Alpine Slides: Where to Coast Down a Mountain in Colorado
People from all around the world travel to Colorado's Rocky Mountains for winter recreation. But what about the off-season when snow hasn't yet fallen, the flowers have bloomed, and people are looking to escape the blistering heat that comes with amusement parks like Elitch Gardens?
That's where alpine slides come in and change the game.
Basically, alpine slides are roller coasters on a mountain. You take a chair lift (or get pulled on the track) up to the top, and descend on a special slide made for the cement track. It's a lot of fun, and definitely something you and your whole family would enjoy doing.
Below is a comprehensive list of Colorado's alpine slides.
About 8 hours away from Northern Colorado, just north of Durango is Purgatory Resort (formerly Durango Mountain Resort). Sure, the name sounds scary, but the park is a load of fun. Their alpine slide winds through beautiful scenery (but really, what alpine slide doesn't?) and the park also has a zipline, mini golf, a ropes course, water runners, and more.
Purgatory's alpine slide is open daily through August 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends (plus Labor Day) through October 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For tickets and other information, go HERE.
Winter Park Alpine Slide
Just 2 1/2 hours away from Northern Colorado, you can coast down Colorado's longest alpine slide at Winter Park Resort. The slide is 3,000 feet long and drops over 600 vertical feet. The park also has mountain bike trails, gold panning, bungee tramps, a maze, zipline, climbing wall, and other family-friendly activities.
Winter Park's alpine slide is open daily through Labor Day, and weekends only through September 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children ages 2 to 5 ride for $6, and ages 6+ ride for $20. Children under age 2 are not permitted on the slide. To purchase rides or to learn more, go HERE.
Gold Runner Coaster
Breckenridge's alpine slide does things a little bit differently - instead of taking a chair lift to the top, your sled is fixed to an upward-traveling track, which then takes you down 2,500 feet of mountainside (your sled is still fixed to the track). There are 3 different tracks to choose from, too. Like other mountain parks, you can also check out their zipline, 4x4 and guided hiking tours, mini golf course, gemstone panning, a climbing wall, and other activities.
For tickets and other information, go HERE.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
The Alpine Coaster lets thrill-seekers shoot down the mountain as fast as possible without getting ejected from their slide (though, you can control the speed and go as slow as you'd like). Once you hit the bottom of the 1,000 foot slide, the track will pull you back up to the starting point.
To purchase tickets or learn more, go HERE.
Steamboat Springs' coaster takes you down 2,400 feet of Howelsen Hill. Steamboat Ski Resort has other activities for families to check out, too, including a ropes course, slingshot bungee jump, climbing wall, bounce house, mechanical bull, human gyro (yum?), and gondola rides. Unfortunately it looks like this slide is closed due to a mudslide, but once it gets cleaned up, you'll definitely want to check it out.
For tickets and other information about the Howler, go HERE.
If you decide to slide down a mountain, watch out for crashes! This alpine slider had a collision in Breckenridge a while back.