5 Adventures to Add to Your 2022 Bucket List
Happy New Year to all our family, friends, and guests! We have high hopes for 2022. If you’re looking to add some adventure to your year, it doesn’t take long to create an entire list of things to do in Colorado; our beautiful state has an unlimited number of ways to explore. To narrow it down a bit, we’ve created this quick list of must-visit Colorado destinations for 2022!
1. Reach New Heights at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park – Cañon City
Do you have ziplining on your 2022 Bucket List of adventures? What about getting over your fear of heights or trying a new outdoor sport?
At the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, each of these bucket list items (and more) can be checked off all at one destination! First, consider our Cloudscraper Zip Line, a ride that takes our guests soaring 1,200 feet over the Arkansas River and across the Royal Gorge. You’ll fly by the seat of your pants while harnessed into your seat. Our zip line is a hands-free ride, meaning you can soar across the gorge worry-free! What also makes our zip line special is that you can ride our Aerial Gondola, which is included in your general admission to the park, across the gorge to reach the loading area for the zip line. By combining these two aerial experiences, you’ll have the best high-flying adventure in 2022!
Whether you’re visiting Colorado or are a longtime local, we understand the urge of seeking the next adrenaline-pumping adventure. If you’re looking to try a new outdoor activity in Colorado, our guided Via Ferrata experience is the perfect opportunity for curious adventurers. With the safety of harnesses, clips, and our expert mountain guides, you can test your skills as you climb and traverse the granite walls of the Royal Gorge. You’ll experience spectacular views and maybe even wildlife along our Via Ferrata route that you can’t find anywhere else in the park. Your climbing adventure begins after a winding and descending hiking trail that leads down into the Royal Gorge.
And to ultimately conquer massive heights, walk across America’s Highest Suspension Bridge – our Royal Gorge Bridge. Suspended 956 feet in the air, the Royal Gorge Bridge will be one of the most adventurous walks you ever take! From the bridge, carefully peer over the edge down to the winding Arkansas River. It might take your eyes a few minutes to fully adjust to the sheer depths. Look across the gorge for mountainous views and various species of birds soaring above, like the Red Tailed Hawk.
Finally, our most thrilling ride at Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is our Royal Rush Skycoaster. You and up to two more riders are hoisted high into the air to the top of a 100-foot tower. After taking in the view for a few seconds, you’ll hear the operator shout “3, 2, 1” before you’re flying over the rim of the Royal Gorge! During the ride, it’s possible to reach speeds up to 50 mph and be suspended momentarily between swings. Remember to open your eyes as you swing back and forth to look up, down and around and the Royal Gorge!
Overall, we hope your trip to Royal Gorge Bridge and Park turns out to be your favorite bucket list adventure of 2022!
2. Wander Through the Garden of the Gods – Colorado Springs
One of the most surreal hiking spaces in Colorado is the renowned geological wonder of Garden of the Gods. With 21 miles of hiking trails, Garden of the Gods is the perfect place to wander in nature. The towering red rocks and unique formations will inspire you to imagine how the rocks were formed in the western part of Colorado Springs. As archaeologists have learned through Indigenous artifacts up to 3,500 years old, Garden of the Gods was once a gathering place between members of the Ute and other tribes. Even rival tribes would lay their weapons before entering Garden of the Gods because they believed it was sacred ground.
Bring a lunch and picnic within the rock gardens or pick a spot to see views of the 14,115-foot-tall Pikes Peak. For more adventures in Garden of the Gods, saddle up on a horseback ride through the park with Academy Riding Stables. There is much to do, see and learn during a visit to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
3. Go Sand Sledding at Great Sand Dunes National Park – Alamosa
By far one of the most unique activities you can do in Colorado is surf and sled down massive dunes of sand! At Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in southern Colorado, you can also bag the tallest sand dune in North America, Star Dune. Be sure to rent the special boards and sleds made for the sand from a nearby outfitter. You’ll be well on your way to the Great Sand Dunes to catch some sandy turns!
If you’re visiting in late spring and early summer, you might be lucky enough to catch Medano Creek at peak flow. During the snowmelt season, you can float down the water as it flows from the nearby mountains. The Great Sand Dunes National Park provides stunning scenery not found anywhere else in the country as the sand dunes are found in the forefront of towering, jagged mountain peaks of the Sangre de Cristo range. A trip to the Great Sand Dunes will reward you with the unique experiences of sledding, surfing, hiking, and more fun all on the sand!
4. Learn the History Behind Colorado’s Ghost Towns – Statewide
Abandoned log cabins and retired mining equipment are scattered throughout the mountains in Colorado, retired from the mining boom of the 19th century. And still today, you can hike and drive to these historic places. Ghost towns in Colorado are abandoned sites where wood structures are toppled and mining artifacts stick out from the ground. You can only imagine how busy these mining camps once were!
But some towns never died. Most namely, Cripple Creek, Silverton and Leadville are charming mountain towns in Colorado that have lived on since their mining heyday and continue to prosper. When visiting mountain towns of Colorado, you’re likely to find many hiking trails into the mountains, boutique shops, homegrown restaurants, and a whole lot of history! Checking out an abandoned ghost town or a thriving mountain town in Colorado should be on your bucket list in 2022 to fully immerse yourself in our state’s historic culture.
5. Soak in a Natural Hot Spring
It can be a bit chilly, even during summer nights, in Colorado because of our climate and high elevations. But these factors make a visit to a natural hot spring worth it! Typically, fresh water in Colorado is so cold you wouldn’t dare sit in it for too long. But in a few special spots around Colorado, thermal water reaches the earth’s surface to treat us with mineral-induced hot springs!
There are many hot springs around Colorado, including Mount Princeton Hot Springs near Buena Vista, Pagosa Springs in southern Colorado, Glenwood Hot Springs and Iron Mountain Hot Springs both in Glenwood Springs. Pro Tip: For a magical experience, visit a hot spring when it’s snowing!