50 Urban Adventures You Must Try

You don't have to drive far into the mountains for outdoor thrills. Try these 50 bona fide (and really fun!) escapades without leaving the Front Range.

April 2015

—Photo by Allen Krughoff

British travel writer Alastair Humphreys has cycled around the world, rowed across the Atlantic, and trekked 1,000 miles through the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Peninsula. But his latest book, Microadventures: Local Discoveries, Great Escapes, celebrates exploration and adventure closer to his London home. “A microadventure has the spirit (and therefore the benefits) of a big adventure,” he writes. “It’s just condensed.”

Why would Coloradans, who live within a few hours’ drive of world-class hiking, skiing, cycling, camping, and white-water paddling, want to abridge their adventures? Well, I-70 traffic, for one. Plus, microadventures are inexpensive, quick, and often family-friendly. They’re good for the environment—many destinations can be reached easily by light rail or bus—and they’re good for you, too. Adventure is “a state of mind, a spirit of trying something new and leaving your comfort zone,” Humphreys writes. In an homage to Humphreys’ philosophy, here are 50 ways to push your boundaries right here at home.

Table of Contents:

By the Book: Ideas Straight From Alastair Humphreys’ Microadventures
Swim With the Fishes
| Hike the Beaver Brook Trail 
Plan A Birthday Challenge Ride the Rails to the Trails
Pitch a Tent in the Backcountry | Bike to a B&B
Locals' Choice | Rappel a Skyscraper
Do a Pub Run | Pedal to the Office Get Lost (And Love It) | Camp In
Paddle the South Platte See the Stars—Like, Really See Them | Follow New Trails
Ski the Foothills Fly Like An Eagle | Ski Uphill at a Downhill Resort
Howl at the Moon Climb in the Prairie | Ski in the Morning, Run in the Afternoon
Explore the High Line Canal Bag the High County Points | Go Caving
Hunt With a Falconer | Capture the Flag | Ski in the Park | Ride to the Merc