If hiking seems too easy for you but you aren’t quite ready to dive into vertical wall rock climbing, a Via Ferrata excursion may be perfect for your next Colorado adventure. Via Ferrata courses are not as strenuous as a classic rock climb, but still get you exposure out on the cliffside and give you great sense of accomplishment at the end of your trip. Here’s why Via Ferrata is becoming the top outdoor adventure in the U.S.
History of the Via Ferrata
Via Ferratas were first used during World War I and were originally built to make mountainous terrain easier to traverse for military troops. After the war, many of the routes were continued to be used and maintained by climbers in the area. The sport was a bit slow to start in the United States, but has recently started to catch on and it’s popularity is spreading rapidly across the country. Via Ferrata is Italian for “iron path,” which is a trail up or across a rocky face using, iron rungs, ropes, ladders, or pegs to get across easier than climbing. Adventurers usually wear helmets and harnesses attached to steel cables spanning the length of the train that would arrest a fall if an adventurer were to slip during their tour.
Why Via Ferratas are So Unique
Though it’s gaining popularity, many still aren’t sure what this adventure entails. Something to note before signing off on these courses, some are not for the faint of heart and do require a little bit of atheltic ability to comfortably complete because not only do you get an aerial excursion among the mountaintops, but you also get to take on different elements such as suspended bridges, perhaps some rappeling, and even ziplining on some courses in Colorado. Via Ferratas are a hybrid of a lot of the outdoor adventures we love and could take your Colorado vacation to the next level. Plenty of different Via Ferrata courses are popping up across the state, but here are a few of our favorites.
Colorado Via Ferrata Courses
Telluride Via Ferrata
If you’ve ever heard of a Via Ferrata, this is probably the first one that pops up in your mind. Built above the beautiful mountain town of Telluride, you’ll have hundreds of feet beneath you if you decide to take on this course. There are guides in the area that you can book your trip with, and we highly recommend doing so if you don’t have the experience or equipment these types of adventures entail. Call Telluride Mountain Club or San Juan Mountain Guides to get you out there next time you’re in town!
Mount Evans Via Ferrata
This “Iron Path” is only 45 minutes west of downtown Denver in a popular small tourist town called Idaho Springs. Situated on a cliffside above Chicago Creek, the Mount Evans Via Ferrata is a perfect day getaway from the Mile High City. Between traversing the cliffside among iron rungs, a rappel section, suspended bridges, and even a few ziplines, every guest will get the perfect Rocky Mountain adventure and make it back to the city in time for dinner.
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Granite Via Ferrata
AVA’s newest Via Ferrata is located in the Arkansas River Valley just north of Buena Vista, Colorado. At almost 8,000ft in elevation, you will get an amazing view of the Arkansas River, Mosquito Range, and the Sawatch Range. The Granite Via Ferrata is a 3-hour tour with ladders, rungs, bridges, ziplines, and carved steps guiding you across the mountaintops.
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Where can you find the best deal?
AVA Colorado Via Ferrata frequently runs great deals on Via Ferrata adventures at both of our locations, and also has a large group discount available for those traveling with multiple families, planning a bachelor party, or organizing a school outing. Call AVA today to get the best price on your next aerial adventure in the Colorado Rockies!