Rock Climbing Safety for Outdoor Climbing

No matter your skill level or knowledge base, rock climbing is an inherently dangerous sport. Yes, risk can be minimized but never eliminated. 

That’s why establishing a base of knowledge and know-how when it comes to outdoor climbing is imperative to help you have the safest outdoor climbing experience possible. 

It is better to be more prepared and well equipped to handle any situation when it comes to outdoor climbing. If you’re new to climbing, the safest way to get outside is to hire a guide or take an instructional course to teach you the ropes.

Photo by Jon Hieb on Unsplash

Dangers of outdoor rock climbing 

What’s more is that most rock climbing accidents and deaths are due to human error of some kind, not a gear failure. That means that most of the dangers involved in outdoor climbing are under our control, and we can do our due diligence to prevent them. 

Things like 

  • knowing how to use your safety gear properly, 
  • learning how to land safely when bouldering,
  • doing your safety checks,
  • being aware of climbing and weather conditions, and
  • climbing within your skill level is somewhat within your control as a climber. 

There are always natural risks, such as falling rocks, sudden weather changes (common in the mountains), or gear failure that can cause severe injury or even death. 

But rock climbers are far more likely to experience a minor injury versus a serious injury in their climbing career. These will be things like scraped knees or elbows from the rock wall or maybe a sprained ankle from landing on the edge of a crash pad. 

Most of these minor injuries tend to be reported by sport climbers, trad climbers, or boulderers. So, if you are venturing into outdoor climbing in pursuit of top-roping, your risk has already decreased because you won’t be lead climbing or bouldering.

Minimize risk when climbing outdoors with these safety tips

Severe injuries and minor injuries can be minimized with the proper knowledge and attention. Here are our top tips to improve your level of outdoor climbing safety. 

1. Climb within your ability level

It is great to get outside and push grades, but this should be done in a controlled manner. It is one thing to go out to the crag and push grades with a group of experienced climbers, and it is something else to jump from lead climbing in a gym to trad climbing a multi-pitch. 

We aren’t saying that you should never challenge yourself when climbing outdoors, but be aware of your physical boundaries and technical knowledge. 

In some cases, you may be strong enough to climb something, but you may lack the technical knowledge (i.e., how to build a trad anchor or clean a sport anchor) to do it safely. To overcome these barriers, enroll in an instructional class on anchor building, climbing technique, or climb with more experienced people. 

You can also hire a personal trainer to help you build up your climbing endurance if you’re preparing for a big climb and want to be physically prepared. 

2. Have the proper safety equipment (and know how to use it!)

You need to know the gear necessary to complete a climb safely when you head outside. This knowledge can be found on online resources like Mountain Project or guidebooks for the area you plan to climb. These resources also provide you with approach information, and if you use online platforms, they may also provide weather updates.

Knowing what you need before you go can save you a lot of time, trouble, and potentially an accident. Just having the safety gear will only get you so far, though. You need to know how to use it too!

If you’ve climbed in a gym before, you likely already know how to wear your harness and tie a few knots. But do you know how to clip draws when sport climbing to avoid back clipping or z-clipping?

Can you build a toprope anchor using your own gear?

Do you know how to place solid gear?

You need to ask yourself these types of questions when you are investing in gear and when you are heading outside to climb. There are several resources to learn how to do these things, such as articles online, videos, books, courses, and friends. 

Simply taking the time to practice these skills under the supervision of someone who already knows the ins and outs of climbing safety will help you feel more confident when climbing outdoors, and it will be much safer when you go on your own. 

Other safety gear to always use outdoors: helmets.

Helmets should ALWAYS be worn by both the climber and belayer.

3. Understand belay systems and knots

A big part of knowing how to use your safety gear is knowing how to belay correctly and tie your knots. On top of that, always do safety checks for your climber and belayer. Even if you are experienced as a climber, a safety check can save your life. We are all human, and humans make mistakes. Double-checking helps us catch those mistakes before it is too late.

Lead belaying and toprope belaying differ, so know how to do both if you plan to climb in both styles. 

There are a few ways to tie into your harness as the climber. The most common way is to use the figure-eight follow-through knot. Know how to tie this knot with proficiency and perform checks on your partner. 

Other knots should be learned and practiced for anchor building, self-rescue, and other climbing skills. 

Knowing how to tie knots is essential. Take the time to learn about anchor systems and how to clean anchors. While sport climbing tends to be less technical than trad climbing, plenty of accidents occur when cleaning anchors due to a lack of knowledge and know-how. 

4. Have experience or climb with someone who does 

If you read the above tips and were thoroughly confused, then the best tip to apply is this one: climb with someone more experienced so they can teach you best practices for outdoor climbing safety. 

You don’t necessarily need to book a guided trip with a professional or enroll in an instructional course if you have a knowledgeable friend. Still, the benefit of booking with a certified climbing guide is that they’re professionally trained. 

They’ve not only done these things themselves, but they’ve gone through classes to learn best practices and how to teach rock climbing safety to people of all skill levels.

In the end, while some risk in rock climbing is left up to nature, a lot of it is up to you. With the proper education, practice, and safety equipment, you can minimize some risks.

Not sure if you’re ready to climb outside on your own yet? Hire a guide!

Best Places to See the Fall Colors in Colorado Springs

The fall transforms Colorado into a gold-rich state once again. The colors of the aspens flow through like liquid gold, rushing in and out quickly, so you need to know exactly where to see fall colors in Colorado. 

It’s time to cozy up and tackle the brisk Autumn air to let your eyes soak up Colorado Springs at one of its finest moments. These trails will take you to some popular, easy-access views and some hard-to-reach, hidden gems in and around Colorado Springs. 

Best places to see the Fall colors in Colorado Springs

Photo by Devonshire on Unsplash

1. Pikes Peak

One of Colorado Springs’ local Fourteeners brings a wide variety of options for those looking to get one of the best fall colors tours Colorado has to offer. At 14,115 feet of elevation, you are looking down on thousands of acres of national forest. The bird’s eye view lets you grab a completely different perspective from walking down on the ground.

It’s a view that everyone should take the time to see in their lifetime and one that everyone can. You can take the easiest route of driving to the top for a short day or hop on the Barr Trail for a 25-mile trek that will genuinely make you work for the views. The most challenging part of Pikes Peak is determining how you want to experience the mountain. 

Another option for the more adventurous is to hop on a bicycle and give your legs a real workout. Don’t worry. There are plenty of places to stop and catch your breath while enjoying the view. 

Check out our newest Cog Up, Bike Down Tour that shuttles you to the top of Pike Peak and turns the bike ride into a downhill cruise. 

2. Pikes Peak Greenway

In the fall, Pikes Peak Greenway gets a little less green and a whole lot more golden. 

Urban trails offer easy access and many options with how far you want to go and for how long. Plus, you can walk down to one of your favorite restaurants while still getting the feeling of an Autumn hike. 

The Pikes Peak Greenway runs through Colorado Springs. It’s mostly paved, sometimes gravelly, and is a well-maintained trail that connects several other local trails. Most bikes and all feet can take you around town to see how the fall colors transform Colorado Springs. 

The Greenway gives you easy access to loads of the local parks in Colorado Springs. This is the perfect choice for a walk around town that can end in a picnic overlooking beautiful fall colors. Stop off at Monument Valley Park, Boddington Park, or America the Beautiful Park for a great spot to sit and spend the day with a thermos full of warm drinks and a bag of delicious goodies. 

3. Cripple Creek

Just outside of Colorado Springs lies Cripple Creek, a small mining town that sits in a nest of aspen groves shining brightly in the fall. 

You can cruise towards town in several ways that allow you to experience the countryside differently. In town, you can hop onto the Cripple Creek and Narrow Gauge Railroad for a slow crawl through the forests you have been looking at from afar. 

Just make sure to get there in time; the railroad only runs until October each year. 

4. Mount Esther Trail

Just northwest of Colorado Springs sits a relatively small mountain dubbed Mount Esther. While the peak is “only” 9,505 feet above sea level, the climb to get there will test your endurance. 

The Mount Esther trail is 4.2 miles round trip. Trust us, it is worth the energy and the short, but steep climb. 

The treasure at the top of the trail is a golden meadow that reflects all of the colors of Colorado’s autumn season. If you push forward just a bit further, you will find yourself at the Crystal Creek Reservoir. Here, the colors are reflected off the glassy waters, bringing even more color to your world. 

5. Gold Camp Road

While there are loads of great drives in the area, some can be a bit more adventurous than others. Not all roads are smoothly paved yet, and those that aren’t let you get to some of the less traveled, more unique spaces of the Pikes Peak Region. 

If you’re equipped with a 4×4 or an AWD vehicle, be sure to check out Gold Camp Road, as it is where to see fall colors in Colorado with a bit of bump and spicy adventure. 

The name does a pretty good job of encompassing what the drive is going to get you. The rugged drive takes you through tunnels and corridors of aspens that puts you amongst some of the brightest fall colors the area has to offer. 

6. Best Fall Colors Tour in Colorado Springs 

If you’re looking to add in a bit of adrenaline to help warm you up on a brisk autumn day, a zipline tour is one of the best ways to see the fall colors of Colorado Springs. This option gives you a unique view that is constantly changing as you fly through the air. 

This zipline tour will engrain the memories of fall colors into your mind in a way that is hard to find doing anything else. 

An 1800 foot zipline gives you the chance to take in sweeping views of the colors while feeling the breeze across your body. A 1500 foot line takes you over a 150-foot deep canyon, really giving you a unique view of the forests below you.

Paintballing Safety Tips

Paintball is a fun and exciting team sport. It requires strategy and cooperation, and it certainly gets players physically active. However, it can also be dangerous, and that’s why it’s important to learn and follow basic safety rules. In this guide, we’ll go over the key paintball safety tips you need to know before getting on the field. Once you’ve read through this list, you’ll be ready to enjoy the best paintball Colorado Springs has to offer.

1: Always Wear Eye Protection

Safety goggles are an absolute must when paintballing. Getting hit with a paintball on your skin can be a little painful, but it won’t cause a severe injury. Especially if you are wearing padding, you’ll just end up with a little bump or red area. A paintball to the eye, however, can cause very serious injury. This is why safety goggles are the number one paintball safety tip. A full-face shield, which includes protection for your eyes and breathing holes for your nose and mouth, is even better. But either way, the primary paintball safety rule is to keep them on at all times.

If you need to adjust your eye protection, you will have to exit the field of play or go to a designated “safe zone” if there is one. Do not take your goggles off anywhere else, even if you think you are hidden. 

If you have your own goggles, be aware that the lenses need to be replaced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, and you should never play with cracked or old lenses. Also, be sure only to use dedicated goggles cleaner, as other products could be corrosive to the lenses and wear them down.

Image by Evan Cornman from Pixabay

2: Look Where You Shoot & Do Not Hit Anyone Without Eye Protection

It is very important to make sure that you are not “firing blind.” Beginner paintballers tend to close their eyes when shooting. This is totally natural! However, you will be allowed to practice firing at a marker before the competition starts so you can get used to the feeling. 

You always need to look where your marker is aiming before you shoot. First, make sure that you are within the field of play. Then be sure that the person you are aiming at, and everyone else around, is wearing proper protective equipment. Next, check that the person you are aiming at does not have their hands up. (As you will read below, this means that they are already out and exiting the playing field.) Finally, make sure you are aiming at the person’s torso, not their face.

If anyone does not have goggles on, your marker should be pointed down at the ground! Do not shoot even if the person without eye protection is on the side and not where you are aiming. Paintball markers are not the most precise shots, and someone could easily run in front of your target at the last second. This is why if you see someone without goggles on, you need to lower your paintball marker until they exit the field of play.

3. Give a Player the Opportunity to Surrender & Be a Good Sport

One common paintball safety practice is the idea of surrendering. If a player is close to you, within twenty feet when outdoors, you should give them the chance to surrender before shooting them. Getting hit by a paintball at such close range can be quite painful, so it is sportsmanlike to announce yourself and not actually shoot the person. You can yell “Surrender” or “You’re out” to tell the person that you got them, even though you aren’t firing your marker.

On this same note, if someone has snuck up on you and lets you surrender, do it. It would be poor sportsmanship to run away and say you are still in the game because you didn’t get hit. Trust us when we say that you do not want to get hit at such close range. When someone lets you surrender, put your hands up and exit the field.

4. Do Not Shoot Anything but Your Target

If you need to practice shooting, you will have access to a practice range and targets. Otherwise, you should only shoot at other players or targets in the field of play. Do not shoot at any wildlife, passing cars, or structures outside of the playing area. 

For one thing, it may be illegal, but it is also dangerous. You could hurt someone, and the paint in paintballs can leave behind a stain. Shooting when you are not supposed to is an easy way to end your day early by getting kicked out. Be respectful of your surroundings and only shoot at designated targets.

Photo by Pengyi zhang on Unsplash

5. Always Use a Barrel Sock and the Safety

There are two features of a marker that both make for essential paintball safety tips. First, a barrel sock is exactly what it sounds like: a sock that goes over the head of your marker’s barrel. This blocks paintballs from exiting the barrel if the marker accidentally discharges. Leave the barrel sock on until play is about to begin, and put it back on the barrel immediately once you exit the field.

The second is the safety, which you toggle on or off to be able to shoot. Anytime you are not on an active playing field, your safety should be in the ‘on’ position. This will make it impossible to pull the trigger, thus preventing you from accidentally discharging the marker.

6. Exit with Your Hands Up

When you are ready to exit the playing field (because you were hit, surrendered, or just need a break), you must announce yourself. To make it clear to other players that you are leaving, you should yell “out” and raise your hands and your paintball marker above your head. 

Be sure to walk off the field of play quickly and directly. If you are looking around at other players or zigzagging through obstacles, other players might mistakenly shoot you. Keep your hands up the whole time and keep your goggles on. 

Once you are out of the playing zone, you should first turn the marker’s safety on and put the barrel sock back on. Once your marker is protected, then you can take your goggles off, relax, and watch the rest of the game.

Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

7. Take Cover to Rest and Reload

The best way to avoid getting hit is to ensure you don’t spend too much time in the open. Here are a couple key paintball tips for finding good positions on the field. First, if you can see in all directions, it means you are visible in all directions. And second, just because you can’t see someone doesn’t mean they can’t see you. It just means they are better hidden than you are. 

You want to keep yourself hidden, but not overly so. After all, if you stay in one spot all day, you’ll never hit anyone. Moving among protected areas is actually safer, too, as your opponents are doing the same to find you. You should run between trees or shelters, also called bunkers, and rest only when you are in a protected spot.

When you need to reload, find a safe spot, get low, and keep your back to a wall. You may be tempted to fire a shot to make sure your marker works, but be warned that the sound will give away your position!

8. Do Not Attempt to Fix a Paintball Marker Yourself

If your marker is jammed or having an issue, do not try to make any modifications on your own. You should bring it to staff or experts to fix it for you. Attempting any maintenance can be very dangerous for you and other players.

For one thing, markers may still have a charge after the CO2 canister has been removed. The proper way to take off a CO2 canister is to fire the marker (with no paintballs in it) as you remove the tank in order to release built-up air as you go. However, if you are renting a marker for the day, this is not even something you will have to worry about. You should leave the canister alone completely and tell staff if something is wrong.

Similarly, a paintball marker that you rent will come ready with proper settings. For outdoor challenges, markers should be set to around 300 feet per second (fps). Some ranges might require a slightly lower velocity, like 285 fps. Whatever it is, do not make any modifications to the marker.

Image by Christoph Schütz from Pixabay

9. Stretch & Drink Lots of Water

Paintballing requires a lot of physical activity. With all that running around, it’s important to stretch beforehand like you would for any other sport. Make sure you stay hydrated and listen to your body if you get too hot or tired. A paintball competition could last for a couple of hours, depending on the type of play and the number of players. Take a break when you need it so you can head back on the field strong and ready.

10: Have Fun!

Paintballing is an awesome outdoor activity to enjoy with a group of friends. With just a little preparation and practice, you can start an invigorating new sport that lasts for hours at a time. These tips will help ensure your paintball challenge is fun, safe, and injury-free. Now get out there and enjoy the game!

How to Start Mountain Biking

Are you looking to add some excitement to your cycling? Mountain biking is an awesome exercise, adventure, and challenge all in one. The trail can be intimidating to beginners, but you’ve come to the right place to learn how to start mountain biking. If you know how to ride a bike, you’ve got all the fundamentals you need.

In this beginner’s guide to mountain biking, we’ve got everything else you should know before hitting the trail.

Photo by Joanne Reed from Pexels

What is Mountain Biking?

First and foremost, you should know some fundamental differences between road cycling and mountain biking. This is because mountain biking involves biking over uneven terrain, like rocks and tree roots, creating a need for a very different type of bike than those used for road cycling.

Unlike road bikes, mountain bikes have wider tires with improved grip and suspension frames to provide a smoother ride over bumpy terrain. You can imagine how a rigid frame wouldn’t fare well on a mountain biking trail, so the suspension is key to a comfortable ride. Mountain biking frames also allow riders to sit taller to have better visibility of the trail. 

Finally, it’s best to use platform pedals on a mountain bike, which means you don’t clip in. Most important for beginners, you should be prepared to fall or jump off the bike at any time when going down a trail for the first time as you can pick up speed incredibly fast. Strapping into your pedals can actually be more dangerous on a mountain bike.

Gear Needed for Mountain Biking

The Essentials

Obviously, you’ll need a mountain bike. As noted above, you should make sure your bike has partial or full suspension for the most comfortable ride. Some mountain bikers use rigid bikes, as they use less energy for climbing the mountain. However, this beginner’s guide to mountain biking recommends at least partial suspension to absorb some of those bumps on the trail. This will keep you safer and more comfortable as you get used to the difference between road cycling and mountain biking.

The other essential items for getting started mountain biking are protective equipment. As a beginner, you should expect to fall, and protecting yourself will save you from a rough descent that ends early and in pain. A helmet is an absolute must while mountain biking, as there are plenty of hazards, you could hit your head on if you fall. Unlike road biking, mountain biking helmets are full face, with visors to protect your eyes from tree branches and debris. Elbow and knee pads are other important pieces of gear to keep you safe on the trail.

What to Wear on a Mountain Biking Trail

Dress according to the weather to stay comfortable and safe on the trail. It’s best to wear a dry-fit shirt that will wick away moisture and keep you dry. Mountain biking shorts with chamois padding (aka butt pads) are key for absorbing some bumps and reducing saddle fatigue.

Similarly, gloves are essential for keeping your hands and wrists comfortable all day long. Mountain biking with bare hands can cause blisters, and when you fall, you could cut yourself. Gloves will protect your palms and offer a little padding and warmth. 

Finally, a comfortable pair of light boots are the best alternative to mountain biking shoes if you’re learning how to start mountain biking. You want something with a stiff sole for stronger pedaling, breathable material to keep your feet dry, and a grippy textured bottom for good contact with the pedals. Another alternative is skate shoes, though these tend to be less breathable. High-rise shoes are also helpful to protect your feet and ankles in the event of a fall.

Packing Smart for a Mountain Biking Trip

There are many things you should pack on a mountain biking trip, and this is where there is a big difference between mountain bike rentals vs tours for beginners. When you rent a bike, you’ll just get a mountain bike and a helmet. On a mountain biking tour for beginners, you’ll have a guide who will pack all the essential gear and help ensure you have a great day.

The most important bit of gear is a map! If you’re heading out without a guide, please don’t forget a hard copy of your directions. It’s important to not rely on electronics on the trail: there likely won’t be cell service, your battery could die on an unexpectedly long day, or a hard fall could break your phone. Know the trail and the day’s plan before heading out, and always bring emergency gear in case you get lost. 

Next, a small first aid kit is essential for a beginner mountain biking trip since we all fall when we’re learning. As far as getting your bike back in shape after a crash, there are a few things you’ll need. You should always carry a spare tube or two and a bike pump. Unlike biking on the road, potential tire busters are all around on a mountain biking trail. Knowing how to replace a tire and having the gear you need will keep you prepared and safe on the trail.

A bike multi-tool is another must, especially for longer rides. Even with suspension frames, mountain biking is a bumpy ride, and it’s normal to need to make small adjustments or fixes over the course of the day. A bike multi-tool with the right size hex wrenches for your bike will make a huge difference in your trip’s success.

Finally, when you pack food and water for your day on the trail, go ahead and pack extra. It’s easy to get a little lost or delayed due to a mechanical issue. Expect a mountain biking trip to last longer than an equivalent road cycling trip, and pack accordingly. If you have one, a hydration pack is a great way to make sure you’ve got enough water for a long day. We promise: it’s worth the extra weight to have the energy and hydration needed to finish strong.

Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash

Mountain Biking Tips and Techniques

Get a guide

Finding a tour that specifically offers mountain biking for beginners is a great first step. You’ll get in-person professional advice on how to start mountain biking, and you’ll start down an easier trail that is suitable for beginners.

Stretch Well and Don’t Tense Up

When going over obstacles on the trail, it’s important to stay loose and let the bike ride free. Hover your butt over the seat, so you don’t feel every bump, and keep your elbows high and your knees out so you can go with the flow.

Stay Balanced 

A big difference between road and mountain biking is the need to shift your weight around to stay on the bike. On a flat road, you can pretty much sit back and relax. On a mountain bike, you need to make constant small adjustments – side to side and front to back – to maintain your center of gravity and not tip over. It’s sort of like riding a bull, hopefully with less bucking.

Keep a Steady Pace

One thing that will help you manage rough terrain is maintaining an even speed with your brakes and gears. Big obstacles are frightening, and it makes sense that you’ll want to slam on the brakes sometimes. But that’s a good way to go over the handlebars (via the front brakes) or fishtail and skid out (on the back brake). 

Gentle use of the brakes will help you keep an even speed and give your bike the momentum it needs to get over bumps without too much work on your part. You can also move between gears in response to terrain changes that you see down the line. Paying attention and shifting early will make your life easier and help you keep your momentum. 

Chin Up, Eyes Down

Paying attention while on the trail is key. Road cycling offers consistent, smooth terrain, and you have time to look around, enjoy the scenery, and even change the song on your phone. As a beginner mountain biker, you need to stay vigilant by watching the trail in front of you. Look past obstacles and focus your eyes on where you want the bike to go. This will help you naturally bike around danger without needing to think too much about it. 

Proper biking posture will also keep you focused and safe. Mountain bike frames keep riders in a more upward stance for a reason. You want to keep your head up, looking down the trail at future terrain. This will give you time to prepare and react to potential obstacles. Just like driving, focus your attention a few seconds down the trail and use both your central and peripheral vision. This way, you can see the whole trail, including problem areas and safer alternate routes.

Have Fun!

Now that you know what to wear and pack and how to start mountain biking, you’re ready for your first trail experience. We hope you are feeling confident and excited to explore this rugged alternative to road biking. Thanks for checking out this beginner’s guide to mountain biking.

Have a safe and amazing time on a mountain biking for beginners guided tour!

Pikes Peak Railway: Cog Up, Bike Down

If you’re visiting Colorado Springs, chances are you’ve heard of Pikes Peak. It is famous for its hiking trails and downhill mountain biking, but did you know there was a railway that went to the top?

While riding to the top and back down may not seem like much of a thrill, what if we told you that Broadmoor Outfitters added a twist with their newest tour? Now, you can Cog up to the top of the famous Pikes Peak and mountain bike back down. 

Yep! You skip the grueling uphill pedal and simply can take in the views as you Cog Up Pikes Peak, but you get the adrenaline rush of biking down the mountain. 

The Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway

In Colorado Springs, CO, the Cog Railway has recently reopened after being closed for reconstruction the last three years. The rebuild of the Cog Railway features all-new trains, a new track, a new depot, and a new visitor center. 

This particular railway was built back in June of 1891 as the highest rack railway in the world at the time. Now, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway remains the world’s highest and longest cog railroad, and it is the highest railroad in the entire Northern Hemisphere. 

There are only two cog railways in the United States, and Pikes Peak Cog Railway is one of the most unique railway experiences you can have in the world. 

Cog Up and Bike Down Pikes Peak

Not only is riding the railway up an exhilarating and unique experience but biking down the mountain will be one for your bucket list. While it may be tempting to try and book a ride up the mountain with your bike, the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway does not allow bicycles on board due to a limited amount of space. 

The only way to combine the railway experience with downhill mountain biking is to book with Broadmoor Outfitters. 

You will enjoy the 5.5-hour ride to the top of Pikes Peak. Then you will have a chance to check out the newly constructed Summit House at the top. We give you plenty of time to enjoy the view before the next stage of your adventure starts. 

Biking down the mountain takes you on a 19.5 miles journey. While that is a daunting distance at an exhilarating incline, we provide safety gear and safety information to help minimize risk on the descent. We provide full-face helmets, biking gloves, high visibility vests, and GT 29” cruisers. 

The bike down Pikes Peak is a supported ride. You will have a guide to lead you down the mountain and a van that is available to take any rider back down in case they choose to leave the ride early. 

The Pikes Peak Railway Cog Up, Bike Down tour is one of our most challenging tours and does require a fair level of fitness. Most biking abilities will be able to do the ride. However, we do require some biking experience to ensure you can navigate the terrain and control your bike. 

Please consult a physician before booking your Cog Up, Bike Down tour with Broadmoor Outfitters and ask them about your fitness for a high-altitude biking adventure.

Colorado Springs Attractions You Don’t Want to Miss

When you’re going on vacation (or even a staycation), you want to make the most of your time. You didn’t take time off work, set up dog sitters, and play Tetris with your luggage in the back of the car to visit a bunch of attractions that you ended up not enjoying. You want to get what you came for and experience the most exciting things to do in Colorado Springs – the ones that you have to do in order to say you’ve truly been to Colorado Springs. 

But with the overwhelming number of brochures at rest stops and online advertisements begging for your attention, how do you decide which places to visit?

To explore Colorado Springs the way it deserves, you should focus on a few key elements: getting in nature, gaining knowledge about both ancient and recent history, and spending time relaxing to soak it all in. We’ve compiled a complete list of places you must visit in Colorado Springs with all of those points in mind. This guide will give you some direction in your travels as you’re looking for things to do in Colorado Springs. 

Cog Up/Bike Down Pikes Peak Adventure

If you’re looking for an exciting way to summit the second most-visited peak in the world – Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, CO – then this Broadmoor Outfitters adventure is for you. 

First, you’ll catch a ride up ‘America’s Mountain’ on the world’s highest cog railway – The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Then, you’ll ride a custom-built cruiser bicycle the whole 19.5 miles back down the mountain!

Image by VIT DUCKEN from Pixabay

This adventure is one of the most unique things to do in Colorado Springs. The Cog Up/Bike Down Adventure is suitable for anyone ten or older at any fitness level. Broadmoor Outfitters provides all the safety gear, including full-face helmets, high visibility vests, and gloves. The pace is set by a Broadmoor guide who will lead the way for the duration of the ride, and you’ll feel safe knowing a sweep van will follow the group to pick up anyone who ends their ride early. Remember, you’ll need to book this adventure at least two days in advance to secure your spot!

Woods Course Zipline

Ziplining is where exhilaration meets exploration! Hiking and biking are excellent ways to explore Colorado Springs, but ziplining is incredibly cool as you get a bird’s-eye view of the landscape! You’ll be 150 feet from the ground, sailing through ponderosa pine forests, gliding over the gorgeous Midnight Falls, and soaring through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains on this Broadmoor Outfitters adventure.

Image by Dragan Tomić from Pixabay

The Woods Course Zipline is suitable for beginners, but Broadmoor Outfitters also offers other, more advanced ziplining tours for people looking for a big thrill.

Explore Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods was named by Rufus Cable when he stood atop Pikes Peak, saw the glorious rock formation, and declared the area “…a fit place for the gods to assemble.” 


The Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center is a paradise and one of the most popular Colorado Springs attractions. You’ve got plenty of options for how to explore these 300-foot tall sandstone rock formations; there truly is something for everyone! There are activities for explorers at all fitness levels, including but not limited to hiking, rock climbing, and Jeep and Segway tours.

Photo by Jude Infantini on Unsplash

Western Museum of Mining and Industry

To bring your adventurous Colorado Springs vacation full circle, we recommend getting some historical context of the area by visiting the Western Museum of Mining & Industry. This museum offers 27 acres of exhibits, each containing over 4,000 artifacts from the 19th and 20th centuries. 

As you wander the campus, you’ll also get to see the Reynolds Ranch House – an Edwardian Lake-style ranch home that is included on the State Register of Historic Properties. This isn’t an ordinary museum; exhibits are set up both indoors and outdoors and feature restored steam engines and mining equipment, as well as a fully operational Stamp Mill and Blacksmithing Demo Shop. You’ll learn about the environmental impact of mining on wildlife and local plants and see the Mine Reclamation exhibit, which shows visitors the process of turning abandoned mines into useful land.

Manitou Cliff Dwellings

From 1200 B.C. to 1300 A.D, Native Americans known as Anasazi lived within natural and, eventually, constructed settlements high in the cliffs of canyon walls. In the Colorado Springs area, the ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings are located at the foot of what we now call Pikes Peak. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are open to the public for self-guided tours. 


As you wander among the rooms carved within the vertical canyon walls, it’s only natural to wonder, “How in the world did they (the Anasazi) get up here?” That mystery, along with the settlements’ astonishing beauty, makes the Manitou Cliff Dwellings a popular attraction in Colorado Springs. Check out the FAQ section of the Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum website to learn more about how to visit this architectural wonder.

Photo by Cupcake Media on Unsplash

Organic Spa at Broadmoor Resort

This luxurious partially organic Spa at Broadmoor Resort is featured in the Forbes Travel Guide. It’s certainly one of the best Colorado Springs attractions for those looking for a bit of pampering. 

This spa is the perfect way to relax after a full day of adventuring in Colorado Springs! Before your desired spa treatment, you’ll sit quietly in the Mountain View Room, overlooking the lush Broadmoor Golf Course greens. In the background, a stunning scene of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains invites you to pause, unwind, and relax. 

Overview

This breathtaking Rocky Mountains sanctuary is an inviting destination for both solo travelers and families. There are plenty of Colorado Springs tours and attractions that appeal to adventurers of all ages, history buffs, and people looking to unwind in the majesty of the Rocky Mountains. Remember to make reservations for all these things to do in Colorado Springs well in advance, and most importantly: have fun!

Join our Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Tour – Top Overall Experiences in the World

Colorado is a wonderland of unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and doing the Fins Course Scenic Zipline Tour is one of them you need to add to your bucket list. 

While we construct all of our tours as top-of-the-line, first-class activities, the people have spoken for us! 

Our Fins Course Scenic Zipline Tour was recently voted to be one of the top 10 overall world experiences on Tripadvisor for 2021. The Traveler’s Choice experiences are chosen by other travelers worldwide that love adventure trips like white water rafting, hang gliding, or zip-lining. 

There are three categories in the Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best, including United States, World, and Regions. 

“Such a breathtaking experience! The views were amazing, the bridges were a rush, and the ziplines? Well worth the price alone!”

Experience one of the top zipline courses in the world with heights up to 500 ft, two rope bridges, five zip lines (250-1800 ft long), and a 180 ft assisted rappel. With so much adventure jam-packed into one zipline course, it is no wonder that the Fins Course is an extreme adventure seeker’s delight. 

While we have other zipline courses, The Fins Course has steeper drops, added exposure, and includes high altitude zip lining. This course isn’t for the faint of heart, but the good news is that we do also have a milder option, our Woods Course. Some travelers like to combine both the Woods Course with the Fins Course to build up to the adventure with our Combo Course.

Ziplining is an activity that the whole family can enjoy, and the Fins Course takes you on a breathtaking tour, immersing you in nature as you zip through Seven Falls canyon in Colorado. The scenic surroundings make the experience far more memorable, and the adrenaline boost helps a bit too. 

“A must do on a Colorado Springs trip! The course was awesome with some of the most beautiful views of the mountains and Colorado Springs. The guides were knowledgeable about the area and had great tips, recommendations, and jokes! 100% recommend adding this to your trip to Colorado Springs! This was an amazing time!”

You’ll spend 3-4 hours on the Fins Course, and it does start much like our Woods Course with two warm-up zips before you have a chance to experience the cliff condition zips that increase with length. Per the name “Fins Course,” our course takes you through one of Colorado’s most breathtaking areas of Seven Falls Canyon and Colorado Springs to land you near the “fins.” The fin formation of the rocks is where our course gets its name.

The gradual build-up to the cliff-style zips prepares most adventure seekers enough to truly enjoy the views of the canyon. Once you’ve made your way across the foot rope bridges and all five ziplines, the adventure is just beginning. The Fins Course has a unique finish as you rappel 180 feet to reach the canyon floor.

The Fins Course is genuinely a zipline people from all over the world can enjoy. Come and see for yourself why we were voted into the top 10 Tripadvisor tours worldwide! 

“For the last few years, ziplining is how I spend my birthday. The zipline at Seven Falls surpassed the other ziplines I have been on by far. A breathtaking experience. The bridges and last two zips definitely got my adrenaline going. Beautiful views, a wonderful experience.”

“Wow!! I’ve ziplined many places and this has some of the best views, highest dropoffs, and most extreme platform locations I’ve seen. Super safe with double redundancy on the trolley, and a shielded cable makes for a very quiet and smooth ride. Great enthusiasm and energy among the guides, too! Can’t wait to go again.”

Beginners Guide to Archery

Have you ever dreamt of riding horseback, firing arrows off to pin apples to the trees behind your target? 

You’re not alone in the fantasy of becoming Legolas, Robin Hood, or the Green Arrow. We all watch these movies and shows and imagine what it would be like to have the skills that these legends have developed over time. 

One wildly misleading part of these archery depictions is the lack of intense training over years and years that one needs to become a professional. There was someone training baby Legolas and giving him archery tips as he missed his target repeatedly. We all have to start somewhere. 

Archery is a great sport to get into as a beginner. There isn’t a huge initial investment, it’s easily accessible, and you don’t need a ton of gear to try it out. There are shooting ranges all around that will gladly let you explore the bow and arrow, even as a beginning archer. While the internet and other resources around you are filled with a wealth of archery tips, we’re going to dive into the best way to get started on your new journey.

So, nock your arrow, take sight, and let’s see what targets we can hit.

Broadmoor Outfitter’s Beginners Guide to Archery

Photo by Sadie Esch-Laurent on Unsplash

Bows

It can’t be said enough that archery is a simple sport at its roots. There aren’t too many moving parts, and you don’t have complicated technology. It’s a tool that people have been using for thousands of years, way before we relied on smartphones to do everything for us.

Now, you can easily Google, “What is archery?” and have your answer in an instant. Still, the bow takes time to practice, learn, and truly master. Fortunately, archery for beginners is much more simple than mastering it. 

You can’t practice archery without is the bow. This may be common knowledge, and you may be sitting there saying, “Duh, of course, you need a bow,” but there’s a little more to it. There are several styles of bow, and each has pros and cons.

So, to get you started on the right foot, here are the two basic designs of bows.

1. Recurve

A recurve bow is the simpler of the two bow styles. In essence, this bow style utilizes the curve of fiberglass, or sometimes wood, limbs to provide power to your shot. These limbs are attached to a handle that houses the arrow rest, where you will be looking while aiming.

A single bowstring attaches these two arms and curves them against their natural direction, amping up the potential force. All of this power goes into the arrow as soon as you pull back the bowstring and take aim. 

A recurve bow looks more like a traditional Robin Hood style bow and is probably what you will want to try using on your first time shooting. They aren’t complicated, they give you a good idea of how to control a bow under pressure. Plus, they are much cheaper than their counterparts.

Recurve bows are typically a relatively low draw weight that won’t make your arms shake uncontrollably while pulling back the first time. If you’re looking to do some more complex or powerful shooting, you can look towards other bow styles. 

2. Compound

A compound bow is an ingenious invention that allows the shooter to hold aim without putting too much strain on their arms and shoulders. This was accomplished by engineers in the 1970s, using cams to relieve the pressure once the string is fully drawn. The bow itself is a bit more complicated, looks much more modern and high-tech, but is perfect for anyone who goes hunting and patiently waits at a full draw for the right moment to fire. 

There are more traditional bows, like the longbow that you may imagine an elf carrying into war. There are bows specially designed to be fired from horseback and bows with all the bells and whistles for Olympic archers, but we’re talking about archery for beginners here.

One of the best archery tips we can give you is to start easy, don’t grab a bow that will be too high of draw weight. You will most likely end up not enjoying the sport because it’s too difficult to come near a target while straining to draw the bow. 

Photo by Laura Crowe on Unsplash

Arrows

While there are many styles of arrows for hunting and target practice, the best idea for starting up is to buy a cheap archery target and some target arrows that are relatively affordable. A lot of these are going to be aluminum or carbon, which are great materials for beginners. 

Learning how to re-fletch your arrows is another invaluable tool. The little feathers, called fletchings, are going to pop off over time. It’s an easy fix with the right glue and tools, and it’s worth getting to know how to do your own maintenance. This will save you money in the long run and keep you shooting for longer. 

Shooting Sequence

As this is a beginner’s guide to archery, having the gear isn’t enough. Learning how to shoot is essential.

You’ve acquired the bow and the arrows, and hopefully, you’ve found some other safety equipment such as an armguard or finger guard. Now you’re ready to shoot! The entire shooting sequence gets down to fine, delicate details when working on becoming a master.

For now, though, we’ll glance over the basics of an archery shooting sequence:

  1. Find a safe area where everyone is clear of down range, mentally prepare, and it’s time to take your stance. 
  2. With your feet shoulder-width apart, extend your bow arm towards your target. 
  3. Nock your arrow on the bowstring and place it in the arrow rest with the index feather (normally the odd colored fletching) pointed away from you. 
  4. Placing one finger above the arrow and two below, draw the bow back and bring your hand to the corner of your smile, all while keeping your elbow high. 
  5. With both eyes open, take aim down the shaft of the arrow towards your target. 
  6. Take a deep breath in, and slowly exhale.
  7. On your exhale, release.
  8. Celebrate.

Okay, maybe you won’t be celebrating the first shot, but keep at it. Learning archery is a process, and it requires a lot of patience and practice. Keep working on your form and pay attention to the little details. 

Where to Practice

Since archery can be pretty dangerous, one of the safest ways to start is with a guided introduction to archery.

When beginner archery in Colorado is done right, it is a fun family activity that everyone can master. Set up a small target range at home if you have the outdoor space. If you don’t, find the closest archery range. The range is a great place to meet fellow archers who can share archery tips and are willing to build community through the sport. 

Soon, you won’t need the beginner’s guide. Nocking an arrow and pinning five into the bullseye in a row will feel natural. Keep on practicing, and remember, we were all beginners at some point. 

Top 5 Outdoor Tours in Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs, located an hour south of Denver, CO, attracts many outdoor enthusiasts, families, and thrill-seekers to explore and play in its rugged wilderness each year. The city sits at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains and is home to some of the state’s most iconic sights, such as the Garden of the Gods. The area is ripe with opportunities for outdoor adventure. So ripe that when planning your excursion, you may be wondering which Colorado Springs outdoor tours to experience.

Luckily, there is no shortage of premium tours in the area to match its diverse opportunities for outdoor recreation. Outdoor tours are a unique way to experience wild places and activities through the eyes of a seasoned guide. Regardless of one’s experience level, partaking in a guided tour is a gratifying and fun experience. On a tour, you can expect to learn a new skill, meet new people, and gain firsthand knowledge that you will carry with you long after it ends. 

So whether you’re planning your first or thirty-first trip, check out these Top 5 Outdoor Tours in Colorado Springs, CO.

Image by Dragan Tomić from Pixabay

Guided Hiking Tours

Guided hikes are an enriching and memorable way to explore new trails beyond simply following signs, maps, or apps. Based out of Colorado Springs, Broadmoor Outfitters provides top-of-the-line guided hikes on the city’s most iconic trails. Visitors of all ages can explore Colorado Springs’s breathtaking mountains in small groups of up to 12 people.

For those who would like to learn about the Rocky Mountains’ flora and fauna while immersed in it first-hand, Broadmoor Outfitters also offers the option to have a naturalist as your guide! Tours take place daily at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm and last about 3 hours, with the opportunity to extend the hike’s duration when booking a reservation. Visitors are encouraged to let the staff know the kind of hiking they’d like to experience so that the guides can curate an itinerary aligned with each group’s wishes. This tour has something to offer for anyone looking to explore the Rockies on foot, regardless of if you’re a solo traveler or a family of four.

The Broadmoor Hunt

If a mild hike that combines problem-solving and a bit of history sounds like a blast, then look no further than the exciting and one-of-a-kind Broadmoor Hunt. The Broadmoor hunt is not your typical outdoor tour but instead a thrilling app-based scavenger hunt. During the hunt, individuals will put on their metaphorical Indiana Jones hat to learn about the historic Broadmoor Hotel while solving problems as they explore the hotel grounds and surrounding landscape.

This tour is open to individuals of all ages but is the perfect fun outing for families with children looking to stretch their minds (and imaginations). The tour runs daily from 10 am to 3 pm and lasts 1.5 to 2 hours. Broadmoor Outfitters also offers a corporate version of the scavenger hunt for businesses looking to strengthen teamwork among coworkers.

https://pixabay.com/photos/pikes-peak-mountain-1269035/
Image by Beverly Lussier from Pixabay

E-Bike Tours 

If the idea of cruising down scenic roads with the wind in your hair and mountains to your left and right sounds like a dream, but steep inclines and never-ending hills sound like a nightmare, then Colorado Springs E-Bike Tours are a perfect happy medium. E-bikes are gaining popularity as a fun and accessible way to experience the thrill of conventional bike tours with ease and speed.

This tour takes attendees on a 5-mile ride through the Garden of the Gods on Trek Rail 7 E-Bikes. The 3-hour tour runs daily at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm and is open to individuals over the age of 10. As a heads-up for any mountain bikers (or purists) reading this article, you can also find epic guided mountain bike tours in Colorado Springs.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tours

Our Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tours in Colorado Springs are the perfect option for individuals looking for an aquatic adventure despite being 1,200 miles from the nearest coastline. Stand Up Paddle Boarding developed as a relaxing and fun sister sport to surfing in landlocked areas. During this 2.5 hour tour, individuals of all ages will glide atop Colorado Springs Lake as the Rocky Mountain ridgeline reflects along the water’s edge. Seasoned SUPers know that the sport can have a big learning curve, which is why joining a tour your first time is essential for learning proper technique and form.

Tour guides will teach attendees foundational skills, such as paddle strokes, footwork, self-rescue, and how to get on the paddleboard (which is more challenging than one might think). Tours run daily in groups of 8 at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm. The tour is open to all ages, but individuals who love sports that involve balance and coordination and being on the water will likely enjoy this tour the most.

Image by Gero Birkenmaier from Pixabay

Fins Course Zip Line Tour

Last but certainly not least,  Fins Course Zip Line Tour is the perfect option for adventurous souls looking to experience Colorado Springs from the sky. You will zip through the crisp blue Colorado sky, surrounded by high peaks, and soar over Seven Falls Canyon as the waterfall roars below. This tour is not for the faint of heart. The Fins Course Zip Line consists of a staggering five zip lines, 250 to 1800 ft long that reach heights of 500ft, two rope bridges, and a 180 ft assisted rappel.

Due to its technical nature, this tour is rated intermediate to advanced and is only open for individuals aged 10-80. Tours run hourly each day from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and last a total of 3-4 hours. So if you’ve ever looked up at the sky and wondered what the mountains looked like from the perspective of the birds flying overhead, this tour is your chance to finally find out. 

This list only covers the Top 5 Outdoor Tours in Colorado Springs, so make sure to check out all of the other outdoor tour offerings in Colorado Springs to find the experience that is right for you.

What is Falconry?

Witnessing the beauty of large birds of prey up close is an unforgettable experience. Falconry (hunting with a bird of prey) is a thrilling sport with a rich history and culture that offers a unique connection with nature and provides a different view of the world around you. You quite literally get a bird’s eye view!

Head falconer at Broadmoor Outfitters, Deanna Curtis, has been enamored with raptors ever since she first saw a live presentation with them in 1999. Curtis now has over 16 years of experience as a licensed falconer. Here, she’ll answer the question “what is falconry?” and share a little of her falconry expertise along with what you can expect from a Broadmoor Outfitters falconry experience in Colorado Springs, CO.

Image by holzijue from Pixabay

What Is Falconry?

“Falconry is to hunt wild quarry with a trained raptor in its natural state,” says Curtis. “So the birds are out there hunting, and when they catch something, we convince them to give it up for us to eat.”

The type of wild game you hunt with your raptor depends on the type of bird you’re working with. 


“For instance, a red-tailed hawk is generally going to be hunting rabbits – so cottontails, jackrabbits, squirrels,” says Curtis. “If you’re hunting with a peregrine falcon, you’d be hunting pheasants, grouse, quail, ducks.”

While falconry does mean working with a trained bird, they are also still wild animals with free will, and the sport requires a tremendous amount of work and dedication.

A Brief History of Falconry

Falconry is an ancient sport people have practiced for thousands of years both as a form of hunting for food in nomadic societies and as a sport for nobles in Medieval Europe, Middle East, and the Mongolian Empire. In empires, the nobility would hire master falconers to trap, train, and care for the hawks and other birds of prey so they would be available for hunting with kings and other high nobles.

Falconry has a history worldwide, though the exact origin of falconry is unknown and could date back as far as 8,000 to 10,000 years.

Nowadays, there are strict laws around falconry to ensure the raptors are properly cared for and trained because of the potential impact improper care could have on wild raptor populations.  

What Does a Falconer Do?

For Curtis, being a falconer doesn’t just mean training and hunting, but also educating people about falconry and raptor conservation. Curtis has trained and worked with 22 different species of raptors and has spent much of her career working with non-releasable raptors for educational purposes.

When Curtis takes any of her birds hunting, she goes with her hunting dog, who “flushes” the game out of bushes or tall grass for the raptor to chase.

“And hopefully [my hawk] ends up catching one, and then I give her a large reward, and I take the rabbit and cook it up the next day,” says Curtis.

How Are Raptors Trained?

“People are [often] amazed by how fast one can train a bird to hunt with humans,” says Curtis. “Usually, it’s about 2 to 6 weeks.”

The actual training process is all through food. The falconer limits the bird’s food intake to keep the bird both motivated to follow commands and light enough to fly with the speed it needs to catch prey. 


Curtis says, “If your bird is fed up, then I hold no value, and there’s no reason for it to come back to me.”

In fact, that’s where the term “fed up” comes from!

Like working with any animal, the training happens incrementally with getting the bird to fly to a post or the falconer’s hand from longer and longer distances. Eventually, the bird can fly free and will still fly back when the falconer calls (most of the time), knowing they’ll get food.

Image by Kevinsphotos from Pixabay

How Can I Learn Falconry?

Learning falconry and becoming a falconer requires a significant time and monetary commitment. It requires money for all the bird equipment, shelter, food, veterinary costs, permits, and other fees. With time commitment, it requires the time to go through at least a two-year apprenticeship and then take at least another five years to become a master falconer. 

Throughout this time, your bird needs daily care and training. Being a falconer becomes a lifestyle rather than just a hobby. 

Experience Falconry at Broadmoor Outfitters

Now let’s move on from “what is falconry” to how you can experience it! If you’d like to get a taste of what falconry is like and spend time with these magnificent birds, you can also take one of Broadmoor’s falconry experience lessons. During these sessions, you’ll meet Curtis – or Broadmoor Outfitters’ other falconer, Roger Tucker – and the birds they work with while experiencing Colorado falconry firsthand.

Beginner Falconry Lesson

During the beginner falconry lesson, your falconer will go over the natural history of the birds they have, discuss the history of falconry, and how they train and hunt with the birds. The group then goes to Broadmoor’s outdoor space in beautiful Colorado Springs, where your falconer will have a Harris hawk fly over and in between the guests. Finally, guests get the opportunity to hold the raptor using specialized leather gloves – making this lesson the perfect opportunity to explore falconry for beginners.

“I think the flying portion honestly is where people light up the most,” says Curtis. “They get excited about the birds flying so close to them and over the top of their heads.”

Broadmoor Outfitters currently has 3 Harris hawks, 3 falcons (a Saker falcon, a Lanner falcon, and a Peregrine falcon), a barn owl, a Eurasian eagle owl, and an Ornate Hawk-eagle.

Intermediate Falconry Lesson

The intermediate falconry experience is even more hands-on, where you’ll go out on one of Broadmoor’s outdoor trails with an expert guide and a trained Harris hawk. On the trail, you’ll have an opportunity to work with the hawk. Either Curtis or Tucker will guide you through using the falconry glove, holding the hawk, and casting the hawk out to one of the nearby pine trees. You’ll then be able to watch it fly from tree to tree and eventually return to your glove.

This experience is only available to folks who have taken the beginner’s falconry experience within the past year. However, if you fall in love with the raptors that first round, this is the next step!