Nestled within the sweeping expanse of red rock buttes at the convergence of five western Colorado canyons, is an adventure seekers playground. America’s landscape is ripe with opportunities to test limits, step out of our comfort zones and stand in wonder, but few places offer the ability to see and do such a wide variety of satisfying thrilling activities as Gateway Canyons Resort. Here, adventure lusting travelers will find all the excuse they need to get dirty.
14 Ways to Get Dirty in Gateway, Colorado
Get in my Belly!
Boasting 14 years of professional cooking and kitchen management experience, executive Chef Stephen Belie whips up uniquely delectable comestibles that will make your mouth water and have you wanting to try everything on the menu with reckless abandon. Warning, this may result in other guests advising you of “a little something on your face”. Don’t worry, chances are you’ll be able to say it right back.
Pan for Gold
Colorado was settled on the backbone of two industries: ranching and mining. Pioneers first plundered the American West with ambitions to strike it rich with silver, gold and uranium mining. Now you can give it a whirl too by panning for gold just like the pioneers.
Dinosaur Track Tour
Spend an afternoon with Gateway Canyons very own Curator of Curiosity, Zebulon Miracle. Yes, that’s his real name and he’ll take you through 160 million years of history hiking near the La Sal Mountains looking for fossils of predators past.
One of the best-kept secrets in Colorado is the Dolores River offering up class 1-3 rapids for just the right mixture of exciting adventure and relaxing opportunities to take in the canyon scenery. Rafting adventures can be taken for full or half days from April through June.
Take in the Colorado landscape away from the beaten path and prepare to get dust and dirt in more places than you thought possible with a wild UTV Tour.
A Mud Wrap
Nothing gets you quite as thoroughly muddy (and is nearly as enjoyable) as a mud wrap from the spa at Gateway Canyons Resort. The Canyon River Mud Wrap body treatment utilizes organic, wild sages and lavenders to both purify relax the body – a necessary treatment after a week of adventure. First skin is exfoliated with ultra-fine fossilized desert salts, then enveloped in healing and detoxifying clays of the desert while you get a scalp massage to reduce stress. Who knew getting muddy could be so relaxing?
Daily guided trail rides are a great way to experience the land that ranching families have been working for generations. Learn how to drive cattle, get ranching education and even take a lesson in roping. Then end it all the way the cowboys used to with a fireside cookout under the stars.
Juanita Arch Hike
The Juanita Arch Hike is much more than beating out a footpath. This multi-sport trip begins with a canoe trip across the Dolores River, providing access through Maverick Canyon to Juanita Arch, a beautiful natural bridge. With a total trip of about 5 miles there’s a variety of sights to take in and guides promise cool surprises along the way.
Adventurers can test their skills in Archery or Skeet Shooting with knowledgeable instructors. One pull and you’ll be addicted, I promise!
Grab a Bike
The immediate area surrounding Gateway Colorado hosts a variety of single-track Colorado mountain bike trails. Whether you want the challenge of climbing vistas or cruising along flatter trails, well, that’s up to you.
For those of us who fall under the thrill junky category, there is no more exhilarating way to take in the red dirty canyons than with Pro-Baja trucks. But as always, safety first. Expert instructors provide professional classroom instruction and then adventurers “suit up” before being harnessed behind the wheel. With the assistance of an instructor you can learn how to properly navigate rough terrain, jumps, and bumps over a 2.0 mile training course. This is the only place in the world where you can do this and it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Luxury Car Rentals and Museum
Sometimes you just need to go fast. Really fast. Driven Rentals was created with you in mind and the 133-mile long road running around the Uncompahgre National Forest and along the Dolores River through Gateway is made for speed. It’s the perfect place to get out and explore in a high-performance vehicle.
Then head over to the Gateway Canyons Auto Museum, home of the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 concept car. The museum is filled with pristine examples of American automotive art and features nearly 60 of the most prized and impeccably preserved historic cars in the country displayed in a unique gallery setting.
Travelers crave freedom and what represents freedom more than taking to the skies for a birds eye view. Helicopters offer the ability to take in the sites of western Colorado in a way only the birds can. Flying adventurers over some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
Rock Climbing is available from April through October. On these tours experienced instructors take adventurers up Unaweep Canyon, stocked with everything needed to take in the sites waiting around the corner.
It’s rare to find even the best resorts around the world offering such a variety of onsite activities, but Gateway Canyons Resort offers all of the above and more. In fact, this list just scratches the surface and doesn’t include the numerous savory dining options, wellness retreats, fly fishing expeditions, cultural enrichment, and R&R opportunities. There is so much to do here, that the only time you’ll find yourself “lounging at the pool” will be to rinse off all that fun you had doing everything else!
What will you do first?
I was hosted by Gateway Canyons Resort but all opinions remain mine, all mine.