If you’ve ever been to any of the American national parks you know what all the fuzz is about: the majestic nature perfect for almost any sort of photography, mountains and lakes and rivers wherever you look. The Rocky Mountains are no different, but when you’re done with the views and want some exciting, thrilling adventures and other cool things to do, then where do you turn?
Why, to us, of course! We’d never deny an adrenaline junkie a fix and have put together a list of some exhilarating and somewhat scary activities and challenges to cross off your adrenaline bucket list. Most of them are safe, but some are verging on being dangerous – are you enough of a daredevil to try them all?!
Pro Tip: Some of these locations aren’t close to each other, so depending on what you’re looking to do you might want to dedicate a whole day to some of the activities!
Going rafting is like being on a rollercoaster that does whatever it wants: you’ve got your boat and paddle, but there’s no way of knowing where the water’s gonna take you! Except for downriver, of course. But that’s it. You’re in the hands of the water gods and will be in for a wild ride! You can go on a slow one as well, but an overnight trip might be more appealing. Just guessing. Either way, don’t be afraid to get wet!
If the powerful water didn’t get your heart racing, then here’s another chance to wake up the old ticker: ziplining. Flying through the air is always exciting, but in Colorado some of the zipline platforms are built into the surroundings, meaning that you’ll feel like it’s just you, the trees, rocks and bridges below, and the sky. Oh, and you can also surf zip, which is exactly what it sounds like, and equally scary.
Did you know what a via ferrata was? We had no clue! It’s Italian for ‘iron road’ and is a way to get up and across a cliff with the help of iron bars that have been inserted into the rock. In other words, it’s the perfect playground for grownups! Aided by ropes, those iron bars, and the uneven rock face you move across what seems like a whole mountain, with absolutely fantastic views below and behind you. It’s scary, but it’s worth it!
If you haven’t had enough of cliffs and rocks yet (or if the iron road just wasn’t thrilling enough for you), there’s no need for sad faces because, believe it or not, there are more climbing opportunities in the Rocky Mountains! In fact, there are hundreds – if not thousands! – of them, meaning that you’ll have no problem finding the most challenging one. The granite is easy to grip, and the views won’t disappoint; you might even get some company, animals are good climbers too!
If you want to prove to yourself that you don’t have any fear of heights, then this is the place. If this doesn’t make you slightly dizzy, then nothing will? So, what is this? It’s only the highest bridge in the US, stretching over Royal Gorge Canyon, just under 1000 feet below. Just thinking about it makes my stomach go a bit funny, so imagine what a rush it’ll be! Walk across the bridge or if you want even more of that sweet adrenaline: go on the zipline. Yes, there’s a zipline.
Backcountry camping is just like camping, but less. A lot less. It’s just you, your buddy, some gear and the great wide open – or rather, the untouched forests and mountains that house many a wild animal. Sounds exciting? Damn right it’s exciting! You get to not only explore the nature at your own pace, but you’ll also find out if you have what it takes to survive on your own in the wilderness! There are regulations and permits, of course, but other than that you’re on your own!
This is one of the most dangerous drives in Colorado, and it’s not because of any black, brown, or green bears. The off-road route goes on for about 10 miles, pretty much zigzagging – I believe the correct term for the phenomenon is ‘switchback’ – its way up to Black Bear Pass; it’s pretty much just a dirt road, cut by miners into the mountain! You need to know your way around a jeep before attempting this, but the drive is a thrill, and the views are fabulous!
Snow makes everything colder and wetter – and so much more fun! If you’re lucky enough to be visiting the Rocky Mountains in the winter, then you’re definitely in for a ride – a sleigh ride (we’re terribly sorry for that pun)! You can also go skiing, snowshoeing, as well as – and this is the best part – ice climbing! You’ll need some gear and a frozen waterfall, but after that you’re golden! Or a bit icy, perhaps. But in a good way. You can even go backcountry camping in the snow; the possibilities are endless!
This isn’t something for the winter months but rather for hot summer days when you could go for a cooling swim – or a jump! This cove, also known as Guffey Cove, has a small waterfall and crystal clear water and is an excellent spot for cliff jumping! Find your way up on the cliffs, jump out into the air and end up in the idyllic cove – just make sure that the water levels are high enough! You’re gonna have to do a little hike to get there so you’ll appreciate the cooling sensation, no doubt!
How could you not, with all these fantastic adventures waiting for you to go on them?! And don’t worry, you can have fun even without an inner daredevil, promise!