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Conquering My Fear Of Heights At Portland Creek Canyon, Colorado


Modified: September 26, 2023

by Drona Thurman



Have you ever felt your heart race and your palms sweat at the mere thought of being in a high place? That’s exactly how I felt when I faced my fear of heights while exploring the breathtaking Portland Creek Canyon in Colorado. It was a fear that had plagued me for years, holding me back from fully immersing myself in the wonders of nature. But I was determined to conquer it and embrace the exhilaration that comes from overcoming one’s limitations.


Portland Creek Canyon, nestled amidst the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains, is a hidden gem known for its rugged beauty and panoramic views. The towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and lush greenery make it a paradise for adventure seekers, but it also presents a significant challenge for those who fear heights.


As an avid adventurer, I craved to experience the true essence of Portland Creek Canyon, but my fear of heights had always held me back. I knew it was time to confront this fear head-on and unlock the incredible experiences that awaited me in this natural wonderland.


Embarking on this journey required not only physical preparation but also a deep understanding of my fear and how it affected me. Overcoming the fear of heights is no easy feat, but armed with knowledge and determination, I was ready to face this challenge.


In this article, I will share my personal journey of conquering my fear of heights at Portland Creek Canyon. From the initial preparation to the thrilling moments on the hiking trail and the triumphant culmination of crossing a suspension bridge, I will take you through the highs and lows of this transformative experience. So, join me as I venture into the depths of Portland Creek Canyon and emerge stronger, fearless, and ready to embrace the heights.


Background of Portland Creek Canyon

Located in southwestern Colorado, Portland Creek Canyon is a natural wonder that beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts from across the globe. This majestic canyon is situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and offers a unique blend of breathtaking beauty and thrilling outdoor activities.


The canyon stretches for miles, with towering cliffs that rise high into the sky, creating a dramatic backdrop against the crystal-clear waters of Portland Creek. The rugged terrain is adorned with lush vegetation, vibrant wildflowers, and picturesque waterfalls that cascade down the rock faces, adding an enchanting touch to the already stunning landscape.


Portland Creek Canyon is renowned for its exceptional hiking trails, challenging rock climbing routes, and exhilarating opportunities for outdoor exploration. The canyon caters to adventurers of all skill levels, whether you’re a beginner looking to try your hand at rock climbing or an experienced hiker seeking a thrilling challenge.


Home to an abundance of wildlife, including deer, elk, black bears, and a variety of birds, Portland Creek Canyon provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature on a deeper level. The tranquil solitude of the canyon allows visitors to immerse themselves in its beauty and experience a sense of peace and serenity.


Not only does Portland Creek Canyon offer stunning natural landscapes, but it is also rich in cultural history. The Ute Native American tribe, who have inhabited the region for centuries, consider the canyon a sacred place. They believe it to be a source of spiritual energy, and their connection to the land and its natural wonders is deeply ingrained in their traditions and heritage.


Portland Creek Canyon is a destination that truly captivates the senses, offering a unique blend of adrenaline-pumping activities, breathtaking scenery, and a rich cultural history. It is a place where one can push their boundaries, overcome their fears, and forge unforgettable memories.


Understanding the Fear of Heights

The fear of heights, also known as acrophobia, is a common phobia that affects millions of people around the world. It is characterized by intense feelings of anxiety, panic, and a strong desire to avoid being in high places.


This fear often stems from a combination of physiological and psychological factors. On a physiological level, our bodies are programmed to respond to height as a potential threat. When we are in high places, our brains perceive the risk of falling and activate the “fight-or-flight” response, triggering a range of physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and perspiration.


Psychologically, the fear of heights can develop through various experiences and conditioning. It may be rooted in a past traumatic event, such as a fall or an accident that occurred in a high place. Others may develop the fear through observational learning, witnessing someone else’s fear or hearing about a high-place-related incident.


Understanding the fear of heights is an essential step towards overcoming it. By recognizing the thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations associated with the fear, individuals can begin to challenge and reframe their perceptions.


For many individuals, the fear of heights is not just about the fear itself but also about the perceived loss of control. Being in a high place may evoke thoughts of losing balance, slipping, or being unable to handle the situation, leading to a sense of helplessness and vulnerability.


Overcoming the fear of heights requires a combination of strategies, including exposure therapy, cognitive-behavioral techniques, and gradual desensitization. It involves gradually exposing oneself to heights in a controlled and safe environment, challenging negative thoughts and beliefs, and building confidence through repeated exposure and positive experiences.


It’s important to remember that the fear of heights is a common and normal response, and there is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed about it. Recognizing and acknowledging the fear is the first step towards conquering it and enjoying the freedom and exhilaration that come from embracing high places.


Preparation for Overcoming the Fear

Preparing to overcome my fear of heights at Portland Creek Canyon required careful planning and psychological preparation. I knew that facing my fear head-on would not be an easy task, but I was determined to do whatever it took to conquer it.


The first step in my preparation was to educate myself about acrophobia and understand how it affects me personally. I researched the physiological and psychological aspects of the fear and learned about various techniques and strategies for overcoming it. This knowledge helped me gain insight into my own fears and allowed me to develop a roadmap for tackling them.


I also sought support from friends and family who understood my fear and encouraged me to confront it. Their unwavering belief in my abilities gave me the confidence boost I needed to take on this challenge. Their encouragement and words of wisdom became my motivation during moments of doubt.


Physical fitness played a crucial role in preparing for the adventure at Portland Creek Canyon. I engaged in regular exercise, focusing on building strength in my core and lower body. Strengthening my muscles helped increase my stability and balance, which I knew would be essential while navigating the heights of the canyon.


In addition to physical fitness, mental preparation was key. I practiced mindfulness and relaxation techniques to calm my mind and reduce anxiety. Visualizations of successfully conquering heights, coupled with positive affirmations, helped train my mind to embrace the fear and approach it with confidence.


Equipping myself with the right gear was another important aspect of preparation. I invested in sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support and a reliable backpack to carry essentials. It was essential to have appropriate gear that would not only enhance my safety but also provide a sense of stability and security while navigating the heights.


To further ease my anxiety, I familiarized myself with the trail routes and researched the safety measures in place at Portland Creek Canyon. Knowing that there were precautions in place, such as well-maintained trails and safety ropes, helped alleviate some of my worries and allowed me to focus on the experience rather than the fear.


Lastly, I mentally prepared myself for the possibility of setbacks and challenges along the way. I understood that overcoming a fear does not happen overnight and that it requires patience and perseverance. I embraced the fact that progress is not always linear, and setbacks are a natural part of the journey.


With my mind, body, and gear fully prepared, I was ready to embark on my adventure at Portland Creek Canyon. The next chapter of my journey would involve confronting my fear in real-life situations and pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone.


Arrival at Portland Creek Canyon

As I arrived at Portland Creek Canyon, a surge of mixed emotions rushed through me. Anticipation mingled with anxiety as I took in the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounded me. The towering cliffs, the sound of rushing water, and the scent of fresh pine filled the air, creating an atmosphere of adventure and excitement.


I checked in at the visitor center where friendly park rangers provided me with a map and valuable information about the different trails and points of interest within the canyon. They reassured me that while the heights may be challenging, the trails were designed to be safe and accessible for all hikers.


Taking my first step onto the trail, I marveled at the natural wonders that unfolded before my eyes. The path wound its way through dense forests and opened up to breathtaking views of canyons and valleys. Every step brought me closer to the heart of Portland Creek Canyon, and with each passing minute, my fear of heights began to morph into excitement.


As I hiked further, I encountered fellow adventurers along the way, some of whom shared their own stories of overcoming their fear of heights. Their words of encouragement and support resonated with me, reminding me that I was not alone in this journey. The camaraderie among hikers fostered a sense of community and an unwavering belief that we could all conquer our fears together.


The trail led me to a series of overlooks, where vantage points allowed me to gaze in wonder at the vastness of the canyon below. At first, the view from such heights was dizzying, but gradually, as I soaked in the beauty of the landscape, the fear I once felt began to subside.


As I continued my hike, I encountered the sound of rushing water growing louder. Following the sound, I stumbled upon a stunning waterfall cascading down the cliffs. It was a moment of pure serenity, where the force and beauty of nature washed away any lingering doubts or fears.


Arriving at Portland Creek Canyon not only exposed me to the breathtaking sights but also introduced me to the resilience of my own spirit. The fear that once consumed me began to fade away with every step I took along the trail.


The journey into the heart of Portland Creek Canyon was just beginning, and with each passing moment, I knew I was getting closer to conquering my fear of heights. Excitement coursed through my veins as I eagerly anticipated the challenges and triumphs that awaited me on this incredible adventure.


Confronting the Fear: First Encounter with Heights

As I continued my journey through Portland Creek Canyon, the time had finally come to confront my fear of heights. I approached a section of the trail that required me to traverse a narrow path along the edge of a cliff, with a sheer drop into the canyon below. My heart raced, and my palms became clammy as I prepared to face this intimidating challenge.


With each step I took, I could feel the adrenaline pulsing through my veins. The fear resurfaced, threatening to hold me back from proceeding. But I reminded myself of my determination and the incredible beauty that awaited me on the other side.


As I slowly made my way along the precarious path, I focused on my breathing, taking deep, calming breaths to center myself. I kept my gaze ahead, not daring to look down. Thoughts of losing my balance or losing control simmered in the back of my mind, but I pushed those negative thoughts aside, replacing them with positive affirmations.


With each forward step, I gained a newfound sense of courage. The fear no longer controlled me; instead, I controlled the fear. I reminded myself that this was a moment to prove to myself that I could overcome my limitations and embrace the heights with confidence.


As I reached the end of the narrow path, a wave of relief washed over me. I had conquered my first encounter with heights in Portland Creek Canyon. Though small in comparison to what lay ahead, this triumph filled me with a sense of accomplishment and emboldened my spirit.


The view that greeted me at the end of the path was beyond breathtaking. The canyon stretched out before me, its grandeur captivating my senses. The fear that once hindered my ability to fully appreciate such magnificence had subsided, replaced by a deep sense of awe and gratitude.


Confronting my fear of heights head-on had opened a new world of possibilities. It wasn’t just about conquering a fear; it was about discovering the strength and resilience within myself. I realized that fear was not something to be eliminated but rather something to be acknowledged and challenged, allowing me to grow and surpass my own limitations.


With a newfound sense of confidence, I continued my journey through Portland Creek Canyon, ready to embrace the heights and all the thrilling adventures that lay ahead. Each step became a testament to my determination and a celebration of my ability to overcome obstacles.


As I moved forward on the trail, the fear of heights no longer held me captive. Instead, I was empowered to embrace the heights, unlocking a world of beauty and adventure that I had once only dreamt of.


Overcoming Challenges on the Hiking Trail

As I ventured further into the depths of Portland Creek Canyon, I encountered a series of challenges on the hiking trail that tested my physical and mental strength. Each obstacle presented an opportunity to push past my comfort zone and prove to myself that I was capable of overcoming any hurdle.


The first challenge was a steep ascent that required me to navigate a rocky path. The terrain was uneven, and the incline was demanding. Doubts began to creep into my mind, questioning whether I had what it took to conquer the trail. However, I silenced those doubts with determination and pressed on, one step at a time.


With each upward stride, my legs grew stronger, and the doubts faded away. The panoramic views that unfolded before me as I reached higher altitudes served as a reminder of the reward waiting at the top. The sense of accomplishment that flooded my being fueled my motivation to keep going.


Another challenge I faced on the trail was crossing a narrow log bridge suspended above a rushing river below. The fear of heights resurfaced, but I knew I had to confront it once again. I took a deep breath, focused on my balance, and began to steadily make my way across the bridge.


Every creak of the wood beneath me sent shivers down my spine, but I remained focused and determined. With each step, my confidence grew, and I could hear the cheers of fellow hikers on the other side, encouraging me to keep going. As I finally reached the end of the bridge, I let out a sigh of relief and celebrated my triumph over the fear.


The hiking trail in Portland Creek Canyon also presented me with physical endurance challenges. Long stretches of steep inclines and rugged terrain demanded strength and resilience. As my breath quickened and my muscles burned, I reminded myself of the purpose behind my journey – to conquer my fear of heights and embrace the adventure that awaited me.


I leaned into the challenges with determination, taking breaks when needed but never allowing myself to give up. The sight of fellow hikers pushing through their own obstacles inspired me to dig deeper and find the strength within me to keep going.


With each challenge I overcame on the hiking trail, I grew more resilient and empowered. The trials not only strengthened my physical capabilities but also sharpened my mental fortitude. I learned to trust in my abilities and to persevere even in the face of adversity.


As I continued to overcome each challenge, the fear of heights that once paralyzed me began to lose its grip. Step by step, I transformed from someone who feared heights into someone who thrived in their presence. Each challenge conquered became a building block, solidifying my belief in my own capabilities and fueling my desire to explore even higher heights.


The challenges on the hiking trail tested my limits, but they also unveiled a strength within me that I never knew existed. As I moved forward, I embraced the obstacles as opportunities for growth and celebrated each triumph as a testament to the power of perseverance.


Surpassing Personal Limits on the Suspension Bridge

One of the most daunting challenges I faced on my journey through Portland Creek Canyon was crossing a suspension bridge that spanned a vast chasm. The bridge swayed with every step, and the depths below were enough to make anyone’s heart skip a beat. Yet, this was an opportunity for me to surpass my personal limits and truly conquer my fear of heights.


As I approached the bridge, my heart raced with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. The sight of the slender cables and the way the bridge swayed in the wind triggered that familiar sense of unease. But I knew that this was a defining moment – a chance to prove to myself that I could push past my fears and step into the unknown.


I took a deep breath, focused my gaze on the other side, and took my first step onto the bridge. The sensation of it moving beneath my feet was unnerving, but I reminded myself to trust in the engineering and the countless others who had crossed this bridge safely before me.


As I continued across the bridge, I could feel the fear slowly dissipating with each step. With every sway, my confidence grew, and I began to appreciate the beauty surrounding me. The panoramic views of the canyon opened up, showcasing nature’s grandeur as I walked suspended in mid-air.


It wasn’t just about conquering the physical challenge of crossing the suspension bridge; it was about conquering my own mind. It was about proving to myself that I was capable of facing my fears and embracing the exhilaration that came with it. The bridge became a metaphor for the obstacles we face in life and the self-belief needed to overcome them.


Surpassing my personal limits on the suspension bridge was a transformative experience. It showed me that I was capable of more than I had ever imagined. It taught me the importance of pushing past my comfort zone and embracing the unknown.


With each step I took, I gained a newfound appreciation for the beauty of the canyon and the resilience of the human spirit. The fear of heights no longer held me captive; instead, it became a catalyst for growth and self-discovery.


As I reached the end of the suspension bridge, a sense of accomplishment washed over me. I had conquered my fear and pushed through my personal limits. The journey was not just about reaching the other side, but about the transformation that occurred within me along the way.


Standing on firm ground once again, I looked back at the bridge with a newfound sense of pride and gratitude. It represented a defining moment in my life – a moment where I chose to confront my fears, embrace the unknown, and surpass my personal limits.


Surpassing my personal limits on the suspension bridge was a testament to the power of resilience and a reminder that we are capable of far more than we often give ourselves credit for. It was a reminder that the heights we once feared can become the stepping stones to our greatest achievements.


Celebrating Success and Reflections

As I completed my journey through Portland Creek Canyon, I couldn’t help but reflect on the incredible experiences that had unfolded before me. Conquering my fear of heights and pushing past my limits had opened a world of possibilities and left an indelible mark on my spirit.


With each challenge overcome, I celebrated moments of victory and reveled in the incredible landscapes that surrounded me. The breathtaking views, the rush of adrenaline, and the camaraderie among fellow adventurers created memories that would stay with me for a lifetime.


Reflecting on my journey, I realized that the fear of heights had been a barrier that held me back from fully embracing the wonders of nature. It prevented me from experiencing the thrill of standing on high peaks and immersing myself in the awe-inspiring beauty of canyons.


This journey taught me that fear is not a weakness but an opportunity for growth. It showed me the importance of confronting our fears head-on, for it is in those moments of courage that we discover the strength within ourselves.


Celebrating each success along the way allowed me to acknowledge and appreciate the progress I had made. From my first step onto the narrow path along the cliff to crossing the suspension bridge with confidence, each triumph was a testament to my resilience and determination.


Looking back, I discovered that the true joy of conquering my fear of heights was not just in the act itself but in the transformation it brought about in my mindset. I had shifted from a place of fear and doubt to one of courage and self-belief. It was a powerful reminder that our minds have the power to shape our experiences.


The celebration of success was not just personal; it was also shared with the fellow adventurers I met along the way. We celebrated our triumphs together, acknowledging the challenges we had faced and the barriers we had overcome. The sense of camaraderie and support reinforced the belief that we are stronger when we lift each other up.


Leaving Portland Creek Canyon, I felt a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. The fear of heights no longer held power over me but instead served as a catalyst for growth and personal development. It had propelled me to step out of my comfort zone, explore the unknown, and discover the vast potential that lay within me.


The journey through Portland Creek Canyon was a transformative experience that taught me the importance of confronting our fears, embracing challenges, and celebrating each stride of progress made along the way. It reminded me that growth lies outside our comfort zones and that our greatest achievements are often found on the other side of fear.


As I walked away from Portland Creek Canyon, I carried a renewed sense of confidence, a deep appreciation for the resilience of the human spirit, and a commitment to continue seeking out adventures that push my boundaries. The journey may have begun with a fear of heights, but it ended with a profound sense of empowerment and a newfound love for the heights that once held me back.



The journey through Portland Creek Canyon was not just an adventure; it was a transformative experience that allowed me to confront my fear of heights head-on and redefine my limits. From the moment I arrived, the captivating beauty of the canyon captivated my senses and ignited a spark within me to push past my boundaries.


Preparation played a crucial role in my ability to overcome the fear. It involved understanding the fear of heights, both physically and psychologically, and equipping myself with knowledge and strategies to navigate the challenges ahead. With the support of loved ones and a mindset focused on growth, I embarked on this life-changing expedition.


Throughout the journey, I faced various challenges on the hiking trail, from steep ascents to a nerve-wracking suspension bridge. But with each obstacle, I found courage I didn’t know I had, surmounting heights that once seemed insurmountable. Reflecting on my triumphs and celebrating my successes along the way reinforced my resilience and reminded me of the power of perseverance.


Surpassing personal limits on the suspension bridge became a defining moment, where I overcame not only the physical challenge but also my own mental barriers. It symbolized the transformation that occurred within me, as fear gave way to confidence and doubt transformed into self-belief. The heights that once terrified me became a source of empowerment and a gateway to new possibilities.


Celebrating the journey and reflecting upon its impact, I realized the profound growth that came from confronting my fears. I discovered the importance of embracing challenges, pushing past comfort zones, and finding strength in community and support. The journey through Portland Creek Canyon taught me that fear should not hold us back but rather propel us forward to new heights.


As I concluded my adventure in Portland Creek Canyon, I carried with me a renewed sense of confidence and resilience. The fear of heights had been conquered, replaced with a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature and a belief in my ability to thrive in the face of challenges.


My journey through Portland Creek Canyon was a reminder that we are capable of far more than we often realize. It encouraged me to continue seeking out experiences that push me outside my comfort zone, knowing that it is through these experiences that growth and self-discovery truly happen.


So, I invite you to embrace your own fears, confront them with courage, and embark on your own journey of personal growth. Whether it’s scaling heights, conquering new adventures, or facing any other fear that may hold you back, know that the reward is not just in the destination but in the transformation that occurs along the way.