Top 10 Ways to Give the Gift of Adventure this Holiday Season
1. The Gift of Thrills
Give your more thrill-seeking and wild friends and family the gift of adrenaline. Speeding through Colorado’s world class rapids is an interactive and heart-pounding experience they’ll find hard to forget. For the true adrenaline junkie, Clear Creek is the steepest raftable river in the state, known for its narrow turns and constant excitement. Only a short hour away from downtown Denver, Clear Creek offers a variety of trips ranging from beginner to an exhilarating advanced trip down a technical stretch of Class IV and V rapids. For those looking for a more mellow but still exciting float, look into a trip down the Upper Colorado River near the town of Kremmling. While this trip is more about the breathtaking scenery, it’s also a great place to introduce the thrill of fishing, with fly fishing float trips being a popular option.
2. The Gift of Achievement
Looking for a thoughtful, lasting gift? Watch your loved ones reach new heights by helping them summit one of Colorado’s fifty eight 14ers. A lot of people dream of one day standing on top of a mountain. Help them make it a reality by booking them a guided trip to the top! Though the thought of hiking up to 14,000 ft may seem daunting, Colorado’s mountains offer a wide range of peak ascents for all skill levels. Grays and Torreys Peaks, just under two hours away from Denver, are popular with beginners and offer the chance to bag two peaks in one day. For a more challenging climb, try the infamous Long’s Peak on the southeastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. If you think they’d enjoy the same accomplished feeling but on something a bit more approachable, the Front Range in and around Boulder has several shorter but still challenging ascents such as Mount Sanitas or Bear Peak.
3. The Gift of Skill
There’s an old adage that says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Give the gift that keeps on giving by setting your loved one up with the means to develop a new skill in the New Year. Maybe they want to experience the serenity and excitement that fly fishing has to offer, but don’t know how to get started? Set them up with an experienced guide who can customize their experience based on skill level. Or perhaps they’re an avid fly fisherman but they want to learn how to tie their own flies? Enroll them in a fly tying workshop. There’s a variety of outdoor recreation courses available for every skill level. If they’re looking for something a little more fast-paced, try a bike skills clinic. Perfect for the road or mountain cyclist in your life, this clinic will help them take their skills to the next level while enjoying Colorado’s spectacular scenery. Additionally we offer a rock climbing skill development program for various levels, a mountaineering and ice climbing program, and a fly fishing guide training program to help even the most avid outdoor adventurer advance their skills in the beauty of Colorado’s spectacular Rocky Mountain landscape.
4. The Gift of Safety
For the backcountry junkies in your life, give the gift of risk management. Enroll them in a course that will advance their safety and ability to assess risk in outdoor environments. Sign your backcountry buddies up for an AIARE avalanche course so you can both feel better when you venture into the mountains this winter. Choose between AVY 1, AVY 2, and Avalanche Rescue. These hands-on courses combine classroom learning with practice in the field to better prepare you for the hazards of backcountry winter recreation. Another great way of gifting some assurance is signing your outdoorsy loved ones up for a wilderness medicine course. Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder courses will set them up with the tools and knowledge they need to mitigate a variety of injuries and illnesses with limited resources in the backcountry. Along the same lines of emergency preparation, your friends or family might also benefit from a course in wilderness survival. So if the worst case scenario comes to fruition, they’ll be prepared to handle it.
5. The Gift of Warmth
Baja Trips! Help your adventure buddies escape the cold by gifting them a Mexican adventure they’ll never forget. These week long excursions are packed with exciting activities that take advantage of the natural beauty of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. Learn to surf in the Pacific, take a trip on horseback or mountain bike through the hills, go whale-watching, snorkel through a national marine sanctuary, or just kick back and enjoy the warm Pacific sun. Set your friend or loved one up with a guide who will maximize their experience by taking them to all the best local spots. These trips are perfect to help them beat the winter blues.
6. The Gift of Beating Winter Boredom
Many people visit Colorado in the summer, but they’re missing out on some of the best experiences Colorado has to offer. The state is a four season playground, and one of the best kept secrets is that there is a ton of fun is to be had outside of the busy resort areas. Try setting your adventurous buddy up with an ice climbing trip to challenge them to escape their comfort zone. Whether your loved one has prior climbing experience or not, ice climbing is a fun, intense way to enjoy Colorado’s winters. If they’d prefer to stay on the ground, try booking them a snowshoe or ski tour. They can enjoy solitude in the peaceful, beautiful Colorado backcountry on a pair of snowshoes or leave first tracks in fresh powder on a remote, untouched mountainside.
7. The Gift of Awe
A backpacking trip is a great way for the camping enthusiast in your life to take their love of the outdoors to the next level. Backpacking can be an intimidating adventure to take on, as trips often involve lots of planning, gear, and research. Take the stress out of the adventure and just allow them to enjoy the majesty of Colorado’s backcountry by booking a local guide to handle the schematics. Extended backpacking trips open up a wilder side of nature that few get to experience. Your loved one can trek the road less traveled and see the Milky Way over the Continental Divide, experience the least visited sections of Rocky Mountain National Park, or fish for the once extinct Greenback Cutthroat trout in spectacular sub-alpine lakes at the foot of rugged peaks. You can find everything from two day to seven plus day excursions.
8. The Gift of Family Fun
Looking for a way to foster a love and appreciation for the outdoors in your little ones? Set up a family vacation they won’t be able to stop talking about. You can book a variety of adventures perfect for all ages. Watch them conquer fears and develop confidence as they learn how to climb for the first time. Show them the patience required to catch a fish, and watch their thrill as they hook one. The trip may be only a day or two, but the memories and family bonding will last a lifetime.
9. The Gift of Team Building and Experiential Leadership Development
Start the new year off right by kickstarting bonding and respect with your work family through a team building or experiential leadership development event. Set in the midst of a gorgeous Colorado backdrop, you and your coworkers can participate in a variety of fun activities designed to bring you closer together as a team. Show your employees the value of communication and building relationships with their coworkers in a fun, stress-free setting. You can choose between a traditional team building event with constructive tasks or a non-traditional multisport outing where they can escape the conference room and hike, bike, and fish with their coworkers.
10. The Gift of Memories
For your favorite shutterbug, set up a personalized photo tour so they can capture the always photogenic Colorado scenery. Book a guided tour for a half day or a full day trip to help them get that perfect shot they’ve been looking for. Maybe they’d like to photograph the iconic Flatirons of Boulder or look for wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park. Booking an experienced, knowledgeable guide will help them hone their skills and find the best local panoramas. Maybe they’ll even return the favor by gifting you a new piece of their art.
- Written by Hayley Moser. Adventurer and Fly Fishing, Backpacking, and Hiking Guide for Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides.