A Love for Nature is in These Companies' DNA

There's something about family-run businesses that offer a sense of trustworthiness that you don't get in every establishment. Having a staff that knows the ins and outs of their business from the day they first opened, plus an inherent love for what their family has created provide a source of reliability and authenticity to all who walk in the door. If there's one thing Colorado is especially good at, it's offering up its beauty for everyone to enjoy. Colorado's family-owned outdoor businesses who have worked hard to carry on their legacies show that with resilience and a personal touch comes long-lasting business. ​​​​​​

Here at OCN, we appreciate a mom-and-pop establishment that knows your name and cares about making sure you have an adventure of a lifetime, so if you're in their neck of the woods, be sure to pay these guys below a visit:

Outdoors Geek

For campers, glampers, hunters, and backpackers, this Denver-based company will outfit you with gear for any excursion. With over 25 years of business outfitting all who seek adventure, this company provides a personal touch that ensures all who come to them leave more than ready for their trips.

Cheley Colorado Camps

With close to 100 years in operation, the Cheley family has hosted thousands of summer campers from all over the world to partake in the area surrounding Rocky Mountain National Park. With a dream to teach outdoor skills and instill a love for nature in children, it's a legacy that lives on summer after summer.

Pikes Peak Outfitter

This outdoor rental and retail shop in Colorado Springs provides gear for both the water and the trail. With a wide variety of quality outdoor brands to choose from plus outdoor-savvy staff members to assist you, you'll leave knowing that you have the right equipment for your trip.

Bent Gate Mountaineering

Okay, so it's not mom-and-pop, it's brother-and-sister, but that still counts as family-run! Since 1994, this Golden-based shop has prepared climbers, hikers, and snowsports lovers with industry-leading brands that ensure safety and reliability on Colorado's intimidating mountains and trails.

Ute Mountaineer

Since 1977, this Aspen-based climbing company has stuck to their belief in only selling equipment they would gladly use themselves. Ute Mountaineer not only provides quality alpine gear, but they also support outdoor education and community events to further the love and knowledge of both mountaineering and nature.

Kristi Mountain Sports

Dubbed the "REI of the San Luis Valley," this store sells top-notch gear and accessories for campers, mountain bikers, skiers, and snowboarders. Starting out with humble beginnings in 1969, the company grew to accommodate the demand of the outdoor enthusiasts in the Alamosa area. Now with 10,000 square feet of floor space, you could say they've come a long way.

Outdoor companies know the importance of time spent in nature, which is why ensuring their patrons have the best gear or experience for whatever activity they take part in is their main focus. By relying on a family-run outdoor company, you're not only getting quality attention, but you also get a family's reputation to depend on. With so many things to do in nature here in Colorado, it's a comfort to anyone seeking to have a great time outdoors that they can trust family names that have spent years in operation. 

These summer camps offer programs that kids can apply toward in-demand careers