Next Weekend: Freedomland U.S.A.

Twelve trips -- tailor-made for right now -- in the land of outdoor opportunity

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Scream Downhill COLORADO
Not since Sir Isaac Newton, have gravity's effects been so eloquently displayed: Pikes Peak Mountain Bike Tours (, based in Colorado Springs, shuttles riders to 9,200-foot St. Peter's Dome overlook inside Pike National Forest then points them down -- some 3,000 vertical feet ($60, including bikes). "It's 99 percent downhill," says PPMBT owner Dylan Scott. The 18-mile trail, built during the gold rush, passes through four tunnels, one creek and the occasional posse of wild turkey.

Earn a Billion-Star Review MONTANA
The Royal Tine Camp Cook School, in Philipsburg, is Le Cordon Bleu for the Gore-Tex set. Its four-day master class in Dutch oven baking and open-pit sautéing ($800; begins May 30 at the school's 12,000-acre ranch in the Sapphire Mountains, 90 miles south of Missoula. "We customize the program to fit your type of camping," says instructor LeRee Hensen. During downtime, cast for cutthroats, ride the ranch's 30 horses or contemplate your next menu--served with a side dish of stars.

Roll More Than Dice NEVADA
There aren't many sure bets in Vegas. But Bootleg Canyon (, an exquisitely crafted network of bike trails in nearby Boulder City, is money in the bank. "I really went out of my way to make something special," says creator Brent Thomson, who modeled routes after the downhills of a ski resort. The 35-mile system runs through a volcanic obstacle course of benches, bridges and retaining walls, every mile of it rated. Hit Ginger (a controlled triple black diamond), which includes a 72-degree downward drop. Too extreme? Stay on Girl Scout (green), Par None (green) and Mother (blue).

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