Hop on a road bike. Cast for giant trout. Hike a new trail. Catch a baseball game. Relax on a sunny patio. Colorado calls to us in the summer and draws us outside to play in its spectacular landscape. Here, we present nine itineraries that promise to get you outdoors—and loving every minute of the hot days of June, July, and August.
Split your day between raucous adventure and total relaxation in Golden and Morrison.
By Natasha Gardner
Fuel Up On your way to Golden, stop to savor the oh-so-fluffy lemon–poppy seed pancakes at Lakewood’s favorite breakfast nook, Bisque.
Rip It Dip into rushing Clear Creek for a ripboarding lesson. A cross between surfing and kayaking, ripboarding lets you ride the current on a river board. Golden River Sports will hook you up with gear, and guides will spend a morning helping you master the technique in the Clear Creek Whitewater Park, an 800-foot-long playground for kayaking, canoeing, and tubing. Ripboarding may feel awkward at first, but the adrenaline rush is more intoxicating than kayaking and the closest thing to surfing in the Centennial State.
Slake Your Thirst Grab a cold beverage and venture onto the Bridgewater Grill’s newly renovated patio, which has the perfect vantage point for critiquing the ripboarders below—and watching the paragliders jumping off Lookout Mountain to the west.
Go Back in Time The jagged rocks that thrust out of the ground at Morrison’s Dinosaur Ridge, a national landmark where the first stegosaurus bones in the West were uncovered in 1877, resemble the spine of an ancient lizard. Today, it’s unlikely that you’ll trip over a T-rex bone, but the visitor center has information on what was found on location, as well as suggestions for quick hikes in the area.
Speed Racer Just minutes up the road is Action Karting, the go-cart track at Bandimere Speedway. Choose a car, climb into a racing suit, pull on some gloves, and don a helmet. These little machines reach speeds up to 55 miles per hour, and you can race to improve your time as eight of the 10 laps are timed.
Catch a Flick Order a cheesesteak to go from Tommy’s Subs, and make way for the lower parking lots at Red Rocks Amphitheatre for some preshow tailgating. Although the park is best known for its concerts, the “Film on the Rocks” series is a more wallet-friendly option for an evening out. Pre-movie, bands take the stage, and you can groove as you find a spot up top to settle in. The higher you go in the amphitheater, the better views you’ll have of the city skyline.
If You Go
Bisque: 224 Union Blvd., Lakewood, 303-985-4151; Golden River Sports: 806 Washington Ave., Golden, 303-215-9386; Clear Creek Whitewater Park: 1201 10th St., Golden; Bridgewater Grill: 800 11th St., Golden, 303-279-2010; Dinosaur Ridge: Located on West Alameda Parkway, Morrison, 303-697-3466; Action Karting: 3051 S. Rooney Road, Morrison, 303-781-4483; Tommy’s Subs: 14011 W. Quincy Ave., Morrison, 303-697-5530; Red Rocks Amphitheatre: 18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, 720-865-2494.