The more Denver grows, the harder it is to find a place to bust up a few clays, sight in your rifle prior to hunting season, or just make a lot of noise with your gun collection. Legally, anyway. Fortunately, there is the four-decade-old shooting center in Cherry Creek State Park. There, within sight of Denver's tallest buildings and its south suburbs' fast-growing developments, city-dwelling gun enthusiasts can discharge almost anything they can buy -- pistols, rifles (25-, 50- and 100-yard ranges) and shotguns, including trap, skeet and sporting clays. The range is open Thursday through Sunday; ten bucks will get you a gun to use, and another ten will cover the fee.
Want to be ready to make your homeland really secure? Then join the camo crowd that gathers on Saturdays and Sundays on a 110-acre outdoor site near Sedalia. Paintball Adventures divides folks up and then lets the paintballs fly -- as God and referees sort out the casualties. With a number of different terrains and a bunker-filled speedball site, this place gives those who like the sound of splat a chance to exercise their right to fight.
Want to be ready to make your homeland really secure? Then join the camo crowd that gathers on Saturdays and Sundays on a 110-acre outdoor site near Sedalia. Paintball Adventures divides folks up and then lets the paintballs fly -- as God and referees sort out the casualties. With a number of different terrains and a bunker-filled speedball site, this place gives those who like the sound of splat a chance to exercise their right to fight.


Road-ride organizer of the killer Triple Bypass, Team Evergreen has begun offering kinder, gentler mountain-bike rides. While some can be challenging, others serve merely as an excuse for socializing while rock-hopping. Check the team's website (www.teamevergreen.org) for upcoming events, then get ready to roll.
Road-ride organizer of the killer Triple Bypass, Team Evergreen has begun offering kinder, gentler mountain-bike rides. While some can be challenging, others serve merely as an excuse for socializing while rock-hopping. Check the team's website (www.teamevergreen.org) for upcoming events, then get ready to roll.


Best Getaway From 1.5 Million Chatfield Park Visitors

Waterton Canyon

While nearby Chatfield draws millions, Waterton Canyon, on Denver Water Board land just south of the popular recreation mecca, allows cyclists, hikers and trout-killers a chance to get away from it all -- and them all -- along the South Platte River. On the wide bike trails, you can quickly escape urban life; the only other soul you may encounter on your ride is a bighorn sheep. Of course, there are civilizing touches here, including picnic tables and outhouses along the service road that flows into the Colorado Trail. Open from sunrise to sunset.

Best Getaway From 1.5 Million Chatfield Park Visitors

Waterton Canyon

While nearby Chatfield draws millions, Waterton Canyon, on Denver Water Board land just south of the popular recreation mecca, allows cyclists, hikers and trout-killers a chance to get away from it all -- and them all -- along the South Platte River. On the wide bike trails, you can quickly escape urban life; the only other soul you may encounter on your ride is a bighorn sheep. Of course, there are civilizing touches here, including picnic tables and outhouses along the service road that flows into the Colorado Trail. Open from sunrise to sunset.
The Maroon Bells outside of Aspen have long been considered one of the most stunning sights in a state full of eye-poppers. But folks were loving them to death, so in July 2000, traffic access was closed to most vehicles, and tour buses began running sightseers from Aspen Highlands to the trailheads. With one exception: The campgrounds -- Silver Bell, Bar and Queen -- along the road to the Bells not only boast decent campsites, but they let cars in, too. The Silver Campgrounds allow Maroon lovers to rough it -- without getting too rough.
The Maroon Bells outside of Aspen have long been considered one of the most stunning sights in a state full of eye-poppers. But folks were loving them to death, so in July 2000, traffic access was closed to most vehicles, and tour buses began running sightseers from Aspen Highlands to the trailheads. With one exception: The campgrounds -- Silver Bell, Bar and Queen -- along the road to the Bells not only boast decent campsites, but they let cars in, too. The Silver Campgrounds allow Maroon lovers to rough it -- without getting too rough.


Gone are the days when folks donned snowshoes for a leisurely stroll through the wilderness. Today's fanatics can't get enough of charging through the powder and breaking a big sweat. And that's where the Screamin' Snowman comes in. For the past several years, hard-core harriers have gathered on the slopes overlooking Nederland, then charged off on 5K or 10K races in what organizer Darrin Eisman humbly calls "the most spectacular course" in the state. Maybe the world.

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