Things To Do Near Denver Colorado – Home to excellent horseback riding, rafting, climbing and skiing, the Colorado Rockies are an adventure mecca. The good news is that whether you’re a hobbyist or a seasoned adrenaline junkie, exploring Colorado’s great outdoors in Denver is easy. Here are the best day trips and adventure activities near Mile High. Have fun
With Vail’s 350 inches of annual snowfall, 3,500 vertical feet of mountain, 31 ski lifts and 5,000 acres of skiing terrain, outdoor enthusiasts can tackle everything from long pro runs to powder-filled backcountry. When the elevators stop turning, visit one of Vail’s many watering holes for a delicious barbecue or pub crawl. George’s Restaurant offers killer deals from 3pm to 7pm, and most restaurants and bars are within walking distance of the 5-star Vail Four Seasons Hotel (well worth it as you can practically ski down the Black Run).
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Directions: Follow I-70 from Denver to the Rockies for 97 miles. To avoid heavy traffic, leave before 8 am or after 10 am and return home before the last ride or after lunch.
North Table Mountain
You can’t visit Colorado without white water rafting. From May through September, Geo Tours (located in Morrison, just 20 minutes from downtown Denver) offers access, gear and guides to take you down Class IV rapids. The company, in business since 1981, can take you to and from parts of the Colorado River, Arkansas River and Clear Creek, depending on how far you want to raft. It also organizes overnight tours and inflatable kayaking if you want a multi-day excursion.
Directions: For free transportation to rafting sites go to Geo Tours at Morrison Base on Hwy 6 West 470 South 17 miles.
Have you ever wanted to float several feet on dry land? From November to April in Rocky Mountain National Park, you can do just that. Rent poles and boots from R.E.I. Walk into downtown Denver and to the park entrance. From there, pick your route, put on a pair of snowshoes and hit 25-30 inch drifts and banks. Buried deep in the park, the Bear Lake Hike passes several small mountain lakes, loops around hills, and climbs nearly 10,000 feet with beautiful alpine views. Tip: The National Park Service sprinkles salts and sprinkles on the roads, but four-wheel drive vehicles are useful here.
How to get there: Take Highway 36 northwest about 70 miles straight to Rocky Mountain National Park. After the ranger station, take the first left and continue until the road ends at the Bear Lake Trailhead.
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The Rocky Front Range is a mountain biker’s paradise. Best of all is Buffalo Creek, a 23.6 mile per hour trail system west of Denver. It’s very smooth singletrack climbing and descending at about 3,000 feet. With a backdrop of massive rock formations and mountain scenery, you can slide down a greasy single-track road on table tops and scream like you’re on a roller coaster. The trails intersect in several loops, so you can tailor your ride to how far you want to go.
Directions: Take I-70 West to 470 East to 285 South to Pike National Forest, where you can pick up at the trailhead from the Buffalo Creek Campground parking area.
From Estes Park, you can see some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the lower 48 states. But you won’t find fine trails or resorts here. It’s all about the Rocky Mountain National Park backcountry. ClimbingLife, an outfit in Estes, organizes guided trips of varying levels of difficulty and experience to visit some of the best terrain east of the Continental Divide. Peaks ranging from 9,500 to 14,200 feet can be climbed between November and July and your expert guides will guide you through the best and safest snow routes.
If you want to experience a true taste of the Wild West, go horseback riding in the Rocky Mountains. You don’t have to be a cowboy to ride – A&A Stables Tours provides all the information and guidance you need. A&A offers special packages along with traditional tourist tours like overnight camping and fireworks. The trip allows you to drive and experience the best of Colorado’s mountain towns. We recommend the Full Moon Tour: a 6-hour tour starting in the afternoon that takes you past the old mine to the central city, where you can wine, dine and drink in a Wild West setting. Later in the evening you go home in the moonlight.
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Known as the Flatirons, the massive rock formations jutting out of the Rocky Front Range south of Boulder offer some of the best short, technical climbs near Denver, and you don’t even need gear. The soft sandstone rocks have a variety of holds, from ledges to small canyons and deep crevices that expose challenging bouldering. Flagstaff’s sloping slabs at Boulder Mountain Park are best for beginner and intermediate climbers. They can be reached through dozens of access points from a network of hiking trails. Hint for properties: The darker the stone, the stronger it is.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows offers thrill seekers 6,000 acres to ride. From easy slopes to challenging cups, there’s something for the whole family.
Check out these 3 resort towns that offer eco-friendly food and local spirits that go above and beyond the usual ski hotel and bar fare.
Plan a ski vacation at a family-friendly ski resort that caters for the kids with a ski school, theme parks and a smorgasbord on and off the bony slopes.
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With 11 miles of dryland and trails just inches from a deadly waterfall, the Nancoweep Trail requires skill and courage to climb. Here are some details about hiking this beautiful but challenging trail in Grand Canyon National Park. It’s a wonderful link to the wonders of the nearby Rocky Mountains. Here are some attractions, great scenic drives and mountain town adventures, all within two hours of the Mile High City. Create your base camp for exciting day trips and explore the best places nearby.
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Dinosaur Ridge is a famous natural landmark in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains near Morrison, Colorado. It includes bones of famous dinosaurs from the Jurassic period, such as Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus, discovered in 1877, and dinosaur tracks from the Cretaceous period. A guidebook is available for use on self-guided tours, and tours can be arranged through Dinosaur Friends Ridge.
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater is a true Colorado original, a perfect venue with pristine natural acoustics for over 70 million years. In addition to its summer concert series (everyone from The Beatles to U2 has played here), Red Rocks is open year-round with the Red Rocks Artist Hall of Fame and a 1.4-mile Trading Post Loop hiking trail. Spectacular rock formations, valleys and natural meadows.
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One of the most famous cowboys to ever travel, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody epitomizes the Old West. At his request, he was buried at the top of Lookout Mountain, which has one of the best views in Colorado. The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, opened in 1921, offers a glimpse into life in the Old West with exhibits about Buffalo Bill’s life, Wild West exhibits, sitting ox bows and arrows, Western art, and Native American artifacts including firearms.
The American Museum of Mountaineering is a must-stop on your way to the mountains! From 14ers to Everest, experience mountaineering through interactive exhibits and high-tech displays. As you prepare for your Colorado trek, cross a cross, choose your Everest route and follow in the footsteps of famous climbers!
Located in Idaho Springs, the Colorado Adventure Center offers eight ziplines, an airpark with more than 60 challenging elements, and white water rafting on Clear Creek during the warmer months. Nearby Lawson Adventure Park and Resort offers cabin and yurt rentals as well as via ferrata, ziplining, zorbal, rafting, disc golf, ATV tours, fly fishing and more.
Soar over the famous Flatirons overlooking the University of Colorado in Boulder on a mile-high glider. Or channel your inner Wizard of Oz as you soar over the Front Range in a hot air balloon operated by Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights & Rides in Lafayette.
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Located in Woodland Park, Great Outdoors Adventures offers year-round ATV and ATV rentals with the latest Polaris ATVs, Jeeps and Slingshot seasonal roadsters. Explore the Pikes Peak region like never before!
Want to visit God’s Garden on a Segway? Or explore the beautiful Pikes Peak region by zipline or 4WD? Colorado Springs Western Adventures has you covered. They also offer hot air balloon rides.
The Lariat Loop is a 40-mile scenic loop in the foothills of western Colorado that connects the communities of Golden, Morrison, Lookout Mountain and Evergreen. On the loop, motorists will encounter more than a dozen fascinating historic sites, including the Colorado Railroad Museum, Becher Mansion, Lookout Mountain Nature Center, Mother Cabrini Shrine and Ft.
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