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Photo courtesy © Larry Pierce/Steamboat Ski Resort

4 Winter Thrills for Adrenaline Seeking Families

Elitch Gardens might be closed for the season, but these ice-cold thrill rides await families at mountain resorts.

The Gold Runner Coaster

Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Breckenridge Ski Resort’s mountain coaster sends patrons gliding through a snowy forest at speeds of 25 miles per hour. The Gold Runner Coaster takes off from Peak 8, accessible via the free BreckConnect Gondola. Tickets—available at the base of Peak 8 or the ticket office near the gondola—are $12 for riders 38 to 54 inches, and $16 for taller adrenaline junkies. 1599 Ski Hill Rd., Breckenridge. 

The Inferno Mountain Coaster

The high-elevation roller-coaster at Purgatory Resort exposes Durango’s breathtaking terrain year-round with 4,000 feet of winding track blending quick descents and ample switchbacks. The coaster’s cars, which hold guests 36 inches and taller, come equipped with seat belts and anti-collision programming. Riders control their own speed with a hand break. Open Friday to Sunday during the winter, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., plus holidays. Tickets cost $20 per person. 1 Skier Place, Durango.

The Terror-dactyl

For an unparalleled rush, ride the Terror-dactyl at Cave of the Winds. After launching off a 200-foot cliff, brave souls experience an almost 100-mile-per-hour free-fall before swinging over the floor of Williams Canyon. The Bat-a-Pult takes families across Williams Canyon, too, on a 1,200-foot round-trip flight reaching speeds of 40 miles per hour. Rides operate daily, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Packages start at $30. 100 Cave of the Winds Rd., Manitou Springs. 

The Outlaw Mountain Coaster

Winter is riveting in Steamboat Springs, where Colorado’s longest mountain coaster takes families on a 10-minute jaunt over 3,600 feet of downhill fun. Access the ride near Christie Peak Express. You’re in for a thrilling ride at 40 feet above the ground, with dips, waves, and turns. The coaster opens daily at 11 a.m. for guests 38 inches and taller. Tickets for one ride start at $15 for kids and $20 for adults. 2305 Mt. Werner Circle, Steamboat Springs.

Thrilling, But Not Cray-Cray!

Keep in mind that all rides must close for inclement weather. Call ahead to ensure rides are open, and have a Plan B for the inevitable quick change in Colorado weather.

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