Family Mountain Biking Adventure Puts Sharpie Extreme to Test

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure beautiful trail view

Family mountain biking in Colorado

About a decade ago, my husband and I moved our young family to Colorado.  We both loved the outdoors, and wanted our kids to grow up with an enjoyment and appreciation of camping, hiking, skiing, and mountain biking.

At last we’ve arrived at the stage in our children’s lives where we can all hit a mountain biking trail, each riding our own bike.  Having stuck primarily to hiking for these past few years… this is an exciting development!  It was a rocky start the first few times out, but I’ve picked up a few family mountain biking tips along the way.

So we were excited when Sharpie Extreme approached us, offering to send us on a family outdoor adventure.  The Sharpie Extreme line of permanent markers is particularly well suited to marking your outdoor gear, so they wanted us to put them to the test while mountain biking.

Mission accepted!

Getting the Family Ready for Outdoor Adventure

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure marking water bottles

Getting your family outdoors for an adventure can feel extreme.  Depending on the activity, everyone will need appropriate equipment, clothing, and safety gear.  You’ll need to research a family-friendly destination within your skill level.  And then there’s moms job of gathering significant food and water resources, and making sure everyone has the needed warmth and waterproof layers to be prepared for whatever weather excitement the day may bring.

But don’t let that scare you into staying home, as the payoff is big.  You can psyche your kids up ahead of time, by letting them each prepare a motivational “You Got This!” water bottle with Sharpie Extreme.  This was the approach we decided to take, and the decorating session was really fun.  🙂

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure adding inspirational messages to gear

And of course, once you arrive at that trail head, ready to go, and with sufficient supplies… that’s when the fun begins!

Where Did We Go ~ Mesa Top Trail in Colorado

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure Mesa Top map sign

Living in Western Colorado, a mountain biking vacation destination, there were numerous obvious choices.  The Fruita, Colorado, area offers miles and miles of a wide variety of biking trails, which many feel is on par with the famous Moab.

But we decided to branch out, leave the red rocks and desert landscape behind, and find a more forested, wild-flowered, cooler choice.  So instead we headed up to a site with over 10,000 foot elevation – Grand Mesa, Colorado.

Grand Mesa is the world’s largest flattop mountain, and is covered in Pine and Aspen trees.  The high elevation offers cool temps even in the summer, and it is home to more than 300 lakes.  A favorite playground for locals living in Western Colorado, this remote destination boasts very low crowds and year round outdoor recreation opportunities.

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure trailhead restrooms

Facilities at Mesa Top trail head

The “Mesa Top” mountain biking trail we selected is used heavily in winter for the very popular sport of snowmobiling.  So it was easy to find the starting location right along the main Highway 65 (also know as Mesa Scenic Byway), Grand Mesa’s only paved road which winds up the northern and southern sides and crosses the scenic landscape on top.  We arrived to discover a huge parking lot, posted trail map, and available restrooms.

Family Mountain Biking Adventure ~ Highlights

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure through the forest

Our family mountain biking adventure took place about one week ago, in early August.  The oxygen is a bit thinner at 10,000 feet altitude, but along with the elevation comes a blissfully ideal temperature of mid-60 degrees.  The sun was shining, we were excited about our new Sharpie Extreme labeled gear, and everyone was ready to explore a new trail.

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure kids on trail

Mesa Top trail alternates between easy and intermediate most of the way, with a few challenging spots which are ranked difficult.  I figured we could navigate these as we went… hopping off and walking is always an option, as long as the “difficult” means rocky stretches, not single track cliff drop offs!

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure trail obstacles

Most of the Mesa Top trail terrain is ranked easy to intermediate.

It turned out to just mean rocky stretches, at least for the distance we covered.  So that was good.

It turned out to *not* deter my wild and crazy 5 year old son in the slightest.  So that was nerve wracking.

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure rocky terrain

Fearless at age 5. Be still my heart.

He was in the lead during the entire route in, blazing the trail first for us all, sporadically yelling “WOOO HOOOO!”.  This trail runs for 7 miles, then meets up with another one I’d like to try some day – Flowing Loop trail.  We ended up biking in, then turning around and biking back on the same path – for a total of 5 miles.  Not bad for a kindergartner on a single speed Hot Wheels bike!

My daughter and I were generally a bit more cautious, and walked through any stretches we couldn’t quite tackle on our bikes.  Primarily these were uphill rocky portions, where we didn’t have enough momentum (ok, or skills!) to pedal through.

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure No shame in walking your bike

No shame in walking your bike through tough sections of trail.

Terrain varied between wooded portions where you wound through shady trees, to open meadow areas with late summer wildflowers.  We all loved this trail.  It was a perfect mix of long, fun stretches we could all bike and enjoy, with some exciting, challenging obstacles mixed in along the way.

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure break by the lake

Spotting a lake was a good time for a break!

As my kids got tired, they got a little more frustrated.  When this occurs, I recommend taking a break to rest and refuel.  We had about three breaks during our ride, and it helped the kids refresh and then take on some more of the trail.

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure inspirational messages on gear

Hydrating and reading her inspirational Sharpie Extreme messages.

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure Snack break

Just give me anything with chocolate, please.

But here’s a Reality Glimpse for you:  after doing such a fantastic job, for many miles, my son hit the wall.  He was done riding bike.  Done.  As in, I’m done.

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure done with biking

Which meant this happened.

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure dad toting kids bike

Dad pulling double-bike duty.

Ha! Fortunately, we were almost within view of the parking lot when this occurred.

Tip:  Know when to turn around.  My kids both whined when we turned to head back, wanting to go farther.  My husband and I made this call based on time, remaining water and snack levels, and the energy our kids had already expended.  We’re glad we did!

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure along a lake

Overall, we crushed it.  We loved having our personalized Sharpie Extreme message-laden water bottles.  My kids said multiple times on the ride back home, “Thank you so much for taking us biking!”  So very worth it.

Tackle Your Own Extreme Outdoor Adventure!

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure in scenic Colorado

At times it can feel like a big effort to get your family to a trail head, all ready to go, and with sufficient supplies for some mountain biking or hiking.

But we always walk away feeling happy and with a sense of accomplishment.  As a parent, I leave with the satisfaction that we’ve just taught our kids a valuable life lesson:  Getting out in nature is a fantastic way to enjoy time with friends and loved ones, live an active and healthy lifestyle, and be reminded that it’s the simple things in life that bring the most joy.

And be sure to check out the new Sharpie Extreme permanent markers for all of your outdoor gear.  We found they resist fading even when put to the ultimate test, with long-lasting bold color that lasts even in the most challenging conditions, such as UV rays, rain, snow and even mud.

Family Mountain Biking Sharpie Extreme Adventure through the forest mark your outdoor gear

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Sharpie Extreme sponsored my family to take this outdoor adventure trip.  All opinions are my own.


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About COMtnMom

Hi, I'm Tami! Writer, Influencer, and mom of two who loves travel, the outdoors, staying active, photography, reading books, and eating desserts. We are pretty much always planning our next trip to Disney World.


  1. I’m so jealous you can do this in your “backyard!” We are miles and miles and miles away from good bike trails where I am. I also love the ‘extreme sharpies!’ I’m not familiar with these. I LOVE some sharpie markers so these would probably be great for water bottles, sippy cups, soccer balls, etc. I’m constantly rewriting names on those things after practices and trips through the dishwasher. Great info! 🙂

    • Yes, we are very grateful to have beautiful outdoor places to play in the area!

      I agree… I put these Sharpie Extremes to good use this past week labeling back to school gear. Lots to keep track of with putting kiddo’s names on their stuff!

      Thanks for swinging by Beth 🙂

  2. Those Sharpies are perfect for our band kids! The names on their individual water jugs keep wearing off. I’m going to let the band directors know about Sharpie Extremes.

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