have offered their Ranch as an intimate and elegant country setting for weddings, receptions, reunions, corporate events, and basically any excuse to spend fun time with good friends.
The Historic Barn, originally built in 1865, has been completely restored to give your guests a true Colorado experience. Great care was given to every detail right down to the bar stools made from horse saddles. Now featuring Ultimate Man Cave! Outdoor event sites include the Lakeside Gazebo and the Meadow at the Covered Bridge, both with gorgeous views of Mount Evans.