Top Activities for an Unforgettable Season

Winter in Colorado 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 in Colorado to enjoy during your trip. 

Colorado in Winter

Visiting Colorado in winter transports you to a true winter wonderland. The Rockies transform into a stunning snowy playground, ideal for world-class skiing and snowboarding at famous resorts like Aspen and Vail. Beyond the slopes, charming mountain towns sparkle with festive lights and cozy ambiance. From exhilarating snowshoe hikes to relaxing in hot springs, Colorado offers a perfect blend of adventure and serene snowy landscapes, making it a magical winter destination.

1. Go Skiing or Snowboarding

things to do in colorado in winter

Colorado is considered by many to be 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

things to do in aspen colorado FAQ

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 Ski Resort 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 Ski Resort 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. 

Winter Park Resort

winter park resort colorado in winter

Our pick for the most complete ski experience in colorado. Winter Park Resort is often rated as the top ski resort in North America. It’s easy to understand why. Winter Park Resort is the longest continually operating ski resort in Colorado and went through a huge transformation when it was owned by Intrawest (The same company that transformed Mont Tremblant and Whistler into the dynamite ski resorts in Canada.

Renowned for its expansive ski terrain, Winter Park offers slopes that cater to all skill levels, from beginners to experts. The resort’s stunning alpine setting is perfect for those who love scenic beauty, with opportunities to explore snow-covered trails on snowshoes or enjoy family-friendly activities like tubing.

Things to do at Winter Park Resort

The reason Winter Park Resort is so popular for the whole family is because of the sheer amount of winter activities on offer. From sunset snowshoes to downhill skiing on a ski bike, if offers unique experiences. It has guided night skiing on its Ski & Ride by Headlamp tour, and even sleigh rides. If you are looking for a resort similar to Whistler with an amazing village, Winter Park Resort is Colorado’s most complete resort.

With cozy accommodations and a lively après-ski scene, Winter Park Resort is not just a place to visit; it’s an experience to experience winter in Colorado to the fullest.

2. Cross Country Skiing 

colorado in winter 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

3. Snow Tubing

winter in colorado snowtubing

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.  

4. Copper Mountain Snow Maze

things to do in winter in colorado snow maze

Located in the East Village near the base of the Super Bee chairlift, The Copper Snow Maze is the world’s highest alpine snow maze that is made entirely out of snow. It has returned for its second year on the mountain and has doubled in size with 8,000 square feet for guests to get lost in the mountains.

What’s great about this winter activity on Copper Mountain is that the Copper Snow Maze is free for anyone over the age of 3. Just sign a waiver before visiting at the Copper website.

5. Sleigh Rides

colorado in winter sleigh rides

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.  

6. Snowmobiling 

snowmobiling in colorado winter

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.

7. Hot Springs

winter in colorado hot springs

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

places to visit in colorado steamboat springs

8. Horseback Riding

horseback riding in winter 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. 

9. Relax in Your Cabin

winter cabin in colorado

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 VRBO or with vacation rental agencies, but make sure you book early as the best ones can book up to a year in advance. 

Looking for a place to stay in Colorado? Check out these Cozy Cabin Rentals for your next Winter Getaway!

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. 

10. 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 gives you the opportunity to try several restaurants in one spot. 

food tour in Denver colorado

We enjoyed going to a Denver Nuggets professional basketball game. The Bronco’s football season goes into early winter and Colorado Avalanche plays 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

11. Extreme Winter Adventures in Colorado

winter in colorado

Dan did an amazing job showcasing the best winter activities in Colorado that they did. But Dave and I want to take things up a notch and share a few winter adventures for adrenaline junkies.

12. Backcountry Skiing

things to do in whistler bc backcountry snowboarding

We have mentioned downhill and cross country skiing, but for real thrill seekers, backcountry skiing isn’t for everyone, but if you want to get away from the resorts and have the skills, Colorado offers some of the best backcountry skiing opportunities in the United States. If you don’t have experience, you can join a backcountry ski tour which is the safest option. Go with an expert guide who will scout avalanche danger and the best conditions in advance.

Even if you never skied in the backcountry, you can ski the best bowls in Colorado with a guide. Never go into the backcountry without experience or a guide. Places like Vail and Steamboat Springs offer guided tours.

13. Fat Biking

things to do in ontario adventures fat biking

Move over mountain biking; fat biking is one of the best winter activities in Colorado. Plenty of places offer fat biking rentals where you can hit the trails and plow through snow. The best part? When you fall in the fluffy snow, it doesn’t hurt!

Where to go Fat Biking in Colorado

Crested Butte: Often regarded as one of the birthplaces of mountain biking, Crested Butte offers numerous trails perfect for fat biking in winter. T

Aspen/Snowmass: offers excellent fat biking trails, with rentals and guided tours readily available. T

Durango: This area offers a variety of trails that are well-suited to winter fat biking. The Horse Gulch and Telegraph Trail Systems are local favorites, offering routes for all skill levels.

Steamboat Springs: The area around Steamboat Springs is renowned for its ‘Champagne Powder’ snow, which makes for excellent fat biking conditions. The Yampa River Core Trail and Emerald Mountain are popular spots.

Breckenridge: Breckenridge also boasts great fat biking trails, with beautiful winter landscapes. Boreas Pass is a recommended trail for a scenic and enjoyable ride.

Make sure to check the local trail conditions and weather forecasts. Some trails may require specific permits or have restrictions during certain times of the year. Additionally, local bike shops can provide rentals and insights into the best trails for current conditions.

14. Dog Sledding

History of Sled Dogs

Dog sledding is a fun way to get into the backcountry in winter. We love dog sledding almost as much as the sled dogs love to run on the trail. These dogs were made for winter. It is very important to book dogsledding tours with a reputable company.

  1. Breckenridge: Known for its ski slopes, Breckenridge also offers memorable dog sledding experiences through beautiful snowy forests and meadows. Companies like Good Times Adventures provide guided tours.
  2. Winter Park: Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park and other local outfitters offer tours through the scenic Fraser Valley, providing a mix of exhilarating rides and opportunities to learn about mushing.

Ice Climbing

Things to do in winter in Canada Ice Climbing

Colorado, offers exceptional ice climbing experiences, often best enjoyed with the expertise of a guide. If you haven’t tried it before, Ice climbing can be a lot of fun. But like many of the adventures we suggest here, don’t go alone if you don’t have experience. There are plenty of places in Colorado that offer ice climbing courses and tours.

Where to Go Ice Climbing in Colorado

Ouray Ice Park: Located in the “Switzerland of America,” Ouray Ice Park boasts over 200 man-made ice and mixed climbs, and numerous guiding services operate here, catering to all skill levels.

Lake City: This area offers a variety of natural ice formations suitable for climbing. It’s less crowded than more famous spots, providing a more serene experience. Several guide services in Lake City offer personalized climbing adventures.

Vail Valley: Guided tours can take you to hidden ice falls and frozen waterfalls in the surrounding areas, suitable for both beginners and experienced climbers.

Telluride: The area offers a range of routes, and local guide services provide expert instruction and equipment.

East Vail Chutes: This area is a bit more challenging and is best suited for climbers with some experience. Local guides can provide a safe and exhilarating climbing experience.

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!

Plan Your Next Trip to Colorado With These Resources

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