Blooming branches, longer days, warmer temps – these are all signs it’s time to get outside and enjoy the wilds around us. There aren’t many places where this is easier to do than the Roaring Fork Valley. Whether you’re ready to shed winter’s cabin fever or re-engage with some post-COVID normalcy and fun, one thing’s for sure: it’s time for a microadventure!
What is a Microadventure?
Think of microadventures as easily accessible, bite-sized fun. These mini-adventures should be short, simple, local, exciting, refreshing and cheap (yet still fun). They don’t require days of planning or extensive gear lists. They’re simple and quick – the perfect dose of mind-clearing fresh air to recharge the batteries and make the most of the Roaring Fork Valley’s many recreational opportunities.
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Planning a Microadventure
The beauty of these mini jaunts is that they don’t require much brain power. When planning a microadventure, start by looking close to home. It might be a Saturday spent taking in the spring colors hiking to Buckskin Pass (about seven hours round-trip), or an afterwork one-night camping trip at Silver Bar Campground (just six miles from downtown Aspen). Keep the planning simple and spontaneous and don’t limit yourself to the weekend. Microadventure are an excellent remedy to mid-week energy slumps.
TIPS TO MAKE YOUR NEXT MINI VENTURE MORE ATTAINABLE:
- Prepare a microadventure idea bucket list – Jot down the quick hits that have eluded you until now.
- Think outside the box – Microadventuring is an excellent way to explore new places, sports and even times of the day. Don’t be afraid to adventure well into the evening or get up in time to watch the sun rise, and then head into the office.
- Have your kit ready – Put together a microadventure go bag. Some things to consider including are a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, small tent, a few seasonal layers and jacket, rain gear (don’t let a few drops keep you from pursuing some fresh air fun!), a headlamp, water bottle and filter and some travel toiletries.
- Call on your crew – If it’s easier to motivate when you can microadventure with friends, put together a group text you can reach out to quickly when adventure calls.
- Designate a day – Keep your microadventuring rolling by choosing a specific day of the week or month that’s dedicated to getting out and about. Maroon Bells Mondays. Trail Tuesdays. Water Wednesdays. Campfire Fridays. You get the idea!
Microadventure Ideas for the Roaring Fork Valley
- Go camping! There are many campgrounds and campsites in and around the Roaring Fork Valley, making mid-week tent time easy and accessible.
- Ditch happy hour for short hike in the valley. If you’re new to town, take a trip to the Grottos up Independence Pass.
- Unwind with an evening fly fishing session on the Roaring Fork River.
- Mix mediums with a mountain bike ride to your favorite camping spot, getting up early enough to catch the sunrise and riding back to town for breakfast with friends.
- Wash away the day with a river surf, SUP or kayak session at the Glenwood Whitewater Park on the Colorado River.
- Take the family stargazing at the base of Mount Sopris.
- Are you one of the many locals who has never been to Hanging Lake?
The Health Benefits of Microadventuring
There are many benefits to giving yourself permission to break free from the weekly grind and go for a quick adventure or overnight trip. One of the biggest is the positive influence on your physical and mental health. Shaking up routines and getting outside helps clear our minds. Choosing exercise and exhilaration over a sedentary evening routine can up your immune system’s power. For children and teens, microadventures offer a welcome alternative to screen time. The soothing sounds and fresh air of the Roaring Fork Valley’s wilderness might contribute to healthier sleep.
As spring nears, get ready for some refreshing, reinvigorating microadventuring. You’ll connect with nature and see the week in a new and different light. Having quick access to mother nature can help boost your mental health and physical wellbeing, which is why the Roaring Fork Valley is ranked as one of the healthiest populations in the U.S.