After a long hike, there is nothing better than eating your arm’s weight in pizza. Ben and I usually talk about pizza the entire hike — planning toppings and pairings. It’s extremely zen, walking through beautiful landscapes talking about banana peppers. Below we present to you four Pizza+Hiking pairs you MUST try. It will be worth it, we pepperoni promise.
1. Top Pizza Dog, Top Views Right Outta Town
Pizza: Brown Dog Pizza, Telluride, Colorado
Hike: Via Ferrata
This pizza and this ‘hike’ are a pair that should be at the top of your bucket list (I say ‘hike’ because you will have to use special climbing equipment to complete it safely, but I digress). Even if you only do the hike once, allow yourself to go back to this pizza place every day you visit Telluride.
PIZZA: Brown Dog Pizza is a Telluride staple. Pick from a crazy selection of combinations, but we HIGHLY suggest the Detroit Style Brooklyn Bridge that has won international pizza competitions. In fact, multiple pizzas have won awards off this menu. Take your pick here, and dive in.
HIKE: The Telluride Via Ferrata is an incredible journey. A Via Ferrata (or road of iron) is a protected climbing route that involves clipping into a steel cable and using metal rungs to keep you safe while climbing 1000 feet above the canyon floor. It is scary, and beautiful, and earns you the right to eat an entire pizza from Brown Dog.
PS- Brown Dog HAS INCREDIBLE GLUTEN-FREE CRUST. I haven’t found better in all our journies across the country. TREAT YO’SELF.
2. Pie, Pint, Climb, Repeat
Pizza: Pie’s & Pints, Fayetteville, West Virginia
Hike: Endless Wall Trail
PIZZA: When the menu leaves you staring in foodie shock because there is no way to pick just one pie, you know you’ve landed on something good. We chatted with our waiter for WAY longer than is polite about which specialty pizza to order. We ended up ordering two because we couldn’t decide. If I had to make one suggestion, try the Mushroom Garlic — a savory melty pizza that will replace any calories lost while hiking.
HIKE: The Endless Wall trail skirts along some of the most incredible climbing in the world. It zigs and then zigs along the cliff edge and gifts beautiful views the entire way. It’s only 2.4 miles long, so bring your climbing equipment and tag a few routes on the way.
3. Wild Flowers and Wild Flours
Pizza: Secret Stash, Crested Butte, Colorado
Hike: Rustler’s Gultch
PIZZA: Secret Stash is a staple on the main street of the adorable town of Crested Butte, Colorado. With quirky decorations, a bathroom nicer than the one in your house, and awards across the board, this place is a joy to visit. Oh, DID I MENTION THE PIZZA IS INCREDIBLE? Order the Buddha’s Belly for a creative twist on thai pizza (it has coconut curry on it!). Do yourself a favor and order the crack fries plus extra dipping sauce as an appetizer. You’ll have the perfect potato base for the unique pizza to land on.
HIKE: Do you ever go on those hikes that make you feel small in all the right ways? Rustler’s Gultch throws you for a loop as you journey farther into the looming mountains around Crested Butte and into a basin that is clearly home to mythical creatures. There are plenty of deep creek crossings so bring some sandals to keep your boots dry. Also keep an eye on the weather. At high elevation it can change without warning. About four miles in find the basin, a waterfall and isolated beauty.
4. Honorable Mention: Rolling Pizza Hills + Trails
Pizza: Mountain State Brewing Co., Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
Hike: Coopers Rock State Forest
PIZZA: This pizza isn’t just called pizza, it’s designated as ‘flatbread’ with dough made in-house and cooked in a wood-fire hearth. Try out the ‘Beetza’ here that includes beets, goat cheese and a balsamic glaze for an interesting pizza experience. May I also suggest the Meetza? Just kidding, it’s called the Meatlover, but it starts with a BBQ sauce base and couldn’t be more delicious.
HIKE: Pick your adventure at Coopers Rock. It’s a hidden gem just over the state line and has great trails for hiking, biking, and viewing the sights from the top of a big ol’ hunk of stone. The state park runs plenty of events, so be sure to check the calendar and stop by for the hearth cooking demo (hint: make your own pizza and throw it on there).
Now please, enjoy this haiku inspired by this blog post.
If you like the gear we’re reppin’, or what we’re wearing, check out some of the sponsors that make this tour possible: La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, RovR Products, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, LifeStraw, and Lowe Alpine.