Mountain lovers and thrill seekers, unite! Summer is here, and that means it’s time to hop on a plane or pack up the car and head to the hills. Skiing and snowboarding aren’t the only activities to do in the Colorado Rockies.
Here are Colorado’s Top 5 Destinations for Alpine Slides, as well as a round-up of other reasons to visit your favorite resort towns this year:
1. Winter Park – Colorado’s Longest Alpine Slide
The 3,000-foot slide at Winter Park is officially the longest in Colorado. You get to enjoy a scenic chairlift ride to the top of the mountain before dropping a total of 600 vertical feet for maximum thrills. As you careen down the smooth track, it will almost feel like you’re bobsledding down the mountain.
If that’s not awesome enough, you still have dozens of summer activities to check out at Winter Park, including mountain biking, zip lining, a disc golf course, summer tubing, and river rafting.
2. Breckenridge – The Most Downhill Thrills
Why choose just one when you can choose between FOUR Alpine slides? Breckenridge claims it has the ‘most legendary alpine slides’ in Colorado with a combination of three traditional Alpine slides and the Gold Runner Coaster, which is a 2,500-foot-long slide on cars that are fixed to the tracks. You can ride in pairs, or alone, and control your speed with a hand brake as you fly down the mountain.
When you’re not coursing down the slopes at breakneck speeds, you can enjoy a number of other summertime activities at Breck, such as: climbing walls, bungee trampolines, ropes courses, mini golf, and more.
3. Purgatory Resort – The Wild(flowery)est Alpine Slide
For a ride that’s equal parts exhilarating and awe-inspiring, the alpine slide at Purgatory Resort in Durango drops you on a half-mile descent through fields and fields of Colorado wildflowers. It’s the perfect option for a nature lover who also appreciates a good shot of adrenaline. You control your speed on the slide, so you can decide if you want to zip down at top speed, or slow it down enough to stop and smell the flowers.
If you visit Purgatory during the summer, you’ll also have the opportunity to check out its lift-served mountain bike trails, sky-high ropes course, treasure panning courses, gyro chair, and zipline.
4. Steamboat Springs – The Best Bends and Curves
Head to Steamboat Springs to take a turn on The Howler. It’s a 2,400-foot alpine slide that curves down Howelsen Hill for turn after exhilarating turn. Take the lift to the top, then grab a sled and howl the whole way back down, riding the straightaways and banked bends of this slide.
When you’re not seeking thrills at Howelsen Hill, there are plenty of summer activities going on in Steamboat Springs. Go horseback riding in the Colorado wilderness, take a scenic gondola ride and catch views of the Mt. Werner from 9,000 feet, or head to the Coca-Cola Adventure Zone for an afternoon of climbing walls, ropes courses, and mini golf.
5. Glenwood Springs – The Best for Roller Coaster Lovers
If you love the sensation of speeding along the tracks, then losing your stomach on the sudden drops of a roller coaster, you should check out the hybrid alpine slide/coaster at Glenwood Springs. The car is fixed on a track – so there’s no risk of flying off the tight turns – but you can still control your own speed as you ride in an individual car. This alpine coaster is 3,400 feet long, giving you enough time to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery as you fly down the track before you get pulled 1,000 feet back up to the top.
The alpine coaster is part of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which also offers scenic tramways, cave tours, climbing walls, and other attraction rides for adrenaline seekers.