Seven Thrilling Adventures in the Centennial State

Four national parks, endless diverse landscapes and a playground for adventure, Colorado is THE destination for outdoor recreation

Four national parks, endless diverse landscapes and a playground for adventure, Colorado is THE destination for outdoor recreation. For a thrill-seeker, there’s everything from mountain biking in high terrain to cliff camping in the Rocky Mountains. See below for seven activities that aren’t for the faint-hearted.

Experience cliff camping at Estes Park

An adventurous location, Rocky Mountain National Park is already a bucket-list destination for most Colorado travellers. One way to make it more thrilling is to try a cliff-camping excursion in Estes Park. What better way to overlook the rockies than being hoisted 50 feet from the ground. Kent Mountain Adventure Center is available to walk participants through a few rock-climbing basics before helping set up a “portaledge”, a semi-rigid hammock that hangs from cables bolted directly into the mountain side. From their perch high above the valley floor, travellers can enjoy a sunset picnic dinner before crawling into their sleeping bag for an unforget­table evening.

Test the waters on the Arkansas River 

Colorado rafting trips begin each spring, when gravity and sunshine draw Colorado’s winter snow down from the high country and into Colorado rivers for some of the country’s most amazing adventures. A thrilling adventure, travellers can find themselves passing by five 14eners on the Arkansas River, spotting Gold Rush relics on Clear Creek or looking up at the breathtaking Royal Gorge Bridge from the Arkansas River or floating down mild stretches of the Colorado River near Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs.

Channel your inner cowboy at the Garden of the Gods

A cowboy classic, Colorado is one of the most authentic destinations to learn horseback riding. And what better way to do it in a destination filled with open spaces and once-in-a-lifetime surroundings. Located in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Academy Riding Stables, offers breathtaking wrangler-led horseback rides. Beginners can choose from one or two hour scenic rides with a commentary on the local sights, history, flora and fauna.

Hike hut-to-hut across Aspen, Leadville and Vail

Home to more huts than any other state in the USA, Colorado is the best place to participate in hut-to-hut hiking. During the 80s, members of the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army recreated huts they’d spotted whilst on duty in the Alps and so, the 10th Mountain Division Hut System was born. Spreading across a 350-mile route and located in a triangular area between Aspen, Leadville and Vail, the network of 36 huts are a unique way for travellers to connect with the outdoors. The experience is doable year-round; in winter, travellers can cross country ski from one hut to the next and in the summer, they can hike or mountain bike. For adventure seekers and wilderness lovers, the huts include a bare bed, basic cooking utensils and melted snow for water.

Hit the slopes at Snowmass Bike Park, Snowmass Village

Featuring 25 miles of pristinely maintained downhill trails extending almost 3,000 vertical feet, Snowmass Bike Park has a trail for every ability from beginner-friendly singletrack to adrenaline-inducing downhill. Situated at the top of Elk Camp Chairlift all the way down to Snowmass Base Village, it is open daily during the summer months and on weekends in September until the first week in October. The bike park offers weekly races with big jumps and features, bringing together the mountain biking community and inspiring riders to push themselves to their limit. Keen bikers can take part in regular bike clinics, suitable for riders of all abilities where beginners can learn the basics of mountain-biking and advanced riders can fine-tune their downhill freeriding.

Reach new heights at Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

With magical mountain views, heart-pumping thrills and a wealth of history, Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is a must for every thrill-seeker’s bucket list. Home to one of the world’s highest suspension bridges and the majestic Royal Gorge, which stands 956 feet above the Arkansas River, the park offers a range of experiences that are not for the faint hearted. Guests can fly 1,200 feet above the canyon on The Royal Rush Skycoaster, which sees brave riders soar 50 miles per hour through the air in a free fall, or glide across it on an aerial gondola, then explore the historical roots at the Plaza Theater.

Seek thrills at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park 

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is located above Glenwood Springs and is known as America’s only mountain-top theme park. With adrenaline-induced experiences and breathtaking views, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park’s newest attraction, Defiance is a one-of-a-kind rollercoaster which has thrills at its core and is a 56-second rocky mountain adventure like no other. Defiance defies odds with a 110-foot record breaking fall drop.

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