November 3  |  Our Communities


9 Things to Do in Colorado This Winter Other Than Skiing

When we think about winter in Colorado, our minds immediately go to skiing. This classic winter sport is a favorite for Coloradoans and tourists alike—with Colorado ski resorts reporting more than 59 million visits during the 2018/19 season.

But if you aren’t a huge fan of skiing, there are still a number of things to do in the Rocky Mountain State this season. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite ways to spend the winter in Colorado below. Have fun!

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Explore our small mountain towns

Keystone, Frisco, Breckenridge, Vail, Steamboat Springs, Colorado is packed full of iconic skiing destinations. But for those of us who aren’t keen on sliding down the mountain on skis, these adorable towns still have plenty to offer. Offering classic Old West vibes and a quaint atmosphere, Colorado’s small towns can be vacation destinations all on their own. Go shopping at a few small boutiques; grab hot chocolate at a local café, settle in for a great meal at a restaurant; or stop in to peruse a museum—the possibilities are endless!

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Go snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado Winter Activities

Hiking is a classic Colorado exploration activity, but when the snow is just too deep, local adventurers often turn to snowshoes. These magical devices strap to your snow boots and allow you to reach new terrain to take in Colorado’s many natural wonders covered in glistening white snow. One of our favorite places to go—specifically in Northern Colorado—is Rocky Mountain National Park! Most of RMNP’s trails can be explored with snowshoes, you’ll just want to make sure the trail is open before visiting. You can find current trail condition updates here.

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Or ice fishing at one of our reservoirs

While fishing in the warmer months is a tried-and-true pastime for Coloradoans, ice fishing has been gaining popularity over the past few years, too. There are several fantastic places to go ice fishing throughout the state, but we’re partial to our many beautiful reservoirs like Eleven Mills in Lake George, Harvey Gap in Silt, Chatfield near Centennial, and Twin Lakes near Leadville. Stop by a local tackle shop to pick up your gear and be sure to consult the Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s list of ice-fishing safety tips before heading out to the ice.

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Catch a ride on a scenic train

Pike's Peak

Photo courtesy of The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway

While many Colorado residents will book a ticket on a scenic railway in the fall, these exciting attractions offer equally stunning views in the winter! The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway—which just happens to be the highest railway in America—ascends to a height of 14,115 feet to a summit where the song “America the Beautiful” was actually penned. The Royal Gorge Route in Canyon City is also an amazing ride, giving you the chance to see craggy granite cliffs and the snow-covered banks of the Arkansas River.

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Relax at a hot spring

While winter in Colorado often means outdoor activities that help get your heart racing, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of opportunities for a day of wintery relaxation. Colorado’s mountains are home to several hot springs, where you can soothe your sore muscles after a day of adventuring. Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs, Indian Springs Resort in Idaho Springs, Dunton Hot Springs in Telluride, Juniper Hot Springs in Lay and Overlook Hot Springs Spa in Pagosa Springs are just a few of our favorites around the state.

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Head to the tubing hill

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Bundle up in your coziest winter gear and head for the hills at Vail, Keystone, Steamboat, Copper Mountain, Cuchara or Fraser! These tubing hills give you the chance to ride up the lift and slide down the snow-covered hill in a comfortable inner-tube. And, if you don’t feel like heading to an official tubing hill, just purchase your own inner-tube and hit the hills at your local neighborhood park.

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Try ice climbing

For the adventure seeker who has already conquered Colorado’s many Black Diamonds, ice climbing is the perfect challenge. Throughout the state, waterfalls turn into ice walls in the winter which many experienced climbers attempt to traverse. The mountain town of Ouray is considered the ice-climbing capital of the world, but there are several other cities like Lake City, Vail, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs and Boulder that have plenty of ice climbing opportunities for you to explore.

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And ice skating

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A tried-and-true winter activity, ice skating is a classic for a reason. There are hundreds of places to go skating around Colorado, from your backyard pond to a local ice rink! But if you really want to take advantage of our state’s love of winter sports, head to one of our many outdoor skating rinks like Skate in the Park in Colorado Springs, the The Downtown Rink in Denver, the Frozenfire Ice Rink at Digger Field in Idaho Springs, or one of the many rinks throughout Colorado State Parks.

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Attend a winter festival

Winter is right around the corner and holiday markets, winter carnivals and ice festivals are following close behind. There are so many incredible events to look forward to this season from 12 Days of Aspen and the Breckenridge ULLR Fest in December to the Estes Park Winter Festival in January and the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival in February. Head to Colorado.com for an updated calendar on upcoming events this season!

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Have a great winter!

What do you like to do in Colorado in the winter? Let us know in the comments below.

 


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