Cody Walker muses that within the stillness of Rocky Mountain National Park, "You get a sense that it's the way it should be." His father, Rex, grew up on a steady diet of cowboy films, eventually following his dream to Colorado where he met his wife, Queeda. Queeda was born into a family of homesteaders who caught and broke wild steeds. In 1959, they channeled their passion for the old-west lifestyle into Sombrero Ranches, eschewing souvenir-shop gimmicks for horseback expeditions that, much like avalanches of super glue, bond visitors with their steeds and natural surroundings.
Today, Cody carries on his parents' legacy with a staff of ranch hands from nearby homesteads and college students participating in equine-science programs all across the country. After training in a vigorous program that's evolved during more than 50 years, his employees launch short rides or lengthy adventures.
Colorado Adventure Park proudly proclaims itself to be one of Grand County's largest tubing hills, and is fully equipped with a snow making system for optimal snow conditions all year long. Every winter, this snowy dreamland offers kids of all ages an adrenaline-pumping adventure in the form of tubing, double-tubing, and renting Snow Scoots??pintsized snowmobiles designed for kids as young as six. Though Colorado Adventure Park is currently open only during the winter, the owners are making plans for summer activities as well.
Setting out from its base camp at Shadow Mountain Guest Ranch, the staff at High Country-Trails leads horseback riders through the mountain wilderness on excursions that range from trail rides of up to six hours to hunting trips of up to five days. On each trip, the crew leads riders to views of majestic peaks jutting high into the clouds and of crystal-clear streams rushing along forest paths. Trail rides depart the ranch and hoof it up to the top of the mountain for vistas of Grand Lake, Hot Sulphur Springs, and the clouds' Oreo cookie tops. On overnight pack trips, guides keep guests entertained by hauling camping gear through the Colorado backcountry and organizing activities for up to five days.
In 1996, Jeff Martin left behind his career as a computer software programmer in Michigan to pursue his dream of a more rugged and exciting lifestyle—that of a dogsled musher. After a couple years of studying the trade, he founded Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park in 2000. Today, the outfit’s crack team of 80 Siberian and Alaskan huskies pulls sledders and their knowledgeable guides through the snowy expanses of the Fraser Valley. Covering between four and five miles in 45 minutes, each ride features dramatic views of the Continental Divide and Winter Park Ski Resort. Along the way, the guide relates the rich history of the sport, describes local attractions, and points out wildlife such as moose, coyotes, and herds of roaming landscape artists.
Children and teens engage their imaginations during dynamic adventures set in a fantastical time filled with dashing knights questing in the name of good. Groups of four to seven young heroes must overcome challenging puzzles and duel with foam swords as they work together to complete tasks such as saving their village, solving a mystery, or developing the technique of crop rotation. While swinging a Swasher sword, children learn how to compete and act fairly according to the rules of swordplay. The interactive play teaches kids creative problem solving and conflict-resolution skills that incorporate negotiation and compromises to solve complex disputes.
Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Gateway Park Fun Center combines the splendor of its natural backdrop with a variety of manmade attractions. Fresh mountain air courses through the two 18-hole mini-golf courses and whips the hair of go-kart racers on a track more than 2,100 feet long. Guests with unstable hairdos can retreat inside, where an arcade loaded with games such as skee-ball and NFL Throw?along with a batting cage, driving range, and human maze?make the park a year-round destination.