The Rocky Mountains attract thousands of rock climbers every year to scale the majestic ranges that stretch across the state of Colorado. Our mountains boast feats of bouldering, ice climbing, and even cliffside camping for the experienced climber. My family and I absolutely love adventuring in these mountains, we are and are not rock climbers. So what activities can get you high into the Colorado cliffside and allow you to connect with the history, adventure, and beauty of Colorado’s best ridges?
Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings
At the Southwest corner of Colorado, where the four corners of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado meet, you’ll find the Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings, the living accommodations of the Ancestral Pueblo peoples of the Southwest. The cliff dwellings date to the 1190s when the Ancestral Pueblo moved residencies from the top of the mesa to inside the cliffs, constructing intricate rooms and buildings within the cliffside.
Here, you will experience a history lesson mixed with an immersive journey as you descend a 32-foot ladder into the Balcony House, explore the 150 rooms of the cliff palace, or imagine the lives of prior inhabitants in the impeccably preserved Long House. Independent and ranger-guided tours are available to explore the sites.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Kids of all ages are sure to find excitement at America’s only mountain-top theme park! Seated at 7,100 feet in elevation, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs will have you clinging to your seat on the Defiance Roller Coaster, Alpine Coaster, or Giant Canyon Swing.
For those who may hesitate to ride a cliffside roller-coaster, the adventure park also offers Cave Tours of the Glenwood Caverns, Laser Tag or a 4D Motion Theater. Visitors can explore the inside of the mountain and caves on a Historic Fairy Cave or King Row tour. All these attractions and more are available with the Funday Pass!
Royal Gorge Train Ride
Experience the breathtaking scenery of the Royal Gorge Region, near Canon City, on an exciting Royal Gorge Railroad ride! Enjoy a four-course, first class, dining experience while taking in the expansive views of the Royal Gorge, seen through full length dome windows or step out onto the open-air observation car.
Choose from a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or murder mystery dinner ride and enjoy a unique dining experience with dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.
And to bring it all together, we cannot think of a more exciting cliffside adventure than ziplining in Idaho Springs or Buena Vista! Just 30 minutes from Denver, wave goodbye to those man-made towers, soar on our Cliffside Zipline, and fly over Clear Creek River and through the treetops that overlook the Continental Divide.
In Buena Vista, adventurers can ride 3,500 feet our Mountaintop Zipline among treetops over the Arkansas Valley with views of the Collegiate Peaks. Both Ziplines are completely built into the mountainside, allowing you to soar right through the trees and across cliffs. The Jungle Bridge, tightrope, dual race lines, and many other obstacles, are sure to provide entertainment for beginners through experienced thrill seekers.
With so many options for cliffside activities in Colorado other than rock climbing, we are sure that everyone can find a mountain escapade to fuel his/her sense of adventure. These breathtaking cliffs and mountains are more than pinnacles of natural beauty-they are living stories filled with past and present adventures!
Written by Mandy Hope, contributing member of the Sales Team
Edited by Rosa Canales, Marketing Specialist