Three Eagle County outdoor adventures that don’t involve hiking boots or your bike
Vail Daily Correspondent
Summer in the Vail area is full of fabulous activities, including plenty of trails to explore. But, every once in a while, it’s nice to give your bike and boots a break with these outdoor alternatives to biking and hiking.
Walking Mountains Science Center
Walking Mountains Science Center provides fun, family-friendly excursions around the valley, with a bit more adventure. Expeditions include fungi foraging, plein-air painting hikes, bug safaris and scenic story times.
Adult and children’s events at three locations throughout the valley allow visitors and locals to explore the environment at their own pace and interest level. Guides are trained in a myriad of disciplines — including botany, geology and ornithology — and are happy to explain the environment they inhabit.
“I think what people like about Walking Mountains Science Center at all of our locations is our ability to educate them about the things that live here in the mountains that they might not normally take time to stop and think about on their own,” said Lara Carlson, the community programs director at the Science Center.
Perfect for both children and adults, events offered at Walking Mountains Science Center highlight the environment for which the Vail Valley is famous.
Walking Mountains Science Center posts all of its events at http://www.walkingmountains.org.
Picture your child hiking with llamas on a three-day outdoor excursion. Paragon Guides can make it happen.
“We do not consider our approach to the outdoors to be an adrenaline rush, rather an exhilarating and often quiet experience. Whether our clients reach the summit of a local peak, reach the top of a roped climb, hike to a high lake, catch a trout or finish a multi-day trek, we celebrate the success not the ‘rush,’” said Donny Shefchik, senior guide and field director for Paragon Guides.
For over 20 years, he has been leading tours for Paragon, sharing the joy of nature. From llama trekking to rock climbing, his goal is “to show others the beauty that surrounds us.”
Providing both summer and winter activities, Paragon offers a variety of activities that include rock climbing, backcountry fly-fishing and skiing, mountain biking, summit hiking and snowshoeing. For a complete list of activities, visit paragonguides.com.
Sage Outdoor Adventures
For a high-altitude adrenaline rush, Sage Outdoor Adventures is the outfitter. Offering sporting clays, off-trail horseback riding, white water rafting and ATV exploration, Sage can tailor the perfect trip for each party. Darryl Bangers, co-owner (with his son Cole Bangers) of Sage Outdoor Adventures said “our total focus is to make everybody feel like it’s their own custom trip.”
On a private ranch overlooking seven different mountain ranges, guests encounter “the densest animal population in Eagle County,” according to Bangers. “It’s a mini-wildlife safari up here.”
Horseback rides on small ranch roads allow horses to canter and express their own personalities rather than walk in a line, nose to haunch. Rafting along Gore Creek, the Colorado, Arkansas and Eagle rivers provides unparalleled access to major American waterways. ATV and shooting clay trips enable guests to receive impeccable instruction before going home with stories of adventure.
Whatever trip guests choose, they are encouraged to investigate the microclimates they encounter. “Explore! That’s our attitude,” Bangers said.
To set up an adventure, visit sageoutdooradventures.com.
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