Colorado is known for its mountains and is a perfect destination for travelers looking for breathtaking views. Exploring the region's sightseeings on a relaxing five-day road trip is a great idea, but Colorado is also the ultimate destination for adrenaline fans.
The state is home to death-defying scenarios, making Colorado famous among climbers. Unsurprisingly, the tourism hub is investing in creating more attractions for that public, and the Via Ferrata, which means iron path in Italian, is the latest of them. The path includes a narrow four-inch bridge standing over 200 feet above the ground located in a protected climbing route.
The Newest Via Ferrata Is Located At Ouray
Also known as the Little Switzerland of the United States, Ouray is home to the newest Via Ferrata in Colorado, managed by the Gold Mountain Ranch. During the tour, adventurers cross the mountain holding metal rungs.
The tour is a combination of nature, adventure, and history. The experience starts at Gold Mountain, which in the past was a gold mining area, so travelers go through many mining tunnels and they go as high as 1000 feet. The most thrilling point of this adventure is the narrow four-inch suspension bridge connecting two cliffs.
How Safe Is The Via Ferrata?
Despite the highs, the company claims the Via Ferrata was designed so that even non-experienced climbers won't struggle. They can also find additional spurs, which can help them move along the way. So, it's a great way for travelers who want to experience adrenaline but aren't experienced or confident in more challenging attractions.
The only way to do the tour is by hiring the services of Golden Mountains Ranch. The excursion lasts approximately four hours, and a professional guide will follow the group and explain the mountain's geology and mining history. The company provides safety gear, including helmets, gloves, leashes, and harnesses. It's recommended to wear hiking boots. Prices start at $178 per person (group of five), and solo travelers can also hire the tours for $398.
Colorado Has Other Via Ferratas
Colorado's mountains are the perfect sport for climbers, and there are other Via Ferratas in the region. Each of them has different levels of difficulty, and some of them are suitable for children.
Ouray Via Ferrata
The Golden Mountain wasn't the first Via Ferrata at Ouray. The first iron path was launched in 2020, starting at the Ice Park Loop Trail, crossing the Uncompahgre River, and going through gorges. This path is rated as a 4B, which means it's more challenging for travelers. This Via Ferrada was built by a non-profit organization, and it's possible to make tax-deductible donations to help the construction.
The Via Ferrata at Mount Evans is located in Idaho Springs, and it's ideal for those looking for something less challenging and a perfect tour for families. The three-our excursion is open between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and combines climbing, ziplining, and rappelling. Visitors must cross the canyon climbing metal rungs and go down using the ziplines. The tour's highlight is going through a 50-foot free fall, where travelers can see the trees underneath.
Royal Gorge Bridge
It's possible to climb the Royal Gorge's rock walls thanks to its Via Ferrata. The attraction is suitable for children ( starting at ten years old) and is open year-round. It's a unique way to experience the Royal Gorge and see it from a different angle. Climbers must arrive at least 30 minutes before the excursion, and they'll have a quick training before it starts. The fees include a free return to the park the next day.
Cave of the Winds Mountains Park
The Via Ferrata tour at the Cave of the Winds lasts up to two hours, and a professional guide will lead the group. It's not necessary to have experience with climbing, and travelers will climb the rock walls using a harness system, helmet, and gloves. It's mandatory to wear closed-toed shoes, and an adult must accompany travelers who are under 18 years old.
The Telluride's Via Ferrata stands 500 feet above the ground, and climbers must cross narrow paths, so it's not recommended for people afraid of highs or less experienced climbers. It's highly recommended to hire a professional guide in the region. Travelers who don't want to explore the Via Ferrata can find different activities for each season of the year or just enjoy the amenities in one of the hotels in the region.
The Estes Par has a Via Ferrata where travelers need to climb 600 feet, including a traverse. The climbing in this Via Ferrata is demanding, so it's recommended that travelers are fit. The first half of the tour is more challenging, and climbers are rewarded with fantastic views along the way, including valleys and a unique angle of the Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park.
Lawson Adventure Park
The Via Ferrata at the Lawson Adventure Park is great fun for experienced climbers or beginners; visitors should be at least 12 years old. It stands up to 250-foot above the ground, and climbers can admire the views of Clear Creek. It also features a zipline, and the tour last approximately one hour and a half.