6 Bold Adventures Made Easy in Boulder
Guides for First-Timers
Is there an adventure that's been calling to you for a while now but has been tucked away with your “maybe somedays”? Well, no place is better than Boulder at turning “maybe somedays” into “today’s the day."
A community of avid adventurers and experts are ready to share the thrills with anyone who’s interested. And down-to-earth guides make adrenaline-pumping activities fun and approachable, so you can have a memory of a lifetime and bragging rights back home.
The thrill: Feeling the rough granite or sandstone under your fingertips, making that first big reach as you scale a rock wall, admiring birds-eye views and belaying back down like Spiderman.
Let’s make it happen: From the famous Flatirons right in town to epic “Eldo” (Eldorado Canyon State Park) 20 minutes away, Boulder is a world-renowned rock climbing mecca. It's home to climbing champions galore and the sport's first-ever Olympians. That all translates to an epic first climbing experience with the pros for you. Spend a half-day with the excellent instructors at Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides for fun, beginner instruction that will have you scaling walls right away on a highly customized outing, spend a full day with Colorado Mountain School to take your climbing skills sky high during an eight-hour Intro to Rock Climbing course, or go on a guided Intro to Climbing class with The Mountain Guides designed for beginners.
Paradox Sports in Boulder specializes in adaptive climbing opportunities for people with physical disabilities.
The thrill: Peaceful, engine-less flight with just you, your pilot and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains at eye level.
Let’s make it happen: All you have to do is book a flight with Mile High Gliding and show up. After a tow plane leads your glider to a suitable altitude, your pilot will release the line from the tow plane and you’ll be soaring effortlessly and free of engine noise. The ride pilots are FAA-certificated commercial pilots so you’ll safely enjoy the sensation of gliding like a bird on the breeze. Best of all, you can admire Boulder’s majestic scenery — the Flatirons, the University of Colorado, dramatic mountain peaks and more from above.
If you have a disability, please call to let Mile High Gliding know and ask about possible accommodations. They will do everything they can to assist.
The thrill: You’ll be zooming up and down hills — exploring higher, farther and longer than you normally could — while barely breaking a sweat.
Let’s make it happen: After a two- or three-minute lesson from the folks at Electric Cruiser Bike Tours on how to work your electric pedal-assist e-bikes, you’ll be on your way, enjoying the scenery of Boulder’s historic downtown, Chautauqua and beyond with the greatest of ease. In this bike-obsessed town, you’ll enjoy a huge network of paved paths and bike lanes, plus a bike-loving guide will share fascinating facts as you cruise around town. Ride Boulder, Beyond Boulder Adventure Tours, JD's Joyrides and Boulder Bike Tours also offer scenic e-bike tours for all levels — and all of them are awesome! There are lots more ways to e-bike in Boulder, too, detailed in our e-biking guide.
If you have a mobility impairment and want to try your hand at electric-powered, all-terrain hand-cycling, you can go out for a ride with the City of Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) staff. They even have electric power-assist handcycles you can borrow. Learn more here or contact Topher Downham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot Air Ballooning
The thrill: The burner roars to life, a massive pile of fabric transforms into an inflated orb and you'll climb in a basket for liftoff. Next thing you know, the ground below you grows ever more distant as you soar peacefully above Boulder Valley.
Let’s make it happen: A hot air balloon ride is a bucket-list experience that’s best checked off in Boulder. That’s because the gregarious crew with Fair Winds Hot Air Balloons, Aero-Cruise Balloon Adventures or Life Cycle Balloon Adventures will ensure an adventure filled with belly laughs and pinch-me moments while you take in an unbelievable, 360-degree panorama. From 14,259-foot-high Longs Peak to the Flatirons and the wide-open Eastern Plains, this is a perspective you can’t get anywhere else. It's true that you will have to get up before dawn (ballooning requires the stillness of the early morning air), but you'll be treated to breakfast goodies once you arrive.
The thrill: Become so entranced by the hushed and sparkling winter forest that you don’t even notice you’re burning mega-calories as you traipse atop the snow.
Let’s make it happen: You may have pictured snowshoeing like the cartoons: with two tennis rackets strapped to your feet. In reality, you’ll have modern, high-performance snowshoes that easily attach to your own hiking boots, trekking poles for balance and a guide to take you to the most scenic winter spots. The experienced guides at Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides will provide all your equipment and know exactly where to go near Boulder, based on current snow conditions, whether that's into Rocky Mountain National Park or elsewhere. You may even spot deer, elk, moose and fox on your outing.
Boulder’s own Ignite Adaptive Sports can provide kids and adults with disabilities access to winter sports lessons at our local ski area, Eldora.
Standup Paddleboard Yoga
The thrill: Being out on the water immediately connects you with nature and helps you find your breath in new ways. Since many people find balancing on a paddleboard to be fairly easy, trying some yoga poses is a great added challenge, but one that's surprisingly doable.
Let’s make it happen: Every Saturday and Wednesday morning throughout the summer, Rocky Mountain Paddleboard takes a group out on the Boulder Reservoir for SUP Yoga. Out on the Rez, you'll have awe-inspiring views of the Flatirons from across the shimmering water. Your instructor will guide you through a gentle flow and paddle with encouragement and care so that you can soak up the serenity of the water during an amazing yoga practice. Try it out, test your balance and if you fall in, that’s half the fun.
People with disabilities who would like to paddleboard can contact Adaptive Adventures, a mobile service that can bring adaptive equipment and guides to you.