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54 Must-Do Colorado Adventures


24) One’s Loss is Another’s Gain
While skiers mourn the melting of the snow, kayakers embrace it. Some of the best boating in the country is nearby, and when the white stuff turns to water, rapids grow as quickly as the smile on an adventure seeker’s face. Clear Creek, you know that road you drive next to every time you head to Vail, has two 5.5-mile long sections with plenty of class IV water. It’s a blast and you can almost really close to the Coors Brewing Company. Just in case you are thirsty after the paddle. —JH

25) Colorado by Sea (Doo)
It’s a safe bet that Sea Doo never thought it could market its jet skis in semi-arid Colorado. Fortunately, ocean-lovers can take a 3 p.m. spin around the Cherry Creek Reservoir. Check with Extreme ATV Rentals in Lakewood to borrow one. Then pretend you live on a Great Lake for a few hours. —JH

26) The Old-Fashioned Way

Many scoff at the notion of hunting as cruel. Setting up a seat in a tree above a barrel of honey waiting for a bear is far from fair. But the first hunting season that opens in Colorado is for pronghorn antelope and by bow and arrow only. The licenses, available mid-August, give the opportunity to hunt like Native Americans did centuries ago—use all the parts from any kill, please. We’re not fans of sport-only hunting at Yellow Scene. —JH

27) Hog Heaven
Most of us don’t own a Harley. It’s a luxury to have the king of the motorcycle world in your garage. Buy a leather jacket, throw down $100 for the day and rent one from High Country Harley in Frederick, then head west toward Rocky Mountain National Park. You can take your hog on the 48-mile Trail Ridge Road to Granby, cruising above tree level at times and taking in beauty befitting of the bike. Just remember to return your ride at the end of the day. —JH

28) It’s More Fun on One
For years, unicycling has been for those on the edge of society. No one in their right mind hopped on the one-wheeled bikes for anything but attention. Not so much, anymore. There’s a bike for all riders, from those wanting a leisurely ride to those looking for an extreme mountain biking adventure. Joe’s Bike Shop in Lafayette will get you started. There’s also a three-day Boulder Mountain Unicycle Festival that celebrates it all Aug. 22-24. —JH

29) Earn Your Hot Springs
Hot springs offer a natural escape that will most likely provide a better view than your backyard hot tub—but too often, traveling to one means paying some business a few bucks to use an over-crowded pool. You’re much too adventurous for that. That’s why you’ll love Aspen’s Conundrum Hot Springs. After hiking to 12,000 feet, you’ll be rewarded by pristine views, colorful plant-life, peaceful waterfalls, and the best hot tub in the world. Camp overnight to take in all those stars blurred by the city lights. —LB

30) Shoot ’em Up
Remember the other night when your spouse said something that bothered you? How about some quick and easy revenge—by paintball. Aggression leaves with a simple trigger stroke. Or you can just get a bunch of friends together to compete in the name of fun. Blitz Paintball in Longmont has you covered with multiple large outdoor fields and all the gear you need for an afternoon of revenge, er, fun. —JH

31) Cool Sunglasses Not Included
First buy some really trendy aviator sunglasses. Then head to Erie Tri-County Airport, sign up for classes with Rocky Mountain Rotorcraft and you’ll be a helicopter pilot in no time. It’s not that easy, but in a few months you can become licensed. Then wait for a financial windfall and buy your own helicopter. —JH

32) Creative Sledding
Not much beats sitting on a giant ice cube to help cool you off on a hot, muggy summer evening, especially if you used that frozen block of water to slide down a steep hill. Ice blocking really deserves a whole lot more credit. Grab a 10-pound block at the grocery store. Find a large, grassy hill and let gravity and slippery ice work their magic. Grass burns are common, and we expect grocers to see a run on ice blocks. —LJS

33) Don’t Crash Into the Wall
Wanna go fast? Like really, really fast? But how do you get behind the wheel of a 405 horsepower T1 Class Z06 Corvette on a track? If your name’s not Mario Andretti, the prospect is zero. If you’re willing to shell out some cash, Go 4 It in Louisville will make your dreams a reality (and teach you how to do it safely). If you crash, you owe them a lot
of money. —JH

34) An Odd Couple
Sailing and Colorado seem like an oxymoron, but it’s actually kind of a big deal around these parts. If you already have certification (or can pass a quiz) and have $195 handy, then Lake Dillon is at your disposal in a 22-foot Catalina. If you’ve never been on a sailboat because you are, in fact, from Colorado, then the Dillon Marina will teach you how during a 12-hour course taught over consecutive weekends. Either way, you’ll enjoy a wide-open lake with huge mountains dwarfing it. It’s not exactly America’s Cup, but hey, you live in Colorado because the mountains interest you more than the ocean. —JH

35) The Tent of Your Dreams
Telling your significant other you’d like to purchase land to build the vacation yurt (a styled-out tent) of your dreams is like telling your wife that the Super Bowl is more important than her birthday. But yurts are the perfect home base for a hiking trip. The yurt system in the Colorado State Forest State Park (rent from Never Summer Nordic) sits in the middle stunning beauty. —JH

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