Summer on Vail Mountain

Colorado is certainly known for its epic mountain views and stunning surrounding landscape scenery. It’s also not a secret that skiing is a popular wintertime activuty. But there’s also a ton of thrill-seeker attractions and adventure parks in the state that will take your family’s Colorado vacation to the next level. These are a few of the best Colorado adventure parks you won’t want to miss.

So, what is an adventure park? It may provide the same thrills as a theme park or amusement park, but is typically set in a natural outdoor environment with physical challenges. Many adventure parks have ropes or challenge courses. Or, they may include alpine coasters or ziplining. The types of activities may vary. The Colorado summer in the mountains is the perfect home for adventure parks to challenge your bravery and to provide some outdoor fun.

climbing high in the air at the Brown Adventure Park
The Brown Adventure Park in Buena Vista, Colorado.

Browns Canyon Adventure Park

Located right along the Arkansas River, the Browns Canyon Adventure Park offers its visitors a unique opportunity. Also known as Zips and Ariel Adventures. Here you will find 4 thrilling aerial obstacle courses, 2 high-adrenaline challenges, 7 zip lines, as well as white water rafting. This adventure park welcomes visitors 7 years and up. Just remember that children from ages 7-12 require an adult present to participate in the course.

Colorado Adventure Park

About a 70 mile drive outside of Denver, the Colorado Adventure Park has been credited as not only the largest of its kind but also the safest winter park in the Grand County area. The most popular activities are tubing and double tubing, but you’ll also discover mini-snowmobiles, fat-tire bike rentals, and snowshoe rentals.

The park has miles of trails, slower terrain for younger tubers. Also fun and exciting slopes for the enthusiast seeking a thrill. This park is a wonderful winter retreat for families with children 6 and up. Helmets are required.

Tacking a ropes or challenge course atop Vail Mountain at Epic Discovery.

Epic Discovery Vail

This mountain top adventure park offers something for everyone. For the nature lovers take the gondola up the mountain to Epic Discovery and wander the mountain top trails. Young kids will enjoy the wildlife exhibits and artifacts at the Nature Discovery Center. A bungee trampoline and climbing wall are popular with the kids. Then for the more adventurous there are summer tubing hills, ropes courses and zip lines of varying levels. Be sure to plan to loop the Forest Flyer alpine coaster a few times!

Frisco Adventure Park

There’s a ton of fun and winter activities just waiting for you at the Frisco Adventure Park. The park is known for its great skiing and tubing, but there are snowshoeing, sledding, and sleigh rides as well. One of those sleigh ride options includes scenic views, hot cocoa, freshly-baked cookies, and musical entertainment.

Along with rentals, the park offers skating and skiing lessons onsite. During the summer they offer a bike and skate park, 2 disc golf courses, hiking trails, and a number of camping opportunities. Reservations are required.

glenwood cavers adventure park
View from Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Set atop a mountain in Glenwood Springs, the Glenwood Caverns began with cave tours and branched into adventure park. Here you’ll find a gondola ride up the mountain, the longest alpine coaster in Colorado, a giant swing, laser tag, mountain-top dining and much more.

The park is open year round, with some thrill rides closed during the winter. But the winter also features holiday festivities. The views are also spectacular year round.

When visiting Glenwood Springs be sure to take a plunge in one of the area’s natural mineral hot springs. Visitors to Glenwood Caverns may be eligible for discounted entry to Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs on a snowy day.

Lawson Adventure Park

Have you ever wanted the chance to test your riding skills at jumping on a mechanical bull? At the Lawson Adventure Park in Lawson, Colorado, they offer river rafting, rock climbing, an obstacle course suspended 36 feet in the air, ziplines, a disc golf course, ZORBS (giant hamster balls), a bungee trampoline, and so much more. There’s also lodging available for your family there if you’re interested.

Lost Forest Snowmass

Snowmass has always been known for their on-mountain bike trails. But now there are even more summer activities atop the mountain for families to enjoy. In addition to the fun alpine coaster, a challenge course in the Lost Forest will keep your family occupied for most of the day. And, if that isn’t enough, then wear yourself out on the climbing wall!

Noah’s Ark Colorado Rafting & Aerial Adventure Park

A little over an hour’s drive southwest of Denver, the Noah’s Ark Colorado Rafting & Aerial Adventure Park is located in Buena Vista. They too, have a little of everything,. Poviding your family with the fun and memories of an amazing trip that they will never forget.

At the adventure park, you can expect hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, aerial obstacle courses, ziplines, high-adrenaline challenges, canoeing, and canyon rafting. The company also has a number of different packages that you can combine two activities for a better price.

A brave person on the Cloudscraper Zip Line soaring parallel over the Gorge.

Royal Gorge Bridge and Park

The Royal Gorge is a natural wonder, with a river that cuts through the steep cliff. The bridge is an incredible feat engineering completed in 1929. The park offers gondola rides across the Gorge to the other side. There you’ll find thrill rides to challenge even the bravest soul.

The Cloudscraper Zip Line is a hands-free zip line that flies you back across the Gorge 1,200 feet above the roaring Arkansas River. The Royal Rush Skycoaster hoists one to three riders up to the top of a 100 foot tower. Where they then sweep 50 mph through the Rocky Mountain air in a free fall. At Via Ferrata climb the granite rock walls of the Royal Gorge with a trained mountain guide for a safely managed mountaineering experience.

When in the Royal Gorge area be sure to book a whitewater rafting trip on the Arkansas River!

These are just a handful of some of Colorado’s best adventure parks that offer thrilling fun and excitement for adults and children alike. What are some other adventure parks in the state that you’ve visited, and how was your experience? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

9 Colorado Adventure Parks for Family Fun

Liana Moore

Liana Moore is a third-culture kid with a hangover from those days that is a severe case of wanderlust. She is more comfortable driving the cliffs of Amalfi, Italy or the dirt roads of Costa Rica or attempting to decipher the street signs of Osaka, Japan than navigating the theme parks of Disney World. But she loves it all. She doesn't believe a vacation is complete without an adventure. Her husband and kids know well that "adventure" often is code for mishap or challenge and it usually results in a good story. They seek outdoor experiences whether in the mountains, on a beach or in the jungle of a tropical country. Her favorite vacation is... all the ones she hasn't yet taken, as well as those she plans on taking again. And, that list is so, so long. But she continues to extensively explore her home state of Colorado, spends lots of time wandering Texas, California, New Mexico, Costa Rica, Mexico, Norway and has even explored Kazakhstan.

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