Outdoor Recreation

Group of adult hikers on a mountaintop on a snowy day

About Outdoor Recreation

Outdoor Recreation offers a variety of outdoor activities for all ages! Programs are offered throughout the year and include climbing at Genesee Ropes Course, group hiking in the mountains, teambuilding programs, stand up paddle boarding, adventure programs and more.


Learn more about Outdoor Recreation offerings in the following sections:

Youth Adventures

youth running outside during an adventure camp program

It’s time to crank up the adventure on your summer vacation and school breaks! Outdoor Recreation (ODR) staff will lead a small group of kids on fun, educational adventures each day of the program. Transportation provided! ODR staff picks-up and drops-off at a designated Recreation Center.   

Multi-Day Adventures

Our all-inclusive excursions are designed for adults and provide the opportunity to experience a variety of adventures across Colorado. At least one trip is offered each season. Trips are small groups lead by experienced guides and include:

  • Transportation
  • Equipment
  • Misc. fees (park entry, rentals, tour fees, etc.)
  • Shared lodging (cabins, yurts or tents depending on the adventure)
  • Most food (we cook together as a group!) 

Hiking Excursions

group of adults hiking on a rock formation on a sunny day

Spend a day hiking and leave the planning to us!  Our experienced guides will lead you on hikes to spectacular destinations! Transportation provided from designated pickup/drop-off location. 

What to bring: Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy sneakers or hiking boots.

Bring a backpack with the following:

  • 2 full water bottles
  • Lunch and snacks
  • Extra warm layers and rain gear 

Standup Paddle Boarding

group of people on paddle boards at Evergreen Lake on a summer afternoon

Both beginners and experienced paddlers ages 18+ are invited to join Outdoor Recreation for an evening or day on the water!  Trained staff will teach the basics of standup paddle boarding (SUP), after which you’ll paddle with the group with assistance readily available.  All equipment included.  Open to beginners along with more experienced paddlers!

Transportation:  No transportation is provided for Sloan’s Lake and Evergreen Lake outings.  All other programs include transportation from a designated pickup/drop-off location.

What to Bring:  Please dress in clothes that can get wet and wear secure sandals (no flip-flops) or shoes that can get wet.  Please also bring/wear:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle

Lunch and snacks (only for 4 hour programs that take place over the lunch hour).

Genesee Challenge Course


Located in Genesee Park, just 20 minutes west of Denver, Genesee Challenge Course is set in a beautiful stand of Ponderosa Pines overlooking the continental divide. There are roughly 60 low and high elements that allow us to create a program specifically designed to achieve your group’s goals.

Learn more | Download the brochure(PDF, 2MB)

Minimum Group Size: 8

Maximum Group Size: 100

Ages: 8+ (we also have programming for 6 and 7 year-olds if you have a mixed age group, it’s just not on the elements)

Groups that we work with:  We work with a variety of groups ranging from schools to scouts to corporate groups.  We can even accommodate families and private groups of 8 or more!

Season:  May-October (we also offer Urban Teambuilding during the other seasons where we come to your location)

Length of Program:  We offer half and full-day programs ranging from 4-6.5 hours.

Staff to Participant Ratio:  We aim to have one staff for every 12-15 participants. 

Types of Programs:  We have low elements that focus more on teambuilding and are on the ground or a few feet of the ground.  WE also have high elements that involving climbing to height in a harness attached to a rope and focus more on individual challenge.  We can create a program that works to meet your goals which may be lows-only or both lows and highs (we do not do highs-only programs). 

Custom Programs:  In addition to challenge course programming, we also have camping, hiking and rock climbing at the site.  We can create a custom multi-day program for your group that involves various activities!  

Group Programs

  • Bike Park Permitting
      Denver's bike parks are available for hosting instructional programs and events. Learn more about how to request a permit.
  • Youth Discovery Program
    Bring your group to Echo Lake at the base of Mt. Evans this winter!  This full-day program involves snowshoeing around the lake, environmental/ecology activities, and a campfire. Transportation for up to 26 participants optional for additional cost.
  • Rock Climbing Program
    Spend the day increasing teamwork and challenging your group.  We’ll hike approximately 45 minutes to a backcountry rock climbing site and teach your group how to belay and climbing techniques as we spend the day at the crag prior to our return hike.
  • Hiking/Snowshoeing
    We’re happy to work with your group to plan and lead hiking or snowshoeing trip!  We can provide transportation (for smaller groups) or meet you at the trailhead.
  • Camping
    Stay with us at Genesee Experiential Outdoor Center.  Combine camping with your challenge course experience, rock climbing or hiking for a multi-day adventure.  Or we can plan a front-country or backcountry excursion for your group elsewhere.  Let our skilled staff handle the planning, leadership and risk management for your group! Cost: varies by activity and location 

Outdoor Adventure & Alternative Sports

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) is developing an Outdoor Adventure and Alternative Sports Master Plan.  The plan will identify nontraditional outdoor recreation trends, best practices, and how DPR can better leverage its current assets while identifying new opportunities (i.e. partnerships, mountain parks, etc.) over the next 20 years, specifically focusing on equity. The planning process will consist of:

  • Inventory and needs assessment (including gap analysis)
  • Community outreach to identify needs, priorities, and opportunities
  • Exploring and leveraging partnerships to deliver programming
  • Creating a phased implementation and financial plan

The Outdoor Adventure and Alternative Sports Plan builds off DPR's Game Plan for a Healthy City and Strategic Acquisition Plan

Learn more & get involved

Ruby Hill Rail Yard

Ruby Hill Rail Yard

As of February 4, Ruby Hill Rail Yard is officially open for the 2023 season. Featuring rails, snow features and boxes of varying configurations and skill levels, the rail yard is available to both snowboarders and skiers and is absolutely free. A second and new configuration of features will be installed mid-season. Weather permitting, the rail yard will be open into March.

  • Recent cold weather and snow has allowed for snowmaking and building of the rail yard. Winter Park Resort provided snow guns, staff and technical assistance in snowmaking efforts to build the rail yard with volunteers and employees of Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR). The rail yard features bring the excitement and energy of skiing and snowboarding to Ruby Hill Park.
  • Beginning February 9, DPR will be providing FREE rental equipment, including snowboards, boots and helmets, on Thursdays from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.  Free community events will take place at the rail yard beginning with the Burton Mystery Tour on February 11, 2023, and the CoreNation Rail Jam on February 25, 2023. Events will include free rail demos by regional professional riders. Additional events and program information for the season will be announced soon—visit denvergov.org/OutdoorRec to find more details as they are finalized.
  • The Ruby Hill Rail Yard was created in 2007 as a joint effort between DPR and Winter Park Resort to offer a winter sport experience in an urban setting. Winter Park provides the technical experience of rail park design and DPR provides the location and management. More than 25 volunteers work tirelessly each season to help make the rail yard possible.
  • Ruby Hill Park is located off South Platte River Drive and West Florida Avenue. The rail yard is open every day during regular park hours from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and is lighted every day from dusk until 9 p.m. Ruby Hill Rail Yard is free to the public.