Colorado’s mountain coasters are some of the best in the USA.
Located in beautiful mountainous areas, these rides are the ideal outdoor activity for you and your family.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Colorado’s mountain coasters then you have come to the right place!
These rides are very popular during the summer season and some even continue to operate during winter (we’ve made a note of which ones are below).
The key difference between mountain coasters and roller coasters is that mountain coasters are fitted with a manual brake allowing riders to control the speed of their descent.
This makes for a far more enjoyable ride. But don’t think that these rides are too tame for you.
They can reach a speed of up to 30 miles per hour (48 km per hour) and with their multiple twists, turns and 360-degree loops you’re in for a thrilling ride.
In this article, we list the best mountain and alpine coasters for you to check out in Colorado.
We’ll leave it up to you to decide which one is your favorite..
Colorado’s Mountain Coasters
- Gold Runner Alpine Coaster – Breckenridge
- Rocky Mountain Coaster – Copper Mountain
- Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster – Vail
- Breathtaker Alpine Coaster – Aspen Snowmass
- Mustang Mountain Coasters – Estes Park
- Inferno Mountain Coaster – Purgatory
- Alpine Coaster – Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
- Outlaw Mountain Coaster – Steamboat Springs
Map of Colorado Mountain Coasters
If you’re wondering where to find the mountain coasters in Colorado then we’ve got you covered.
The following map shows the location of every mountain coaster mentioned in this article:
One of the great things about Colorado’s Mountain Coasters is that some of them are located close to one another.
This means that if you’re spending time in the Rocky Mountains, you’ll have an opportunity to try out more than one ride.
Colorado Mountain Coaster Comparison
While there are a number of factors to take into account when choosing a mountain coaster (location, price, opening times etc.), we decided that total length and downhill ride time were the most relevant.
Keep in mind the mountain and alpine coasters are all fitted with a manual brake. This means that riders are able to control the speed of their descent.
The downhill times are therefore not 100% accurate but are a good indication of what you can expect on the ride.
|Coaster||Length (feet)||Downhill Time (min)|
|Gold Runner Alpine Coaster – Breckenridge||2,500||1:00|
|Rocky Mountain Coaster – Copper Mountain||5,800||2:00|
|Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster – Vail||3,400||2:00|
|Breathtaker Alpine Coaster – Aspen Snowmass||5,280||1:40|
|Mustang Mountain Coasters – Estes Park||2,043||1:00|
|Inferno Mountain Coaster – Purgatory||4,000||1:40|
|Alpine Coaster – Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park||3,400||1:50|
|Outlaw Mountain Coaster – Steamboat Springs||6,280||2:00|
1. Gold Runner Alpine Coaster – Breckenridge
The first mountain coaster on our list is the Gold Runner Alpine Coaster located at the Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Covering a distance of 2,500 feet (762m) the total ride time on this mountain coaster is about 4 minutes. This includes the cable-pulled ascent to the top.
The total downhill ride time is about 1 minute long.
In summer, we wouldn’t recommend paying for a single ride but instead purchasing either Adventure Pass or Pioneer Pack which give you access to additional summer activities at the resort including the Breckenridge Alpine Slides.
The Gold Runner Alpine Coaster also operates during the winter season. So if you’re heading to Breckenridge this winter and you’re looking for a non-ski activity make sure you check this ride out.
The mountain coaster is located at the Peak 8 Base Camp, which is accessible via the free BreckConnect Gondola from town.
2. Rocky Mountain Coaster – Copper Mountain
Not far from our previous mountain coaster, located at the Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado is the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster.
This is one of the longest mountain coasters in North America!
The Rocky Mountain Coaster boasts 5,800 feet (1,768m) of track and a vertical descent of 430 feet (131m)
The total downhill ride time is about 2 minutes long.
The Rocky Top Mountain coaster is open in the summer and winter seasons.
3. Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster – Vail
One of the most popular summer activities at Vail is the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster.
The Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster has a total length of 3,400 feet (1,036m) and you can expect about 2 minutes of downhill ride time.
The Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster forms part of Vail’s Epic Discovery at the top of the mountain.
This means that in order to access the mountain coaster you’ll need to purchase a scenic gondola ticket and catch the Eagle Bahn gondola from Lionshead Village.
The gondola ride is also a great experience and once you reach the top there are a number of other activities to do in addition to the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster.
The Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster is one of the mountain coasters on this list that does not operate during the winter season.
The mountain coaster is very popular in summer. To avoid a long wait time we recommend going early before it gets too busy.
4. Breathtaker Alpine Coaster – Aspen Snowmass
Aspen Snowmass Resort is where you’ll find our favourite mountain coaster, the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster.
At just over a mile long this ride provides a smooth, long and fast ride as you wind through the trees.
You can expect a total ride time of 7-9 minutes and a downhill time of about 1:40.
This mountain coaster operates in both summer and winter.
If you’re fortunate enough to be in Aspen Snowmass when they host the Ullr Nights, then you might get a chance to ride the alpine coaster at night.
In summer, the alpine coaster forms part of a larger summer adventure park called the Lost Forest.
Your Lost Forest ticket gives you unlimited rides on the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster.
In winter, you can purchase a ticket to ride the mountain coaster (3-rides) or a combo ticket which includes snow tubing.
Both tickets include the gondola ride to get to the start of the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster.
5. Mustang Mountain Coaster – Estes Park
Next up is the Mustang Mountain Coaster, located at Estes Park.
This is a reasonably new mountain coaster in Colorado (opened in 2021) and a welcome addition.
This mountain coaster is 2,043ft (623m) in length and has a total ride time of about 4 minutes.
The downhill section is about 1 minute depending on your speed.
There are certainly mountain coasters with longer ride times, but what this coaster lacks in downhill time it makes up in speed and steepness of the descent.
This coaster operates year round so you’ll be able to visit it in summer and winter.
Winter is always dependent on the weather conditions so we advise phoning in advance to check if it is open.
6. Inferno Mountain Coaster – Purgatory
The Inferno Mountain Coaster, located at the Purgatory Resort is number 6 on our list of Colorado mountain coasters.
This mountain coaster is a bit further south than the rest, but that doesn’t make it any less of a ride.
Reaching a speed of up to 25 mp/h (40 km/h), the Inferno Mountain Coaster is 4,000 ft (1,219m) in length and offers a respectable downhill ride time of 1:40.
A favorite for thrill seekers, this ride is open in the summer and winter seasons.
Tickets to ride the Inferno Mountain Coaster can be purchased online.
If you’re in the area then make sure you put this ride on your to-do list.
7. Alpine Coaster – Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Number 7 on our list is the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Alpine Coaster.
This mountain coaster is located at America’s only mountain-top theme park above Glenwood Springs, Colorado and about 160 miles west of Denver.
This mountain coaster was built in 2005 and was the first mountain coaster built in North America.
Another interesting fact about this mountain coaster is that it was the first ride to be installed at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
At the time, the cave tours were becoming so popular, and the wait times so long, the owners decided to install this ride to give visitors something to do while they waited.
Reaching a speed of up to 25 mp/h (40 km/h), the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Alpine Coaster is 3,400 ft (1,036m) in length and offers a respectable downhill ride time of 1:50.
This mountain coaster operates year-round. The winter operating hours are reduced so make sure you visit the website to confirm the latest opening times.
The mountain coaster is one of many activities on offer and the cost to ride is included as part of the Family Funday or Winter Funday ticket.
8. Outlaw Mountain Coaster – Steamboat Springs
The Outlaw Mountain Coaster, located at Steamboat Springs Resort is last on our list and there is a reason for that – it is permanently closed.
We didn’t think our list would be complete if we didn’t mention this ride even if it is no longer available.
At 6,280 ft (1,914m), this was one of the longest mountain coasters in the USA (the longest being the Cliffside Mountain Coaster).
A very popular ride for visitors since its opening in 2017, this ride closed at the end of the 2021/2022 ski season due to the new developments at the Steamboat Resort.
The project, known as Full Steam Ahead, will result in massive upgrades to the resort with the main project being the Wild Blue Gondola.
Unfortunately, the Outlaw Mountain Coaster has been removed and is unlikely to be replaced.
The good news for those who enjoyed the Outlaw Mountain Coaster is that the Howler Alpine Slide located downtown at the Howelsen Hill Ski Area is available in summer.
Colorado Mountain Coaster Tips
If you’re going to ride a mountain coaster this season then we’ve included a few things to be aware of before you go:
1. We always recommend you check the opening times and weather before you go, especially during the winter months.
The mountainous weather can be temperamental and whilst more of these mountain coasters can operate in the rain, for safety reasons they do close in adverse weather conditions.
2. If you happen to ride a mountain coaster during winter make sure you dress warmly. The low temperatures and wind chill can make for a very unpleasant ride if you aren’t wearing the right clothing.
3. Although mountain coasters have a number of safety features, you’ll still need to sign a waiver form for each Colorado mountain coaster.
In most cases, you can do this online in advance and save yourself time.
4. Prices vary based on the location of the ride but you can expect to pay between $40-$50 for a mountain coaster ride.
In summer, the larger resorts often have activity passes that give you access to the mountain coasters as well as additional activities on the mountain. Activity passes usually work out to be the most cost-effective.
5. One last thing to keep in mind is that some of these rides are often located at the top of the mountain. This means you’ll also need to purchase a gondola ticket in addition to the mountain coaster ticket (although sometimes this is included in the total price).
Colorado really is spoilt for choice when it comes to mountain coasters, with 7 currently in operation.
The mountainous areas in Colorado are perfect for these rides as they provide the natural elevation, beautiful surroundings and sweeping views that make these rides so unique.
If you live in Colorado, or you’re heading there for a vacation, then make sure you add one of these mountain coasters to your list of activities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a mountain coaster in colorado?
Colorado has not one but seven active mountain coasters that operate during the summer and winter seasons.
What is the best mountain coaster in colorado?
With seven operating mountain coasters to choose from in Colorado, everyone will have a different opinion on which one is the best.
But we recommend you try as many as you can and make that decision for yourself.
If we had to choose, then by a small margin we would say that our favorite mountain coaster in Colorado was the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster at Aspen Snowmass.
Does Colorado have mountain coasters?
Yes – Colorado has 7 operating mountain coasters which you’ll be able to find in the following places: