You'll see a lot of gleeful, childlike expressions on the attractions at Amaze'n Steamboat Family Fun Park, and not just on the faces of children—guests of all ages take delight in the center's family-friendly attractions. Putt under logs, around rocks, and through an old-fashioned mine over 18 holes of miniature golf, or rocket up to 20 feet in the air on the bungee trampoline. Younger kids shake down pans just like in the Wild West at the gemstone panning station, searching for hidden treasures among the ruddy rocks. After getting dirty, visitors can load up massive squirt guns in the giant maze for a super-soaker battle, or take a turn at the basketball station, where the loser gets showered with icy water. For watery fun that seems to defy the laws of physics, climb inside a water walker—the transparent, human-sized orbs let visitors glide across the water without paying steep tuition fees to a local dolphin.
Breckenridge Stables' herd of more than 100 steeds trots along for scenic trail rides, Western-style lessons, and historical tours of the town. As horses deftly navigate the Tenmile Range, guides point out local wildlife along the continental divide, the imaginary line drawn when Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox broke up. During colder months, Breckenridge Stables' custom-built mountain sleighs keep passengers snuggly during sleigh rides as a team of belgian, clydesdale, or percheron horses canters through the Colorado air.
Paddles slice through churning waters, keeping rafts on their course down Clear Creek as it cuts through the Denver Mountain Parks . At the base of the red crags of Gore Canyon, the white-capped water of the Colorado River foretells rafters’ trips through daunting class IV and V rapids. Elsewhere, guests make like protoplasmic coat hangers as they zipline over the scenery of Idaho Springs.
But rafting trips and zipline tours are just the beginning. Arkansas Valley Adventures leads all kinds of expeditions through Colorado’s mountains and valleys, tossing in ATVs, hot air balloons, helicopters, horses, and fishing rods with the paddles and ziplines. While flying down the Eagle River explorers will have plenty of chances to get in touch with their rugged side and ask ancient rock faces whether the paleo diet is an apt reflection of the habits of early humans.
At American Safari Ranch, visitors receive the hospitality and historic charm of an authentic turn-of-the-century homestead. During the day, guests set out across the vastness of the Rocky Mountain wilderness, exploring thousands of acres by horseback, ATV, or off-road penny-farthing. Year-round horseback tours allow riders of all skill levels to travel the grounds at a leisurely pace, and pony rides extend the experience to children. At night, enjoy a hearty meal at an onsite restaurant, kick back for a drink at the saloon, or step outside to admire the star-strewn sky. Private accommodations in log cabins and lodge rooms embody the frontier spirit with wooden fixtures, Old West relics, and room service from the ghost of John Wayne's butler. The ranch makes the perfect setting for a Western-themed party, and staff are happy to provide catering, activities, and even karaoke.
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.
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 18-hole mini-golf course 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 an inline hockey rink—make the park a year-round destination.