Vibe: A pleasant coast to a thrilling zoom, depending on how you ride the breaks
Drive time: About 1.5 hours from downtown Denver, five minutes from main street Estes Park shops
TIP: Pop by the Simply Christmas store or the booth near the Sugar Shack in Estes Park to snag discounted tickets for about 10 percent off. Single rides usually go for $20, a three-ride ticket is $35, and all-day passes cost $65. Major enthusiasts can splurge for the unlimited lifetime pass (transferable) for $1,000.
Opening May 21, this 2,000-foot-long metal sled track opens to the public, offering a ride up to 30 mph along the hills at the base of Mt. Olympus.
A conveyor pulls the sled to the top, then it’s all up to the rider to either tug at the breaks or go full-force. At the end of an average five- to seven-minute journey, the kids (and probably the adults, too) will be shouting, “Again! Again!”
Carissa McGill, owner of Simply Christmas in the town of Estes Park, says the coaster is perfect for those who may be too young or not able to access the long hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. McGill also recommends families get the three-ride pass (at least) so each rider can test their speed comfort levels.
“This is so fun! This is so fun!” Carissa’s son, three-year-old Hendrix McGill, yelled the whole way down during a preview ride. “On a scale of one to 10, I would give it a 100,” says Tavin McGill, age seven.
For the Rodas family, the Mustang Mountain Coaster checks off all their boxes: proximity, value, location, speed, and views. The Rodases, who run the Instagram account @christelle_rm, have ridden on mountain coasters in Steamboat Springs, Copper, and France. They like this one because they don’t have to fight I-70 traffic from their Longmont home.
Riders and parents who want a taste of the thrill with some peace of mind will be glad to know that the seat belts lock in place. Automatic sensors help keep sleds distanced from one another. Find more information and tickets at mustangmountaincoaster.com.