Denver Zoo

Picking the cutest animal babies is kind of like choosing the prettiest children; there's something vaguely Toddlers & Tiaras about the whole thing, and it makes us worry that we're damaging the self-esteem of all the other, uglier baby animals. That said, the four Amur tiger cubs born at the zoo last June are by far the most adorable, fluffy, blue-eyed mammals this town has seen in quite some time. Way cuter than the four Komodo dragons hatched in October, who we're sure will grow up to have great personalities.

For those interested in trekking the nearly 500 miles of the Colorado Trail, the Colorado Trail: The Official Guidebook will significantly decrease your chances of getting lost and having to fight bears for food. The trail itself crosses eight mountain ranges, seven national forests, six wilderness areas and five river systems, and the book helps trekkers navigate each part. This year, the Colorado Mountain Club will publish the eighth edition of the book — and the first full revision in five years. Broken into 28 sections, it will include general information, trailhead access directions, suggestions for supplies and accommodations, maps and GPS coordinates. Happy trails.

West Arvada Dog Park

What's the point of living in Colorado if you don't take advantage of wide-open spaces and mountain views every once in a while? This fenced five-acre park has separate real estate for shy and small dogs, and there are benches for two-legged visitors to recline while the dogs romp. You'll need to bring your own water and poop baggies — but the community feel of this park is a definite asset. As a special-use park on City of Arvada land, the West Arvada Dog Park is operated by volunteers, and upgrades are funded by donation, so slip a buck or two into the donation box and help a pup out.

Estes Valley Recreation

Set in a valley filled with elk and bordered by Rocky Mountain National Park, the Estes Park Golf Course will inspire you to hit that ball harder and farther. And with the altitude, it will almost make golf a sport as well. The eighteen-hole course and driving range are only open from April to October and include a pro shop, a restaurant and a gift shop. It's not Pebble Beach, and you'll be happy about that.

Best Guess for When the Broncos Will Return to the Super Bowl

2034

The Broncos were the second-worst team in the NFL in 2011 and ended up firing coach Josh McDaniels before the season was over. And then they hired John Fox, former coach of the only team that did worse. So it may be a while, folks. Luckily, so many people turned away from their TVs last year (especially during the October 24 59-14 loss to the hated Raiders) and toward more, uh, fulfilling pursuits that there will probably be a Denver baby boom in July (nine months from that date). With any luck, one of those Broncos babies will grow up to be the team's next Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

Last season, Breckenridge incurred the wrath of the snowboarding community, including the likes of Shaun White, when it built a meager seventeen-foot halfpipe — so 2008 — in the first Olympic year with the new 22-foot competition standard. Picky protesting pro snowboarders, including White and a handful of Olympic hopefuls, boycotted the Breckenridge stop of the Winter Dew Tour to focus on more serious training and events like the U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix. This year the resort made amends, and how: The 22-foot superpipe, which debuted in December, in time to host the Nike 6.0 Open, was the most carefully crafted competition pipe on the pro circuit, and stayed that way all season as a centerpiece of the Freeride Terrain Park on Peak 8.

Boys may be cool, but the girls certainly don't drool at Regis Jesuit High, a private Catholic school in Aurora that separates the two. Led by fifteen-year-old sophomore Missy Franklin — who currently holds the U.S. record in the 200-meter backstroke and is expected to compete for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team — the gals ended Cherry Creek High's six-year swimming championship streak in 2011. The women's basketball team, meanwhile, was runner-up in the state championship. As for the gentlemen, they took state in golf, tennis and basketball (for the third year in a row, something last accomplished by Manual in '48, '49 and '50). The dudes were also runners-up in hockey, lacrosse and football. Raiders rule.

The worst part of heading up I-70 for a day of skiing or snowboarding? Heading up I-70. SkiBus Colorado helps ease that pain by providing rides to Keystone and Breckenridge. Not only does it eliminate the pain in the ass that is driving — especially in bad weather — but it has the potential to remove a fleet of cars that would have been on the road if every bus rider drove themselves. Departing from Breeze Ski Rentals and Colorado Ski & Golf locations, the bus offers a round-trip ride (and peace of mind) to Keystone and Breck for just $26; it also has package deals that include tickets. Save gas — and your sanity — by riding the SkiBus.

Speed Raceway

Deep down inside, everyone has a soft spot for a fast car. And now you can have one for an hour or two, without all the responsibility: At Speed Raceway, you can step into the driver's seat of an Italian-made electric go-kart and make like Mario on a shiny European quarter-mile track. Walk in, book a party, take a lesson from a pro or join a league — they're all options at this eco-friendly attraction. Go, Speed Racer, go!

Lions and tigers and bears? More like bison and rams and falcons, oh, my. Yes, there is a menagerie of real animals on the sidelines of college and pro sports games in Colorado, but one of these animals stood — well, soared — above the rest last year. In December, just before the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, where Air Force was taking on Georgia Tech, the team's falcon mascot left the building on a wing and a prayer rather than returning to its handler. The bird is a free spirit — a quality we can all admire. The raptor was later found via a tracking device, and Air Force won the game.

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