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Seven Colorado destinations that offer thrills, chills

May 11, 2017
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Adrenaline junkies, your destiny awaits just minutes outside Cañon City at Royal Gorge Bridge and Park (royalgorgebridge.com). If the Royal Rush Skycoaster doesn't faze you, as you dangle 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River, then we don't know what will. Don't forget to go for a ride on the Cloudscraper Zip Line and aerial gondola.

A raft floats the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon between Buena Vista and Salida Thursday, May 14, 2013. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)  

Browns Canyon Rafting (raftbrownscanyon.com) in Buena Vista can help you hitch a ride on a rapid. Guide-operated rafts will ensure you and your fellow musketeers shimmy safely down the Arkansas on a half-day, full-day or multiday trip.

After you've dried off, make your way over scenic Cottonwood Pass into Crested Butte Mountain Resort's Evolution Bike Park (bike.skicb.com). No need to be an expert; this park was designed for all riders. With a bike wash, tune station, skills zone and 25 trails covering 30 miles of singletrack, you'll go pro in no time.

Another stunning drive, this time over Kebler Pass, lands you in Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park (glenwoodcaverns.com). The Glenwood Springs attraction sits atop Iron Mountain and offers the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, giant canyon swing and more.

Gazette reporter Stephanie Earl squeezes through the narrow Firey Cive tunnel while exploring the Fairly Caves System Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colo. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Gazette reporter Stephanie Earl squeezes through the narrow Firey Cive tunnel while exploring the Fairly Caves System Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colo. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

The next stop features another nail-biter: the Alpine SuperSlide at Breckenridge Summer Fun Park (breckenridge.com). After a 10-minute chairlift ride up the front of Peak 8, choose from three tracks that plummet 2,600 feet.

Denver's Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park (elitchgardens.com) will test your inner ear and innards, but a true adventurer can't be stopped. The Brain Drain, a seven-story, looping ride, is worth standing in line for, as are Half Pipe, Mind Eraser and Sling Shot. Cool your jets in the water park that features Acapulco Cliff Dive, a 65-foot-high free-fall slide. You'll need a second bathing suit for Water World (waterworldcolorado.com) in Federal Heights. It's one of the country's larger water theme parks at 67 acres and almost 50 attractions. Lakeside Amusement Park (lakesideamusementpark.com) just west of downtown Denver was established in 1908 and serves up old-school rides and plenty of nostalgia.

Finish the thrill-seeking journey at Loveland's 1,700-acre Boyd Lake Swim Beach (cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/boydlake). Jet skis, sailboats, ski boats and canoes are all welcome on the water.

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