Additional Info/FAQ for High Altitude Inspiration in the Great American West

What’s Flash Fiction? 

Flash fictions are tiny stories–under 1,000 words–that use skills such as compression, ambiguity and implication to tell complete stories in minimal words. These skills ultimately translate to any genre, so whether you are a poet, a novelist, a creative non-fiction writer, or already a seasoned flasher, our workshops are perfect for all levels of experience with the form.

Where is Shadowcliff located?

Less than 2 hours from Denver International Airport…

grand lake map 2

  • Take I-70 west out of Denver, passing through Idaho Springs.Approximately 6 miles past Idaho Springs, take Exit 232 (Highway 40) to Empire, Winter Park, and Granby.
  • Continue over Berthoud Pass through Winter Park, Frazier, and Tabernash to Granby.
  • At the far end of Granby turn right onto Highway 34 and continue for 16 miles to Grand Lake.
  • When you approach the Village of Grand Lake, turn right at the town sign just past the Conoco Service Station.
  • Go less than two blocks and the road forks just before Mountain Food Market and just past the horse stables.
  • Take the left fork onto West Portal (also called Highway 278 and Tunnel Rod).The right fork goes into the Village of Grand Lake.
  • Follow West Portal approximately .6 mile to the stop sign at Garfield Street.
  • Continue .2 of a mile past the stop sign (still on West Portal).
  • On the left, you will see the sign for Shadowcliff. Turn left, proceed up the steep dirt hill and within 50 yards turn right at the lighted stone sign and onto the Shadowlciff grounds.

Are there shuttles from DIA or will I need to rent a car?

Home James Shuttle has scheduled service from and to DIA at a group rate of $86.00 each way for 3 or more passengers.

You may prefer the convenience and flexibility of renting a car (see directions above). If so, you may also consider sharing rides with your fellow participants as many did last year.

We are also looking into a train from DIA to Grandby as another option. We will report back…

What Should I Pack?

  • Soap, shampoo, etc.
  • Bathrobe (showers have curtains but as soon as you’re out, you’re in the common area of the bathroom;
  • Light jacket for evenings (and sweatshirt recommended—it can get cold at night)!
  • flashlight (pathways are pretty dark if you are heading out to your car or cabins below the main lodge)
  • Hat (for sun), rain gear (for rain)
  • Hiking boots (or athletic shoes—the nearby trails are pretty tame)
  • Mosquito repellent and sunscreen.

When will I need to pay my balance?

Full balance will be due on or before June 1st, 2019. 

What is your cancellation policy?

Full refund (minus Paypal fees) before March 1, 2020

50% refund (minus Paypal fees) before April 1, 2020

Balance due by June 1, 2020 (Please note: After June 1st, no refunds can be made. In some extenuating circumstances, a $500 credit may be applied to a future retreat.)

May I bring along a non-writer guest or partner?

We understand that some may want to bring along a non-writing friend. This may be possible depending on space available–please contact us to inquire about particulars.

Will you be offering any additional activities or excursions?

Your retreat fees do not cover additional activities or excursions, and we do not schedule these ourselves, but there are several options available such as boating or kayaking in Grand Lake, guided nature walks, etc. We will schedule in some “down time” for these…

Should I purchase traveler’s insurance?

It depends. We do recommend you get traveler’s insurance for our international retreats, ideally at the time of making your deposit. Good travel insurance can cover you when medical insurance won’t, particularly for international travelers. It protects against trip delays, offers rental car coverage, and covers lost luggage and accidental death. More info here:

I have dietary restrictions and/or preferences. Can these be accommodated?

Absolutely. Just let us know in advance. Regarding meals: “We are blessed to be within 200 miles of many wonderful farms both along the Front Range and on the Western Slope of Colorado, our Compassionate Kitchen is able to source seasonal, local, and organic veggies, meat, fruit, dairy, honey, and staples such as flour, most of the time.” 

Is Shadowcliff accessible for the mobility-impaired?

Nestled amongst hills and cliffs, the facilities of Shadowcliff Mountain Lodge involve a fair amount of climbing and are unfortunately not easily accessible for those with mobility issues at this time. 

Additional Information

About Shadowcliff:

“Shadowcliff Mountain Lodge is an educational non-profit lodge and retreat center nestled on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park and founded as a place of retreat and renewal in a busy world. Our mission is, “A mountain sanctuary where together we are creating a climate for a restorative world.” We deeply believe in the power of human connection and the ability of that connection to heal. Shadowcliff is a magical place, a spiritual place, and a place full of energy and life—from the North Inlet Stream, to the wind, the powerful sun, and mighty summer storms to the trees, wildflowers, and abundant wildlife that surround us and frequent our grounds to our guests who come from all over the world to live, learn, reflect, share, gain understanding, reconnect and have fun.”

Please note that Shadowcliff is an “eco-friendly” venue. We provide each guest sheets and towels, so no need to bring yours. We ask that you leave the sleeping bags at home or in your backpack. Soap dispensers are in all the showers. Smoking is not allowed anywhere on Shadowcliff property and pets are not permitted.

Altitude: Grand Lake’s altitude it over 8,000 feet. Here is a good article on dealing with high altitudes and how to prevent altitude sickness (mainly give yourself time to adjust and drink lots and lots of water).

Wi-fi: There is complimentary Wi-Fi throughout most of Shadowcliff and in most of the accommodations. There are no computers for use on property. As such, we encourage guests to bring their own devices for use, if so desired.

Release Forms: We will require that all participants read and sign a release form prior to the retreat.