Colorado’s Best: Raft, Balloon & Ride Horses With Your Grandchild

Set out on the adventure of a lifetime as you and your grandchild raft the Yampa River, horseback ride through aspen forests and sail above Colorado in a hot air balloon!
Rating (5)
Program No. 4946RJ
6 days
Starts at
1,899 / ADULT
1,399 / CHILD

At a Glance

Venture out to the Old West with your grandchild in tow as you explore together by land, water and air! Raft down a river through rugged scenery and ride back in time on horseback. Hike to 280-foot Fish Creek Falls. Learn about hot-air balloons, build your own prototype, then soar above the Yampa Valley in the basket of the Wild West Hot Air Balloon! This is a mountain adventure you’ll never forget.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Walking up to one-half mile, mostly flat terrain; some stairs. Elevations of 4,600-8,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Raft down a section of the Yampa River, experiencing white water rapids and beautiful scenery along the way.
  • Gather by the coral at a local ranch to meet the wranglers who operate it, and meet your new four-legged friend for a horseback ride with mountain views.
  • Learn about hot-air balloons, build your own prototype, then soar above the Yampa Valley in the basket of the Wild West Hot Air Balloon!

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 10-13. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available. Hot air balloons cannot fly in excessively windy conditions for safety reasons. Although cancellations happen infrequently, it remains a possibility. Alternate activities can vary based on date and other options available, but in the past have included a visit to Steamboat Resort for a scenic gondola and thrilling mountain coaster ride.
Featured Expert
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Ryan Kirkpatrick
Ryan Kirkpatrick is the director of operations for Mountains & Plains Institute for Lifelong Learning and Service, and has led hundreds of Road Scholar programs since 2003. A native of Colorado, Ryan has a master’s in sports science, is a Wilderness First Responder, and a “Master Naturalist” for the city of Fort Collins. In addition, he is an ASEP certified instructor and received his Level 1 USATF Coaching Certification from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. He is also a volunteer nordic ski ranger for the Colorado State Forest, and as a photographer is a member of Canon Professional Services.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Ryan Kirkpatrick
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Steamboat: Ski Town USA
by Tom Bie
Steamboat Springs, Colorado, is an uncommon mountain town-part cowboy capital, part internationally renowned winter sports playground. It's a magical place, where snow falls in prodigious amounts and Olympians seem to sprout like weeds. "Steamboat: Ski Town USA captures it all. From the earliest ski jumpers on Howelsen Hill to the nordic skiers and freestylers of today, from the legendary tree skiing on Mount Werner to the remarkable fly-fishing on the Yampa River, this book captures the essence of both the town and the resort as never before.
Scenic Driving Colorado, 3rd (Scenic Routes & Byways)
by Stewart M. Green
This guidebook offers travel and historical information for 30 visually stunning driving routes, from Pawnee National Grassland of the Great Plains to Rocky Mountain National Park, the San Juan Mountains, and the deserts of the Colorado Plateau.
by James A. Michener
Written to commemorate the Bicentennial in 1976, James A. Michener’s magnificent saga of Colorado is an enthralling celebration of the frontier. Brimming with the glory of America’s past, the story of Colorado—the Centennial State—is manifested through its people: Lame Beaver, the Arapaho chieftain and warrior, and his Comanche and Pawnee enemies; Levi Zendt, fleeing with his child bride from the Amish country; the cowboy, Jim Lloyd, who falls in love with a wealthy and cultured Englishwoman, Charlotte Seccombe. In Centennial, trappers, traders, homesteaders, gold seekers, ranchers, and hunters are brought together in the dramatic conflicts that shape the destiny of Colorado and the West.

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