Good Times Adventures’ first five guides took to the trails surrounding Breckenridge in 1986, leading their first visitors around on a ramshackle collection of 20 mismatched, antiquated snowmobiles. Those first forays weren’t fancy, but they were full of lessons. Through the years, the guides put those early learning experiences to good use, collaborating with the US Forest Service to expand their network of trails and acquiring a powder-smoothing snowcat to groom more than 40 miles of scenic routes through Swan Valley and White River National Forest. Today, more than 30 employees organize excursions for hundreds of guests, drawing their vehicles from a fleet of more than 100 of the latest seasonal models.
The even, glossy swathes of snow suit not only the treads of snowmobiles, but also those of dog sleds. Breckenridge local Orion takes the reins of his father’s business and an Iditarod-style sled, leading passengers along the same trails with dogpower rather than horsepower. Good Times’ staff welcomes guests—whether travelling by animal or machine—back to their lodge after each excursion to enjoy scenic views, complimentary hot chocolate, and snowsuit fashion shows.
Adventurers bounce along a well-packed dirt path, the soft top of their JK Jeep Wrangler down, wind whistling through their hair, snow-capped mountain vistas looming like doubled-over giants in the distance. Aboard Glenwood Springs Jeep Rental's two- or four-door, late-model vehicles, renters gorge themselves on panoramic views of the Roaring Fork Valley and those that form the backdrops of nearby trails through the Lead King Basin or Hubbard’s Cave. For less experienced drivers, easy roads wind through Glenwood Springs Canyon and Kebler Pass. Since renters can take the wheel for a half or full day, they have ample time to let complimentary GPS systems guide them to local hot spots, including the Hot Springs Pool, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, and the 12,705-foot-tall point on Pearl Pass where Paul Bunyan once performed step aerobics.
Denver Ski Bus’s wintertime shuttles facilitate easy group travel to Rocky Mountain peaks while minimizing travelers’ environmental footprint. Denver Ski Bus runs regular trips from downtown Denver up to Copper Mountain and Winter Park that can accommodate up to 56 passengers and their equipment. Many vehicles boast perks including reclining seats, WiFi, and TVs that let passengers relax after a long day of hitting the slopes or getting into trouble for hoarding all the Swiss Miss packets in their ski suits.
John Georgis—a.k.a Banjo Billy—drives an old school bus. It isn't the standard canary-yellow vehicle, though: the roof has been cut off and replaced with wooden fence slats and pitched tin. The seats have been ripped out and replaced with rows of couches, reclining chairs, and leather saddles. A glimmering disco ball hangs from the roof, and a rubber chicken affixed to the grill announces the bus' presence with a playful tone. Even though it resembles a mobile mountain shack, John's vehicle is often filled with guests eager to get a glimpse of Boulder or Denver on one of Banjo Billy's Bus Tours as seen on NPR's "Nickel Tour" series.