When the sandhill cranes come back to the San Luis Valley, it's time for naturalist workshops at the 100,000-acre Medano-Zapata Ranch, a Nature Conservancy preserve four hours southwest of Denver. Throughout the spring, summer and early fall, three-day weekend workshops explore everything from the geology of the nearby Great Sand Dunes to the birds of the San Luis Valley. There are also weekend getaways for families, nature photography, sketching and writing seminars, and two astronomy field trips far from urban light pollution in the company of a large telescope named Hagrid. With meals, lodging with private baths, and ranch-to-field transportation provided for $450 per person ($550 for special four-day sessions), these workshops are a bargain - and they fill up quickly.


Your Global Positioning Satellite unit told you the treasure you were diligently seeking was only three miles away. But it failed to mention that your raison d'être was three miles uphill. Straight uphill. The friendly staff at Mapsco is more than willing to commiserate with you about your unexpected adventure -- and they suggest that on your next geocaching adventure, you also take along a topographical map. Besides stocking lots and lots of maps, this longtime Denver standby carries anything and everything on paper that geocachers need to help them find their way.
Your Global Positioning Satellite unit told you the treasure you were diligently seeking was only three miles away. But it failed to mention that your raison d'être was three miles uphill. Straight uphill. The friendly staff at Mapsco is more than willing to commiserate with you about your unexpected adventure -- and they suggest that on your next geocaching adventure, you also take along a topographical map. Besides stocking lots and lots of maps, this longtime Denver standby carries anything and everything on paper that geocachers need to help them find their way.


It's a double-billed winner! The Nature Association's Field Guide to Viewing Wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park won first place in the Site Publications category of the National Association for Interpretation's Interpretive Media Competition. And Trail Ridge Road Adventure Sticker and Game Book, a fun sticker book that teaches kids about the park's inhabitants, took second. Both books can be purchased for $6.95, which supports the association's efforts on behalf of Rocky Mountain National Park.
It's a double-billed winner! The Nature Association's Field Guide to Viewing Wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park won first place in the Site Publications category of the National Association for Interpretation's Interpretive Media Competition. And Trail Ridge Road Adventure Sticker and Game Book, a fun sticker book that teaches kids about the park's inhabitants, took second. Both books can be purchased for $6.95, which supports the association's efforts on behalf of Rocky Mountain National Park.


Believe it or not, two-thirds of Colorado is public land. And maintaining trails, parks and open spaces so that everyone can enjoy them is no easy task. That's where Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado comes in. Established in 1984, the non-profit environmental organization is dedicated to improving, preserving and protecting our natural resources. New volunteers are always welcome and training is provided, so grab a shovel and dig in!
Believe it or not, two-thirds of Colorado is public land. And maintaining trails, parks and open spaces so that everyone can enjoy them is no easy task. That's where Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado comes in. Established in 1984, the non-profit environmental organization is dedicated to improving, preserving and protecting our natural resources. New volunteers are always welcome and training is provided, so grab a shovel and dig in!


One of the best ways to experience the stunning scenery of Rocky Mountain National Park is on horseback, and horses enjoy it, too. If you want to bring your best equine pal for extended exploring, make Winding River Ranch, two miles north of Grand Lake, your base of operations. The Colorado River flows through the ranch, the park trails are easily accessible, and the apartments and two- and three-bedroom riverside cabins offer all the comforts of home, especially if your home includes an indoor pool, sauna, massage center and family-style dining hall. Your hoofed companion gets his own stall in the barn and use of a training area for only $15 per night; he can even bring his dog along for a fee.
One of the best ways to experience the stunning scenery of Rocky Mountain National Park is on horseback, and horses enjoy it, too. If you want to bring your best equine pal for extended exploring, make Winding River Ranch, two miles north of Grand Lake, your base of operations. The Colorado River flows through the ranch, the park trails are easily accessible, and the apartments and two- and three-bedroom riverside cabins offer all the comforts of home, especially if your home includes an indoor pool, sauna, massage center and family-style dining hall. Your hoofed companion gets his own stall in the barn and use of a training area for only $15 per night; he can even bring his dog along for a fee.


Echo Canyon River Expeditions offers a combo view of the Royal Gorge: from a train and from a raft. Participants can choose from two different tours; both include a ride on the Royal Gorge railroad, lunch at a scenic spot, and a raft trip. Families float through the Bighorn Canyon; more advanced adults tackle the challenging Arkansas River through the gorge itself. With prices ranging from $52.75 for kids twelve and under to $89.75 for advanced adults, this trip makes for an adventure to gorge on.

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