Bonding play-by-play |

Bonding play-by-play

Forget Vegas. Forget hiring strippers or doing the cliche pub crawl.

You are planning a unique high-country wedding because you and your future spouse want your special day to be unmatched. So why settle for an uninspired, contrived bachelor or bachelorette party?

Colorado’s mountain resort towns offer plenty of options for the perfect pre-wedding bash, whether you’re looking to relax with your closest friends, or you’re hungry for some adventure. Following are some ideas for a party in the mountains during the warmer months of the year.

Let’s start with Vail. For unwinding, the award-winning Avanyu Spa at Cordillera offers packages guaranteed to make you forget about how much you’re spending on wedding flower arrangements.

For the ladies, the five-person bachelorette party package ($1,400 per person) offers one night in one of Cordillera’s five-star suites, a spa treatment, lunch by the pool, breakfast delivered by room service and one guided activity (i.e. flyfishing, whitewater rafting, jeeping.)

The guys package ($1,100 per person) includes the suite, a complimentary bucket of beer, dinner at the Grouse on the Green Irish pub and one activity. Early check-in and late check-out come with both packages.

For something less pricey, the spa also offers its signature spa packages, which range from $325 to $350.

“They pretty much can do anything you want,” said Cordillera spokeswoman Anna Gabbert. “Cordillera is fantastic. It’s one of the most beautiful spas owned by Rock Resorts and it’s in a beautiful location.”

If you don’t want to pay for an all-inclusive overnight package, but still want to exert your muscles before you hit the spa, look no further than a white-knuckled whitewater rafting trip, courtesy of one of three local rafting companies.

There’s Timberline Tours in Vail (, Lakota River Guides in Avon (, or Nova Guides on U.S. Highway 24 near Leadville (

All three outfits offer myriad options, whether you’re looking for a half day of Class III whitewater on the Eagle River or a full day of raging Class IV rapids in Gore Canyon.

Lakota also has a home base in Aspen, where you’ll also find great whitewater and great fly fishing. For guided fishing trips on the Roaring Fork River, the Fryingpan River, the Chrystal River and the Colorado River, you can go through a dozen of local outfitters. There’s Aspen Flyfishing Inc. (www. in Aspen, Taylor Creek Fly Shops ( in Aspen or Basalt or Frying Pan Anglers in Basalt (, just to name a few.

“Probably the two most popular options are a full-day float trip on one of the bigger rivers, or a half-day wade trip,” said Kirk Webb, a manager at Taylor Creek in Basalt. “With the float trip, we take you out on something like the Roaring Fork or the Colorado. The nice thing about that is you get to see a lot of scenery. Just being in the boat, you’re covering X amounts of miles on the river that day. The half-day walking wading trip is also popular, because for beginners, you can keep their attention span in that amount of time. You also get a little bit more one-on-one with the guide.”

Another fun option is a horseback riding trip to see some of the Roaring Fork Valley’s most beautiful scenery from the saddle, including the Maroon Bells wilderness area. Maroon Bells Lodge Outfitters (970-920-4677) offers half-day and full-day lunch rides, as well as pack trips. There’s also Aspen Wilderness Outfitters (, Snowmass and Aspen’s longest running outfitting business, which leads trips into the Maroon Bells, Hunter Creek and Woody Creek and Buttermilk Meadows.

Summit County also offers fly-fishing and horseback trips and great whitewater, but you might prefer to plan a bachelor/bachelorette party around a weekend of great golf. There’s the beautiful Breckenridge Golf Club, which features a course designed by Jack Nicklaus and stunning views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks.

In the summer, the club offers stay-and-play packages for multiple rounds of golf, ranging from $295 to $425. You can book your lodging and tee times all in one simple phone call.

Other options include the Copper Creek Golf Club at Copper Mountain ($55-$89), the Keystone Ranch Golf Club ($60-$120) and the semi-private Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks in Silverthorne ($59-$139) with its Tom Lehman designed course. Information on all of Summit County’s courses can be found at

Whether it’s golf or fishing, or just relaxing, the perfect pre-wedding celebration awaits you in the Colorado High Country. You only get to do this once, so make the extra effort to do something original and memorable.

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