Colorado's top 10 white-knuckle activities
From canyons to coasters, Colorado’s adventures throughout summer deliver an adrenaline rush for all ages. Here’s E.D.’s guide to Colorado’s top 10 white-knuckle activities.

Camp on a cliff ledge

Thrill seekers can live life on the ‘ledge’ by setting up camp on the side of a mountain. Kent Mountain Adventure Center guide outdoor enthusiasts through Estes Park with a selection of adventures, from a ‘Cliffnic’ lunch atop a portaledge set up 50 feet from the ground, to rappelling down a cliff face with just a sleeping bag for an overnight on a vertical wall. Priced from $1,600 for two people overnight; $860 for a group of four for cliff picnics.

Curate your own adventure

The ‘Gear Garage’ service at Denver’s recently opened Halcyon hotel in Cherry Creek is filled with a selection of hand-picked gadgets and kits specially curated for a range of outdoor thrills. Visitors can ride into downtown Denver on a Vespa, rent a cruiser bike or e-bike to explore the city’s 85 miles of paved bike trails, or skate through the Cherry Creek district on a Halcyon longboard. Adventure packs, comprising an Osprey rucksack, GoPro camera, binoculars and refreshments, are fully stocked for a picnic in the sun or for hiking up one of Colorado’s 58 fourteeners.

Cycle Snowmass’ new trails

New for summer 2017, Snowmass debuts new bike trails adding to the 80+ miles of terrain accessible from Snowmass Village. Routes include the Seven Star Trail – an advanced 4 mile dirt track which snakes the hillside to Brush Creek and into town.

Discover new adventures in Breckenridge

Breckenridge has launched an on-mountain summer activity programme, Epic Discovery, with 13 exciting activities for the whole family. Available daily until 10 September, the family-focused adventures include interactive exploration zones, an Ariel Adventure Tour, a climbing wall, tubing, ziplines and more. Breckenridge is the latest of Vail Resorts’ ski destinations to introduce this ‘epic’ selection of summer adventures, with an all-day Adventure Pass priced at $82 for adults and $40 for children.

Colorado's top 10 white-knuckle activities

Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado

Drop inside a mountain

New for summer 2017, the Haunted Mine Drop at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will leave guests breathless as they drop approximately 100 feet on the first drop ride in the world that descends inside a mountain. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is the only mountain-top theme park in the U.S. with thrills for the whole family, from exploring caves to being launched over Glenwood Canyon on an exhilarating Giant Canyon Swing.

Explore the canyons

Ouray is known for its ice climbing in the winter, but during the summer months the same rocks and waterfalls can be explored by canyoning. Canyoning entails repelling down waterfalls and exploring river canyons, and Canyoning Colorado is offering new guided descents with training for all abilities this summer. Priced from $89 for a half day course and from $169 for a full day course.

Ride the longest coaster in North America

Opening this month, Steamboat is set to welcome the Outlaw Mountain Coaster – the longest mountain coaster in North America. The gravity-driven bobsled carts will descend more than 400 vertical feet down a mountain track with a total riding length of more than 6,280 feet. Single ride tickets are $20 with additional rides available to buy on-site at $15.

Raft Wild and Scenic Rivers
Colorado's top 10 white-knuckle activities

Colorado has some fantastic white water rafting Credit: Ryan Burke

Colorado’s only nationally designated Wild and Scenic River, the Cache la Poudre, carves down Poudre Canyon through narrow sections flanked by alpine mountains and natural rock cliffs west of Fort Collins. The triumph of paddling over a rapid named Devil’s Staircase is second only to the views and the chance to spot bighorn sheep and deer along its rocky hills. Rafting guides lead groups through rapids of all difficulty levels based on experience, so everyone gets just the right amount of adventure.

Swing above the Royal Gorge

The Royal Rush Skycoaster sends adrenaline seekers free-falling over the Royal Gorge Canyon at speeds up to 50 mph to dangle 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River. The thrill is heightened with breathtaking views of the 1,000 feet tall, red-granite walls of the canyon and the Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the USA. The canyon and panoramic views can also be experienced by ariel gondola, zipline and photography lookout points.

Test your dream bike in Crested Butte

Outerbike, the biggest mountain bike demo event on earth, comes to the Rocky Mountains for the first time from 18 – 20 August 2017, showcasing Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley’s 750 miles of mountain bike trails. Visitors can trial as many of the latest and greatest bikes as possible or bring their own bike and enjoy the trails.

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