7 Adrenaline-Packed Adventures To Add To Your Colorado To-Do List

The banality of life can be such a brake. Fortunately, Colorado is the best state to allow you the freedom to live in the moment. Adrenaline junkies have long recognized Colorado as the one-stop-shop for outdoor thrills. Adrenaline is a close relative of dopamine and is a key factor in life experience. The endorphins rushing into every cell in your body help lead your body away from a passive life. Whether you are experienced or aspiring novice, this list contains seven summer activities in colorado to help you start your journey.

Cliff Diving at Paradise Cove (Guffey Cove)

Photo courtesy of All Trails

Location: Near Guffey, Colorado

Price: $6 daily use fee per vehicle

The truth : Few things can give you the same boost as jumping off a cliff into the refreshingly cold waters of the Rocky Mountains below. Embark on a hike through forest and beautiful fields of wildflowers until you arrive at the aptly named Paradise Cove. This spot is iconic for its breathtaking waterfall leading to a swimming hole below. The cliffs range from just over 10 feet to a staggering drop of nearly 100 feet. Whether you just want to take a dip or climb and scale the rocky cliffs for a dive, unique thrills await at all levels of risk tolerance.

READ: 21 best watering holes and swimming spots in Colorado

Warning: Be careful when jumping off cliffs. This is swimming at your own risk.

Visit a wildlife sanctuary

Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center,

Photo courtesy of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center on Facebook.


Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center: 4729 Twin Rocks Road, Division

Wildlife Sanctuary: 2999 Co Road 53, Keenesburg

Price: Varies by tour and shrine

The truth : For a more passive and educational adventure, Colorado offers intimate experiences with some of nature’s most fearsome predators. People have the choice between the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center as well as the Wild Animal Sanctuary.

The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center is dedicated to the conservation, education and preservation of wolves and other wildlife. Visitors have a variety of different tours that take them into the sanctuary. Some tours allow guests to enter an enclosure for an intimate and personal encounter with one of the wolves.

READ: 8 of the wildest animal experiences you can have in Colorado

The wild animal sanctuary offers a different type of wildlife experience. Cats from all over the world, bears, foxes and even camels call this sanctuary home. The sanctuary has 794 acres of natural habitats and a mile and a half of elevated walkways to cross, all with a bird’s eye view of wildlife. The Wild Animal Sanctuary is as close to the animal’s natural environment as possible.

Estes Park Via Ferrata

Via Ferrata, Estes Park, Kent Mountain Adventure Center, Climbing,

Photo courtesy of Kent Mountain Adventure Center

Location: 520 Steamer Pkwy, Estes Park

Price: $330 for one person with discounts for larger groups

The truth : For the brave and the daring, buckle up and get ready to try the Estes Park Via Ferrata (Italian for “railway”). Clinging to the cliff face of the Rocky Mountains, soar 600 feet above the tallest trees and tread carefully across and over the face of a mountain on the steepest Via Ferrata in the United States. The trek takes six hours – use rocks, iron bars and suspension bridges as the only points of support when attached to a steel cable. Overcome your fear of one of Colorado’s most daunting challenges. What separates the Estes Park via ferrata course from other courses in Colorado is the breathtaking views of Rocky Mountain National Park and the Estes Valley below. the Kent Mountain Adventure Center organizes guided tours with variable difficulty depending on the experience of the climber.

Mountain biking at Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park

Mountain Biking, Winter Park, Trestle Park,

Photo by Carlos Frey, courtesy of Trestle Park on Facebook

Location: 85 Parsenn Road, Winter Park

Price: Pre-reserved day passes: $49 child, $64 adult. Season pass: $219 child (12 and under), $309 young adult (13-22), $389 adult (22 and over)

The truth : Mountain biking is a staple of Colorado culture—hundreds of bike-friendly trails span the entire Centennial State. Winter Park saw this trend and decided to make it their own. 600 miles of trails in the Winter Park and Frasier area make up Trestle Bike Park. The park opens on June 18 and will remain open until October 2. Access to the chairlifts allows you to descend the mountains with maximum adrenaline without much effort uphill.

The Giant Canyon Swing at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Giant Canyon Swing, Glenwood,

Photo courtesy of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Location: 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs

Price: Summer Funday Child (12 and under) $62, Adult: $67

The truth : named one of America’s Most Extreme Rides by USA today, this pendulum swing sits atop a cliff and shoots 50 miles per hour down a 1,300-foot drop overlooking the Colorado River. Thrill seekers reach an angle of nearly 90 degrees to the depths below with each full arc of the ride. Be sure to stick around for the full Glenwood Caverns experience. The park offers a myriad of other family attractions: Defiance Roller Coaster, Alpine Coaster, Soaring Eagle Zipline, Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, Glenwood Canyon Flyer and even exploring the caverns on a tour.

White water rafting

Photo courtesy of Clear Creek Rafting Company on Facebook

Location: Varied

Price: Varied

The truth : No list of adrenaline-filled adventures through Colorado is complete without a white-water rafting trip. Your mind against the roaring waters of mother nature’ – the predicament whitewater rafters face when tackling Colorado’s most intimidating rivers. Hundreds of different companies and tours are waiting to take guests on half-day, full-day, and even multi-day trips to navigate the many rivers that flow through Colorado. Head to the Colorado Tourism rafting section website to plan your whitewater vacation.

Visit the great sand dunes

sand dunes, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Sand Dunes, National Park

Photo by Jill Suarez, courtesy of Great Sand Dunes National Park on Facebook

Location: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Price: 1-day pass – non-commercial automobile – $25 (fee will increase to $30 as of May 27, 2022). 7 Day Vehicle Entrance Fee – $35

The truth : Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve offers endless possibilities to get a dose of adrenaline. Start by jumping into a four-wheel-drive car and venturing down an off-road trail through the changing landscapes of the Primitive Medano Pass Road. The pass is a 6 mile long Jeep lover’s dream. As you travel along the road, the terrain changes from rocky overpasses to the sandy base of the dunes themselves. The park itself is also accessible by traditional roads and highways.

Once at the sand dunes, a number of hikes are available to explore. Bring camping gear and admire the stunning artwork of the night sky. Don’t forget a sled and go sandboarding on one of the massive dunes that can be up to 700 feet high. Remember to pack proper footwear and gear as the sand experiences extreme temperature changes depending on the time of day and year.

Always check the weather forecast and road conditions before making the trip.

Do you have a story to share about any of these adventures? Did we miss something? What are your favorite adrenaline-filled thrills in Colorado? Let us know in the comments below.

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