Before taking lessons in a one-room schoolhouse, a visitor hops aboard a stagecoach, interviews a worker at a uranium mine, examines authentic adobe pottery, and heads inside a saloon. Such is the scene at Museum of the West, one of the three campuses of the Museum of Western Colorado where curators eschew the notion of “look, but don’t touch.” From the interactive labs at the Dinosaur Journey Museum to the live demonstrations of early 20th-century life at the Cross Orchards Historic Site—whose buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places—the staff encourages its guests to get up close and personal with the region’s past.
Though some participants choose to run and others to walk, everybody who participates in the Color Dash experiences a transformation. As participants make their way through the 5K Color Dash and UVSplash courses they are subjected to bursts of color; additional events include Zombies by Color Dash, which adds the undead to the equation. Though the color will wash away, the memories will remain forever in the minds of all participants who aren't goldfish. Proceeds from Color Dash events benefit local children's charities and organizations.
Stretching out in a valley before dusty golden mountains, Garfield Estates Vineyard & Winery's 11 acres are home to five flourishing grape varietals that grow fat and sugary on the vine. Every aspect of wine production takes place on site, from harvesting and crushing the grapes to fermentation and bottling. The final result is a portfolio of wines that includes a 2011 estate syrah, a 2012 ice wine, and a 2016 varietal that only lives in dreams. Visitors can sip samples of these wines at the tasting room, which is situated in the restored hay loft of an old barn.
When Utah High Adventure's staff members head into work, they don't sip coffee during meetings or ride the elevator up to an office on the ninth floor. Instead, they crash through raging whitewater rapids and rappel down the sides of canyons against a backdrop of sun-soaked red rocks. Years of training and education have earned them the certification and expertise to lead other thrill-seekers on rock climbs, which is more satisfying than scaling the granite backsplash of a neighbor's fancy kitchen. They also guide mountain-bike rides across Utah's rippling alpine trails. During the spring, summer, and fall months, the company hosts weeklong tours into the wild, which include lodging and equipment.
The licensed trailblazers at Adrift Adventures have safely guided adventurers on boat, horseback, and jeep tours of Canyonlands National Park and the surrounding areas for 33 years. The half-day river excursion draws paddlers down the Colorado River through an august landscape along rapids suitable for rookies and swashbucklers alike. Two daily departure times afford rafters different takes on the area's natural beauty. Birds and fish rub sleep from their eyes and amid river and canyon panoramas as morning excursionists cast off at 8:30 a.m., returning about four hours later. The afternoon ride provides rays for sun-fueled eye feasting and lunch for carb-fueled mouth feasting, embarking at 11:15 a.m. and returning about five hours later to a planet of sentient apes.
The professional guides at Red River Adventures expose adventurous individuals to the rugged and untamed splendor of Utah's rocks, rivers, and canyons with trips designed for all skill levels. The Fisher Towers whitewater-rafting trips pair smaller, intimate groups of four to six paddlers (40 lbs. or more) with a licensed Utah river guide for a 14-mile adventure along Onion Creek, Professor Creek, Cloudburst, and Ida Gulch. Before provoking the Class III wrath of Poseidon, the guides will review safety procedures and outfit swashbucklers with U.S. Coast Guard–approved lifejackets. From the safety of the river-faring craft, paddlers absorb a soaring view of the Fisher Towers, as well as canyon walls that line the waterway and enable time-bending communication with ancient yodelers.