Children run in trails marked by prehistoric footprints, and fingers run across fossils during each visit to Dinosaur Ridge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of ancient artifacts. Around every corner of the outdoor museum—which rests on land designated as a national natural landmark—bones and impressions protrude from their earthy abodes as evidence of the area's once larger-than-life inhabitants. Paleontologists of all ages can examine curious tracks on surrounding hiking paths, such as Triceratops Trail, or hop on a guided bus tour to examine fossil sites and valleys where brontosauruses used to question the meaning of life.
Lurking inside the visitor center is the Trek Through Time exhibit, where interactive children's games, replica fossils, and massive murals join forces to lead explorers into different prehistoric eras. In addition to its day-to-day operations, Dinosaur Ridge also plays host to various events during the year, including Boy Scout days, birthday parties, and lectures that explain how T. rex stayed humble despite his large stature.
Outer Edge Performance's herd of vertically inclined guides combines more than 50 years experience and multiple safety accreditations that ensure safe climbs at venues such as Boulder Canyon and Garden of the Gods. Student climbers slip on provided footwear, helmets, and harnesses before instructors spend four hours teaching small groups of five or fewer how to safely smear a slab and tame wild sediment. In addition to mastering rock faces, students build teamwork by ensuring peers' safety and double-checking their equipment. For an added challenge, ice climbers prepare to summit more slippery surfaces during the ice-climbing trip. Four hours of deft arctic instruction teach pupils to scale ice-covered terrain using specialized equipment including sharp ice axes, spiked crampons, and a pocket dictionary of yeti-speak.
Roughly a month into their fall semester the students of Regis University's physical therapy department receive a unique homework assignment: to organize a joint 5K/10K race. The result is the Move Forward 5K/10K, two races that loop around the main campus en route to a post-race party with food, music, and the black sheep of the architecture world: a bounce house. The purpose of the assignment is to raise awareness of physical therapy and fitness and to benefit The Argyle Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports low-income residents at The Argyle senior living center.
Amid the crisp, thinning mountain air steeped in the aroma of pine trees, a single-track trail winds through a dense evergreen forest past sweeping views of the valley below. In 2005, wilderness enthusiast Stefan Van der Steen founded Denver Adventures as a means of introducing others to scenes such as this by immersing them in the great outdoors through adventures such as ziplines, hiking treks, and rafting excursions. Stefan and his team of knowledgeable guides lead groups to an elevation of 8,000 feet for zipline tours on an Association for Challenge Course Technology–certified course, where riders reach speeds up to 55 miles per hour past Colorado’s naturally blurry trees.
Denver Adventures also leads hiking, snowshoeing, and mountain-biking treks through the uneven terrain, gauging participants' skill throughout to determine whether they can traverse a steep uphill climb or do a Superman seat grab over a row of sleeping bears. Making use of all the wilderness has to offer, guides also take explorers on rafting trips through canyons and past gold mines, or train them to navigate vertical routes using top-rope techniques during five-hour rock-climbing excursions.
Nestled in River Run Village at the base of Keystone Mountain, NorSki Sport Rental arms outdoor enthusiasts with high-quality, custom-fitted equipment from manufacturers such as K2, Nordica, Fischer, Never Summer, Volkl or Salomon. Cold-weather cavorters lock into a snowboard or pair of skis for a speedy journey down the slopes, or slip on a pair of snowshoes to traipse about Keystone’s extensive trail system in search of the abominable snowman’s ice-sculpture garden. For warmer amusement, patrons rent Yeti and Giant brand mountain, touring, and hybrid bikes during the summer months. NorSki’s knowledgeable team of mechanics carefully dotes on each piece of rental equipment, maintaining a fleet that is both safe to ride and assured of its self-worth.
The experts who lead Aspen Walking Tours blend history, research, and cultural anthropology in a trio of informative strolls, nourishing the minds of tour-takers with local factoids. These guides quarterback small groups during each trek through time, imparting stories and tidbits that they've researched themselves. The Aspen's DarkSide tour unearths the area's ghastly past, rife with ghosts, murder, and mayhem, and the Aspen's Past to Present tour details Aspen's evolution from a modest mining camp to world-famous resort. In the fall, rather than wearing shoes whittled from dry ice, visitors can experience real chills with a spooky saunter through the Ute Cemetery—Aspen's first burial ground—during the Walking with the Dead tour.