Bundle Up & Trying Something New
If you’re looking for fun this winter, careening down a mountain on a snowboard or skis isn’t the end all, be all of the available options here in Colorado. In fact, there are plenty of things to do during the winter, whether you prefer scenic and relaxing or high-speed thrills.
Let’s take a look at some of Colorado’s best winter activities!
Top Spots: Breckenridge, Aspen, Frisco, Keystone
Imagine taking in amazing views of the mountains while cozied up in a warm blanket and sipping hot chocolate. This is just a hint of what’s offered by Breckenridge Stables. Running now through March 31st for their Gold Run Nordic Center option and through April 16th for their Peak 9 tour, all sleigh rides are 30-40 minutes and offer the perfect winter experience for the whole family.
Dog Sledding Tours
Top Spots: Winter Park, Wolcott, Durango, Leadville
At the Durango Dog Ranch, you’ll head out with a professional guide and a pack of snow-loving pups for the ultimate winter adventure. You’ll start with mushing lessons, followed by a trail ride, and finish your trip with a hot drink fireside. There’s even an on-site photographer to capture the memories, so you can put down your smartphone and be in the moment.
Top Spots: Eldora, Crested Butte, Vail Nordic Center
If you love hiking during the warmer months, snowshoeing could be the ideal winter activity for you. At the Vail Nordic Center, you can rent or buy snowshoes and then take on miles of trails (groomed daily) while enjoying epic mountain views. The Nordic Center also offers tours along with a lodge area for warming up and an on-site restaurant if you work up an appetite.
Top Spots: Glenwood Springs, Nathrop, Pagosa Springs
We’ve covered hot springs previously with one of our favorite picks being Iron Mountain Hot Springs where 16 geothermal soaking pools of various temperatures are connected by heated walkways. There’s also a freshwater family pool and locker rooms with showers for guests. Plus, there’s no need to leave early with food and beverages available from The Sopris Café.
Top Spots: Chambers Lake, Eleven Mile Reservoir, Lake Granby
Don’t let a thick layer of ice stop you from catching a tasty fish for dinner. Located on Colorado’s eastern plains, Eleven Mile State Park gives you the opportunity to reel in trophy-sized rainbow, brown, cutthroat, kokanee or pike. Bring a buddy and before you go, be sure to check on the latest ice conditions via the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.
Top Spots: Frisco, Winter Park, Idaho Springs, Denver/Boulder
Here’s another favorite winter activity and one we’ve also covered extensively. If you want to stay close to Denver, Echo Mountain is a great option for you. Offering epic views of the Continental Divide, there are six lanes to choose from and a covered conveyor lift to get you from the bottom to the top effortlessly. You can also switch it up and go night tubing!
Top Spots: Ouray, Lake City, Rifle
Need fresh winter air and a change of scenery from your local climbing gym? Check out Ouray Ice Park which operates the largest manmade public ice-climbing park in the world. There are over 150 ice and mixed climbs, 11 distinct climbing areas and three miles of vertical terrain. For details, including where to rent gear, check their website.
Outdoor Ice Skating
Top Spots: Beaver Creek, Evergreen, Fort Collins
While there are rinks at the mall and Old Town Square during the holidays, don’t miss out on ice skating at Sheldon Lake in Fort Collins. Open daily, the skating area is available for as long as the ice remains 6 inches thick and the weather stays cool. Skating is free while the city clears the snow and smoothes the surface. Don’t miss it!
Top Spots: Silverton, Estes Park, Crested Butte, Salida
While you can rent vehicles in various areas across the state, Ice Pirates Backcountry Adventures in Silverton offers guided tours based on your skill level. Bundle up and explore the stunning San Juan mountains on a Polaris snowmobile with a 2-3 hour tour—or dig into even more terrain with a full day of adventure across various trails and landscapes.
Winter Train Rides
Top Spots: Cañon City, Durango/Silverton, Manitou Springs
Available year-round, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway in winter is the clearest time of year as the low humidity and snowfall decrease dust in the air. Along the way, you’ll see incredible natural sights, and wildlife like Colorado’s largest bighorn sheep, all while hearing the stories of historical points and significant people who shaped the region along the way.