Screw It: Jump Into the Deep End This Summer

Colorado offers a smorgasbord of opportunities for those seeking thrills or extreme adventure. Whether you are interested in going to the mountains or staying on the Front Range, there is no shortage of activities, some of which are actually dangerous.  So in the spirit of the classic film Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, we offer a few examples of extreme activities to fill your summer.


Dive With the Sharks

Sharks tend to have a bad reputation for eating people, but if you are a big fan of the movie Jaws, this activity is for you.  Even though Colorado is land-locked, the Downtown Aquarium has all manner of denizens of the deep. For under $200, you can have a once-in-a-lifetime experience among the tiger sharks, barracudas and sawfish. Just remember you won’t have one of those fancy shark cages to hide in.www.


White Water Rafting 

Photo: Arkansas River Tours

Photo: Arkansas River Tours

Our state is blessed with hundreds of miles of rivers and many support whitewater rafting.  Whether you want to have a nice, quiet paddle downstream with the family or challenge yourself with Class 5 rapids, there is a tour out there for you.  Denver residents may enjoy the convenience of rafting on nearby Clear Creek and for those who want to push the limits, the Colorado and Arkansas Rivers offer the thrill of coursing along numerous canyons and ravines.  These are only a sample of what is available and you can find good rafting in any corner of the state at www.colorado.com/articles/complete-guide-whitewater-rafting-colorado


Leadville 100

Photo: Glen Delman for Leadville Race Series

Photo: Glen Delman for Leadville Race Series

Who wants to run a hundred miles?  No, it isn’t science fiction, but something people have been doing competitively in the nation’s highest city since 1983.  One hundred miles is one thing, but running it over mountainous terrain at elevations maxing out at more than 12,000 feet is another.  It’s the ultimate test of endurance for a runner and something that is not for the faint of heart or the casual athlete. If you dare, you can register at
www.leadvilleraceseries.com


Gator Wrestling

Photo: Jay Youn

Photo: Jay Youn

If anyone tells you that you can’t wrassle ‘gators in Colorado, they are sadly mistaken.  You can head to Mosca and test your mettle against reptiles from two to eight feet long.  Yes, this is real, as the pictures on the website of bloody faces and bandaged fingers can attest.  But why let the swamp folk have all the fun?  Go to www.coloradogators.com and make a reservation.  It could be the best (or last) $100 you ever spend.


Triple Bypass

Photo: Peter Reuben Morales

Photo: Peter Reuben Morales

It isn’t heart surgery, but you may need it after attempting one of Colorado’s premier bike tours.  The Triple Bypass takes riders from Evergreen to Avon, crossing three mountain passes (Vail, Loveland and Juniper) along its 120-mile path.  The elevation gain is intense and is something participants should train for, as you can’t just fall out of bed and pedal over 11,000 feet on a bike.  More information is available at www.triplebypass.org


Royal Gorge Zip Rider 

Photo: Eve Nagode

Photo: Eve Nagode

The Royal Gorge is more than 1,200 feet deep, so why not spend some time hovering over it?  The Zip Rider is a zip line that carries you over the gorge and the Arkansas River below.  It’s available for those 10 and up, for an extra charge over park admission.  For more information, visit www.royalgorgebridge.com   


That’s just a sample of the crazy and extreme things that are available to do in our great state.  While we all love craft beer, it’s probably best to refrain from imbibing until after doing any of the above.  As a final caveat, please remember that Thirst Magazine is not responsible for any injuries, dislocations, or dismemberment incurred while doing any of the above activities. 

By: Jerrod Cotosman

Jerrod is a Denver-area accountant, author and beer drinker who spends an unwholesome amount of time watching televised sports.