Addicted to Adventure
Outdoor adventure is officially trending and the movement to get outside and explore has swept across the nation. From single track and off-roading recreation to whitewater entertainment, there is something for everyone to enjoy in any season as long as people look to the great outdoors as their source. As a state that offers a wide-array of family-friendly activities, Colorado has become the leading destination locale for all things adventure; and businesses all around the state are gearing up to provide tourists and locals alike with the ultimate summer season.
FOR THE HISTORY BUFF
History buffs looking for a getaway filled with antiquities can look no further than Raft Masters historic Jeep tours and whitewater expeditions out of Cañon City. Since 1989, this company has been offering multisport adventure tours around the state to offer an unforgettable day of learning about the state’s affluent past and enjoying the thrills of the river. They provide Jeep tours through Red Canyon and its vibrant red towering spires and monoliths or the more popular Royal Gorge Loop venturing into the overhangs and sheered rock walls looming over the Arkansas River. They have packages available for all ages and offer half-day, full-day and even multi-day adventures including rafting sections of Clear Creek and the Arkansas River, Jeep tours, ziplining and even the historic Royal Gorge Route Railroad. For more information or reservation inquiries please visit their website. Another way to get that history fix in the area is by visiting the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. Known as the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River, each day the whitewater continues to carve out the bottom of the gorge increasing the Royal Gorge’s 1,000+ foot depth by around twelve inches every 2,500 years. It is truly witnessing history in the making! The bridge and park are open daily and feature a lineup of unique ways to experience the gorge: there is a gondola, ziplining, sky coaster, theater, children’s playland, visitor’s center and even a water clock. The mighty gorge is filled with historical evidence of dinosaur fossils, remnants of Native American culture, Spanish fur traders, as well as records of the first European adventurer Zebulon Pike, namesake of Pikes Peak, and his explorations of the canyon. A complete schedule, rates and times for the park can be found at their website.
FOR THE THRILL SEEKERS
Soaring high above the single-track trails in the valley is a riveting eagle’s eye point-of-view for those thrill seekers in your family to enjoy. Ziplining and aerial park courses have made an impact all over the world in picturesque vacation havens and Salida’s Captain Zipline is no stranger to the fun as the first ziplining tour of its kind in the area. Operating daily since 2005, Captain Zipline offers over 20 different ziplining tours for all ages and abilities. They have the largest aerial course in the state and a climbing course that provides adventurers who want to scale cliffs and span natural rock walls without all the equipment or education a peek into a captivating hobby. From their no-sweat adrenaline style ziplining tour to their Lost Canyon jungle gym in the sky, the professionals at Captain Zipline are invested in giving a memorable, safe experience in the air. They also offer partnerships with a number of rafting companies, local eateries, and hot springs to complete a perfectly packaged day high in the Rocky Mountains. Reservations and details can be found on their website.
Throughout the state, networks of dirt trails and rocky loops wait to be traversed by hikers, horseback riders, OHVs and mountain bikers. As a sport that is only gaining momentum in popularity, mountain biking offers trails suited for beginners and some geared for the not-so-faint-of-heart. As one way to justify the adrenaline junkie in us all, mountain bike rentals along with the proper safety gear can be found at various locations throughout Colorado. Red Canyon Cycles out of Cañon City is more than just an ordinary bike shop. They offer bike maintenance and rental needs along with rock climbing merchandise and rentals, maps and updated trail conditions. As a business committed to building a greater bicycling community, Red Canyon Cycles specializes in all thing outdoors in the Royal Gorge region and they can assist you in planning a mountain bike excursion. They even offer cruiser bicycle rentals for the family that wants to bike together while enjoying the scenic trails! West of Cañon City nestled along the Collegiate Peaks mountain range is Salida, Colorado and the premier bike shop of the area, Absolute Bikes. Their full-service bike shop offers everything a cyclist in the mountains or on the road would need. Absolute also offers guided mountain bike trips for couples, families, and riders new to the area who want a trained expert to show them the trails. Along with rentals, bike maintenance, trail updates, gear, and local maps, Absolute provides shuttles to and from the premier trail systems around Salida. Bike shop manager, James Haarmeyer is gearing up for the busy months ahead and is excited to showcase Absolute’s bicycle knowledge and expertise. “We have the largest fleet of rental and demo bikes in Chaffee County. We do all manner of bike maintenance and repairs, generally same day or the next day turnaround.
There is no limit to our age demographic—we help our older clients with trikes and electric bikes and our youngest customers are two or three years old,” says Haarmeyer. “We have trips for all levels of riders from novice to advanced, and most of our groups are families.”
FOR THE SIGHTSEERS
With so many attractions to see and activities to do, it can be difficult to find the time to fit it all in. And sometimes we go on vacation to get a break from the action. Steve Pierson with Vintage Scooter Adventures and Manitou Jeep Tours has discovered ways to tour the region on and off the beaten path while taking a relaxing approach to the adventure. In its first year of business, Vintage Scooter Adventures is making its mark as an international flair to self-touring. Because of their central location midway between Manitou Springs, Old Colorado City and Garden of the Gods, the hourly or daily scooter rentals can cover a wide range of flexible touring. Each scooter is equipped with a Garmin GPS and training is provided to ensure a safe venture. They are low power, low speed, and an easy-to-handle mode of transportation that do not require a special license. “I personally love to see people smile and have a good time. These scooters are so much fun, and seeing people go out, and come back with that smile on their face – just amazing to me.” “Bringing a unique adventure to a place is fun to do, and it is very rewarding to see it come together. They will bring you back into your childhood days, and we all need a little of that,” said Pierson. Drivers need to be 21 or older for the vintage scooters, but Pierson has found a way to offer a more family-friendly approach to adventure touring. His original business, Manitou Springs Adventures accommodates fun for all ages in personalized guided Jeep tours and high country excursions. The Jeep Wranglers are current models and fully enclosed for comfortable year-round entertainment. Some of the specialty trips offered include: Pikes Peak Highway and Summit, Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, Quartz Mines, Cripple Creek and Victor Historic Mine. Pierson’s guided Jeep tours are a no-hassle way to enjoy the sights.
FOR THE RIVER JUNKIES
Last but not least, the roaring rapids of Colorado bestow an experience like no other. As a must-do item on the vacation agenda, rafting has become a staple on the rivers throughout the state. There are paddle boards, canoes, kayaks and inflatable duckies for the solo whitewater missions, but for an unforgettable family adventure look no further than whitewater rafting. From calm floating stretches to monster class V rapids there are sections of the river to entertain everyone. Located Just West of Cañon City is the Royal Gorge Rafting Company which offers an array of packages for rafting and ziplining. As yet another company dedicated to outdoor adventure entertainment, Royal Gorge Rafting offers half-day and full-day trips on the Royal Gorge and Bighorn Sheep Canyon stretches of the Arkansas River. The Royal Gorge stretch provides an exhilarating, world-renowned ride through tall canyon walls and class IV/V rapids spanned beneath the world’s highest suspension bridge while Bighorn Sheep Canyon showcases a more family-friendly section for new paddlers and all ages to enjoy class III rapids and the beautiful scenery with the addition of many bighorn sheep that call the canyon home. The company has put together a variety of packaged specials to make vacationing in the Rockies as easy as the summer breeze. There are packages available with half-day and full-day rafting and ziplining plus lodging and dining at their famous Whitewater Bar and Grill. The best part of the river is getting to share the memorable stories for years to come, so give Royal Gorge Rafting a call and be sure to include them in your next Rocky Mountain adventure. Below is contact information for our featured business. Please be sure to visit their websites to help you get your next Rocky Mountain adventure underway!
PLAN YOUR TRIP!
ABSOLUTE BIKES, AbsoluteBikes.com
CAPTAIN ZIPLINE, CaptainZipline.com
MANITOU SPRINGS ADVENTURES AND HIGH-COUNTRY EXCURSIONS, Manitou-Springs-Adventures.com
ROYAL GORGE RAFTING AND ZIPLINE TOURS, RoyalGorgeRafting.net
RAFT MASTERS HISTORIC JEEP TOURS & WHITEWATER EXPEDITIONS, Raftmasters.com
RED CANYON CYCLES, RedCanyonCycles.com
ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE AND PARK, RoyalGorgeBridge.com