Via Ferrata Colorado: Adventures on Mountain Cliffs

If you’re a hiking and climbing enthusiast, you’ll want to try an unforgettable experience like no other while in Colorado. Home to some of the most amazing via ferratas, more and more via ferrata Colorado options seem to pop up each summer. Just last year, one opened at Arapaho Basin. These are a unique and adrenaline inducing opportunity to scale a sheer cliff wall with a guide in a safe environment.

Because you’re going to have plenty of options, make sure you’re planning to stay in the area for at least a few days to get enough time to do everything that you add to your itinerary. Some of the via ferratas are for more experienced climbers. Therefore, it’s essential to know about your options and the differences between them before deciding which ones you’d like to try.

Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

Head over to the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park to check out the Royal Gorge via ferrata. It’s an adventure that will surely get your adrenaline pumping.

If you’re scared of heights, this could really challenge you, standing hundreds of feet above ground level. I just looked up as I proceeded and it didn’t bother me at all. This is the thrill you need in your life.

Royal Gorge is one of several spectacular locations of via ferrata colorado
My husband & I climbing the via ferrata in Royal Gorge.

You can take a guided tour with an experienced and skilled climber who will make sure you’re on the right path and get through each obstacle as smoothly as possible. Don’t forget to wear your safety gear, including the amazing sticky shoes. Expect to see insanely beautiful views.

Insider Tip: The Royal Gorge is located just outside of Canon City, Colorado. There are so many fun things to do here, be sure to make a long weekend of it!

The bridge above the cliffs of Royal Gorge Via Ferrata.

Mount Evans

Found in Denver, Colorado, Mount Evans is one of the newer via ferratas accessible to the public. The cliffside tour lasts for three hours and gives tourists the chance to enjoy impeccable views from their position on the mountainside.

Although it’s a thrill, this option is best for experienced climbers. However, if you think you’ve got what it takes, you can have the time of your life climbing, enjoying the stunning scenery, and then zip-lining down at rapid speed to quickly reach ground level.

Manitou Springs

Go to the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park to enjoy the Manitou Springs Via Ferrata. Although this via ferrata is still new to the area after officially becoming available to the public in 2018, it’s already received rave reviews from climbers who enjoyed the experience.

You can head out on your journey with a guide to get you through it while you take thousands of steps at elevated positions. See some beautiful limestone cliffs, gorgeous trees, and the water from Manitou Springs. Then, after doing all that hard work of climbing to get to an elevated position with stunning views, you can zip-line your way down to the ground while wearing a safety harness for protection.

The steel cables of the via ferrata climbing system.


If you’re not afraid of a thrilling adventure, Telluride is another excellent via ferrata in Colorado. It’s a bit over two miles long, with many stainless steel cables installed for climbers to use. You can attach your lanyard to these cables while maneuvering around on the mountainside to ensure your safety as you explore.

Telluride is known as a challenging via ferrata because of its narrow ledges and terrain. It’s not for those scared of height or anyone lacking climbing experience. It’s an excellent trek to take if you know what you’re doing and are willing to head out on the journey with a guide who can help you along the way.

After climbing the via ferrata in Estes Park, you can actually sleep on the side of the cliff, arranges through the Kent Adventure Center. Photo credit: Visit Estes Park/ Megan Maitland

Peregrine Arete in Estes Park

Kent Mountain Adventure Center outside of Estes Park, offers a guided climbing experience on the Peregrine Arete, the original ferrata route on Deville rocks. Not only is this a great way to take on a challenging climb in a safe environment, but climbers also get to take is some of the most unique and spectacular views of Rocky Mountain National Forest. This is a spectacular way to enjoy Colorado’s most popular national park.

Tours leave leave every half-hour from 7:30am to 9:30am. Sunset tours are available at 3:00 and 4:00pm. The hike to the base takes about 45 minutes and an average via ferrata tour ranges anywhere from 2 to 5 hours.

AVA Granite

Found in Buena Vista, Colorado, the AVA Granite Via Ferrata is a fun, simple, and enjoyable option for you to consider. Even if you’re still getting the hang of climbing, this is a great spot for you that will leave you with more experience.

You’ll get to scale the cliffside, take in all that fresh air, enjoy the scenery, and make your way to the top. Along with scaling the cliffside, you’re going to come across suspended bridges at different heights, leaving you with breathtaking views of the area. If you don’t have a fear of heights, this is an excellent choice.

After climbing and making your way to the top, take advantage of the free fall while wearing your harness. The adventure will undoubtedly get your heart beating fast.

Via Ferrata Ouray

Engineered and build in 2019 and opened to the public in 2020, the Ouray Via Ferrata is unique in that a non -profit installed a world class via ferrata on property owned by the City of Ouray in the Ice Park gorge. It is free to the public. But specific equipment is required. Less experienced climbers will be best served to hire a guide who can also provide necessary equipment.

Arapaho Basin Via Ferrata

Arapaho Basin offers a full-day tour ascending 1,200 feet to a 13,000’ summit with stunning, 360-degree views. Or, visitors can choose a shorter adventure with the goal of reaching an old mine shaft to learn more about the history of the area. After getting geared up adventurers take a chairlift ride on Black Mountain Express. From there, an off-highway vehicle drives you to the base of the East Wall where there’s a short hike up to “School House Rock.”

This is the newest via ferrata Colorado, just having opened summer of 2021.

The Items You Need to Have Before You Go

No matter which via ferrata is most appealing to you in Colorado, you’ll want to be geared up before you head out on your journey to explore, climb, and have the time of your life. When you take a guided tour most of these items will be provided, But here’s what you will need in case you want to bring along your own.

  • Helmet. Although not always required, helmets are worth wearing while climbing. You can’t be sure if something hard, such as a rock, would fall and land on you. If it hits your head without a helmet on, it could hurt you. Don’t run into that issue! Wear a helmet to protect your head and enjoy a safer experience.
  • Gloves. Climbing gloves can keep your hands comfortable and protected while you’re scaling different cliffsides and mountains. If you don’t want to end up with sore, bleeding hands, be sure to invest in a high-quality brand known for its support and comfort.
  • Lanyards. You’ll use lanyards to attach yourself to the stainless steel cables when you’re scaling different areas. You may not need to bring them with you. If you’re going on a guided tour, they might supply them. However, it’s best to check beforehand.
  • Safety Harness. Keep yourself secure while you’re dozens of feet above ground level by wearing a safety harness. Some companies supply harnesses for tourists to use while they’re scaling.

Head Off on an Unforgettable and Thrilling Adventure

When you’re in Colorado and looking for adventurous things to do, check out some of the most popular Via Ferratas in the area. Whether you’re a skilled climber or not, options are available for people of all different skill levels. While you’re on these adventures, you can test your physical abilities, see stunning places with new views above ground level, and get your adrenaline pumping. In addition, you can make memories, improve your physical strength, and gain much more experience as a climber when you’re taking advantage of the great Via Ferratas in Colorado.

Via Ferrata Colorado: Adventures on Mountain Cliffs
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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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