Colorado’s stunning and diverse landscapes make it a wonderful playground for outdoor activities and offer travelers a full range of unforgettable experiences from leisurely to the extreme. 

Many of its recreational activities can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, making any Colorado trip a great adventure for making lasting memories with family and friends. 

If you’re looking for a combination of gorgeous scenery and physically and mentally challenging outings, Colorado is the place for you! The state’s rich culture of adventure is reflected in the state’s wide variety of outdoor events, such as trail races, festivals, and competitions. Adventure sports equipment rentals and experienced guides for hire are widely available. It’s no wonder that so many outdoor enthusiasts and professionals call the state home.  

Many of Colorado’s outdoor attractions and activities are easily accessible, with a good number of trailheads, parks, and recreation areas located within a short drive from just about anywhere you decide to visit. Since the state draws thrill-seekers from all over the world, there are also many lists and reviews written about all the best spots. Don’t worry! We’ve narrowed down a few of the best options, so you can plan your perfect trip! 

If you want to add an adrenaline rush to your next visit to the Centennial State, this guide outlines some of the fun and wild experiences you should consider.

7 Thrilling Outdoor Activities in Colorado: 


Soar through the skies for a bird’s-eye-view of Colorado’s breathtaking beauty. Paragliding is popular in this state because the weather conditions are ideal for flying. The high altitude, dry climate, consistent winds, and clear skies make most days of the year perfect for paragliding.

With so many experienced paragliding pilots and instructors ready to help you have a safe flight, you can enjoy flying above the towering mountains and deep valleys at any skill level.

TripAdvisor has a helpful list of paragliding businesses in Colorado, so you can find one wherever you go. 


Colorado has over 90,000 miles of rivers cutting through rugged canyons and pristine forests that offer the fun of rafting, from gentle family floats to the wildest Class V whitewater rapids that challenge even the most seasoned rafter.

Professional rafting guides have a comprehensive understanding of the trails, river conditions and how to navigate through rapids, so you can rely on their expertise while you enjoy your trip.

See what kinds of Colorado rafting tours are available at Viator.

Sandboarding and Snowboarding

Between Colorado’s snow-powdered peaks and the sandy slopes of the dunes, there are plenty of locations ideal for boarding in any season.

Sandboarding and snowboarding require balance, coordination, and stamina. But with such a wide range of terrain, offering beginner slopes (and sledding) and more challenging runs for the advanced, boarders of all skill levels can have fun.

For a more in-depth look at sandboarding locations and equipment rentals, read this article by

This article by has an excellent list of some of the best Colorado snowboarding spots. 

Rock Climbing

With world-class rock formations, Colorado is home to some of the most famous and challenging rock climbing destinations in the world. Eldorado Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison are just a few climbing hot spots in the state.

Beginners and seasoned climbers can both take advantage of the climbing sites and knowledgeable guides and instructors in Colorado. Their support can help you reach new heights!

Check out Uncover Colorado for a list of the five best Colorado rock climbing spots. 

Mountain Biking

Colorado hosts some of the best mountain biking trails on the map, with diverse terrain that ranges from high alpine passes to desert canyons. Some of the most popular destinations include the Colorado Trail, Crested Butte, and Moab.

Riders can choose from smooth and flowy singletracks to technical and challenging downhill runs. And don’t forget to enjoy the view while you pedal away!

Trailforks, a trail database app and reliable resource for mountain bikers, has a list of top mountain biking trails in Colorado and beyond. 


Also known as a Canopy Tour, and often considered ecotourism, high-speed ziplining (flying down a cable in a harness) can give you an adrenaline-pumping thrill while taking in the sights from above the Colorado treetops. 

Many zipline courses offer educational components that teach about Colorado’s expansive local wildlife, geology, and history. This can add a fun and engaging way to learn about the environment and culture of the area. lists some of the best zipline courses in Colorado. 

Jeep Tours

Buckle up and experience Colorado’s rugged and remote terrain, including mountain passes, rocky trails, and scenic backcountry roads, on a Jeep tour! This exhilarating off-road adventure can take you to places that are inaccessible by other means of transportation. 

Jeep tour guides are ready to tell you all about the area’s history, geology, and wildlife on your drive and provide interesting and educational commentary throughout the tour. 

To find a list of the best jeep tours around Colorado, check out this page on

Plan Your Next Adventure in Colorado

Colorado truly stands out as a top destination for more adventurous travelers, and there’s no shortage of reasons why. With a wide range of natural landscapes, including the Rocky Mountains, high alpine passes, deserts, canyons, and rivers, there’s a stunning outdoor adventure for everyone. Take advantage of the resources in this guide and get ready to have the adventure of a lifetime!

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