Ten minutes west of Idaho Springs, less than an hour from Denver, the Clear Creek County community of Lawson is drawing families up to 8,200 feet with a 40-acre alfresco playground created for families of all ages. “Our sole purpose is to be an easily accessible atmosphere of fun and excitement for everyone,” says Greg Books, founder, and CEO of Lawson Adventure Park.
Colorado’s latest addition to the adventure park lineup packs plenty of thrills, starting with Via Ferrata, a wild rock climbing experience for seasoned climbers and newbies age 10 and up.
“This is our most extreme activity,” says Books. “It’s a great experience for first-timers.” For the activity, daring souls defy gravity as they scramble up a rock face, using handholds while harnessed in and guided by professionals.
Next, an eight-element, multi-directional challenge course summons users to scale a cargo net to a 36-foot high tower before leaping across suspended lily pads, darting up a log stairway and zipping back to land. While most challenge courses and zip lines are unidirectional, on this one, guests can shift between cables and traverse as they please. “With our Clic-It system you’re always connected at one point, which allows you to shift to another cable,” says Books.
Lawson Adventure Park delivers more approachable entertainment, too, with equipment purchased from Golden’s Heritage Square. “We”re hoping to put their equipment to good use in our mountain environment,” Books says, pointing to a bucking bull, open-air mazes, the gut-wrenching gyro-sphere extreme, a bungee trampoline and ZORBing, which is fun-park-speak for rolling down a hill in an orb that looks like a hamster ball. “We made a course with downhill fun and maneuvering,” says Books. Take note: ZORBers will get wet.
Before you leave, try panning for minerals, test your skills on the nine-hole Frisbee golf course or check out the 24-foot climbing wall. Lawson Adventure Park will be serving up local grub and beverages soon. For now, though, bring your own snacks, or plan to fuel up at one of the nearby eateries in Idaho Springs or Georgetown. Make sure to purchase tickets in advance online.
Check it Out: 3424 Alvarado Road, Lawson
Need to Know: Open Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; weekdays are reserved for groups and events.
Admission: Regular season passes start at $44 for one and a half hours of unlimited access to park activities; 3-hour and day passes are also available, along with a la carte pricing. This month, receive 20 percent off on all activities, packages and lodging.
Stay Awhile: It’s hard to pack everything into a single day. Lawson Adventure Park also offers on-site lodging, comprised of campsites, yurts and modern cabins.