Visiting Colorado in the winter gives you access to diverse natural landscapes covered in snow, providing tons of winter activities. From iconic small ski towns that make enjoying snow sports accessible, to Denver, a large city with delicious food, cultural events, and historic sites, Colorado has something for everyone. Here are the top winter activities to enjoy during your trip to Colorado.
Things to do in Colorado in Winter
Go Skiing or Snowboarding
Colorado is considered by many as the best ski and snowboarding destination in the USA. There are over 25 ski resorts in the state spread across the Rocky Mountains that have slopes for beginners, experts and everyone in between. Because of Colorado’s high altitude, the snow is plentiful. It can be skied from October through April and is known for being both dry and fluffy, making it perfect for skiing.
Where to go Skiing and Snowboarding in Colorado
Ski towns are scattered around Colorado giving you plenty of options to choose from.
- Vail has one of the largest resorts and some of the best and most diverse terrain in Colorado.
- For convenience to Denver, Breckenridge is the top choice for skiing in Colorado. You will be there in less than two hours from the airport (unless you are in traffic with the locals on the weekends).
- Steamboat Springs is less crowded than other ski towns and is great for families. It is less expensive than more well-known towns like Aspen or Vail. Howelsen Hill Ski Area is North America’s oldest operating ski area. It is the cheapest option and is perfect for new skiers. The Steamboat Resort provides 1,200 hectares of skiable terrain for all experience levels.
Cross Country Skiing
If you want to go skiing but in a more relaxed way than downhill skiing, give cross country or nordic skiing a try. You can find solitude away from the crowds where you can better enjoy nature and get the health benefits with a low-joint impact workout. Since you do not need to buy a lift ticket at one of the ski resorts, it is also a more affordable option for skiing. Instead you can find a place with a daily trail pass.
Where to go cross country skiing
- Many of the ranches provide cross country skiing as part of your stay. Vista Verde Ranch will even end your snow adventure with hot chocolate.
- Nordic Centers can be found through the state, especially near ski resorts like the Breckenridge Nordic Center or The Beaver Creek Nordic Sports Center
There is so much you can do to enjoy the snow beyond skiing. Snow tubing is an activity anyone can enjoy, and there are many snow tubing hills throughout Colorado. Many hills provide conveyor belts that will take you right back up the hill to come back down again, taking away most of the effort required.
Where to go Snow tubing
You can find snow tubing hills throughout Colorado. The Coca Cola Tubing Hill at Winter Park and the Frisco Adventure Park are both fairly convenient to Denver. We went snow tubing while staying at an all inclusive ranch, where they pulled us up the hill using a snowmobile so we tubed down over and over again.
Going on a horse drawn sleigh ride makes for a perfect family activity, or can also be a perfect addition to a romantic getaway. You can find sleigh rides that include hot chocolate, cookies and some that will take you on to full meals.
Where to go for Sleigh Rides in Colorado
You can find sleigh rides throughout Colorado offered at many resorts and adventure centers.
- Two Below Zero in Frisco provides sleigh rides with hot chocolate and cookies, private sleigh rides or a ride with dinner and musical entertainment.
For travelers looking for something with a little more speed and power, snowmobiling is the best activity for you. If you drive through the mountains after fresh snow you will see trucks with snowmobile trailers lining the road.
Where to go Snowmobiling in Colorado
Being new to the area and likely new to snowmobiling we recommend going with a guided snowmobile tour.
- Breckenridge Snowmobiling provides snowmobiling tours and unguided snowmobile rentals in Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek, Frisco, Silverthorne, Dillon and Copper Mountain, Colorado.
- T-Lazy-7 Ranch and Saddleback Ranch offer snowmobiling tours throughout the winter.
Colorado has several areas with hot springs that make for a great way to relax and warm up during your trip. A soak will be welcomed by your sore muscles after a day of skiing. Some hot springs are very true to nature while others are man made pools fed by natural hot springs.
Best Hot Springs in Colorado
Horseback riding is a year round activity in Colorado, but is mostly limited to trail rides or indoor lessons. Many of the ranches offer trail rides that end with hot chocolate. You never know if you will have a sunny day with views for miles or have snowflakes coming down as you make your way through a guided trail.
Where to go Horseback Riding in Colorado
- Saddleback Ranch
- Several guest ranches like Vista Verde Ranch include winter trail rides and lessons during the winter.
Relax in Your Cabin
Take advantage of the amazing cabins in Colorado in winter. With cozy fireplaces, private hot tubs, and amenities that make you feel at home while still being secluded in nature. There are tons of options available on Airbnb or with vacation rental agencies, but make sure you book early as the best ones can book up to a year in advance.
You can also find cabins at the dude ranches throughout Colorado. We have been to Vista Verde Ranch multiple times and have been singing their praise ever since. You stay in a cabin but get luxury meals and 5-star service. They take care of the typical winter chores like shoveling your snow for you and stocking your wood burning stove with firewood. If it is in your budget, this is the best way to have a magical winter getaway in Colorado.
Spend Time in the Mile High City
Take a break from the mountains to see what Denver has to offer. The food scene in Denver is constantly evolving with new microbreweries opening up and plenty of diversity of other offerings. We have noticed several trendy food courts opening up in the area which give you the opportunity to try several restaurants in one spot.
We enjoyed going to a Denver Nuggets professional basketball game. The Broncos football season goes into early winter and Colorado Avalanche play hockey through the winter.
Since Colorado was one of the first states to legalize marijuana in the USA, take a cannabis tour to visit a grow facility, dispensaries and restaurants.
Winter Activities in Denver
- Warm up while enjoy Afternoon Tea at the Brown Palace
- Go Ice Skating at Skyline Park
- Go on a food tour with Delicious Denver
- Root for the home team at one of the professional sports games
And these are all the best winter activities to do in Colorado. Colorado is an amazing winter travel destination. So what are you waiting for? Get outside and enjoy the snow!
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