From the hundreds of inches of snowfall throughout the winter in the high country to the warm sun-soaked San Juan mountains in the southern portion of the state, Colorado offers a variety of climates and outdoor activities. Not feeling outdoorsy this winter? No problem. Colorado also has a vast number of microbreweries and indoor activities you can enjoy. Continue reading below to see why so many others flock to enjoy the Colorado winters.
1. Grab Your Skis and Hit the Run
The high country of Colorado regularly sees over 120 inches of snow a year. With fresh powder sometimes daily, the opportunity to shred down that alpine slope is too perfect. Whether you are looking to begin or looking to chase that next thrill down a double black diamond, be sure to add one of Colorado’s 32 ski resorts to that list this winter.
2. Discover Something New While You Hike
While Colorado winters are harsh at times, it also frequently experiences sunny-temperate conditions perfect for hiking. With over 39,000 miles of hiking trails around the state, you are sure to discover something new on every hike you take. Check out Maroon Lake located near Aspen for beautiful views, blue waters, and snow packed mountains above. You also want to check out the Kissing Camels located in Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs.
3. Hop from Brewery to Brewery
Colorado’s breweries are somewhat of a staple with over 400 and counting. From New Belgium in Fort Collins, to Upslope in Breckenridge, to 4 Noses in Denver, there is a brewery in almost every town in Colorado. Some of these breweries even offers a tour that takes you from brewery to brewery allowing you to really understand and enjoy safely all Colorado has to offer!
4. Enjoy a Winter Wonderland
Accompanying the 120+ inches of snow seasonally is a Christmas aesthetic unlike many others. Take a trip to Summit County and enjoy the thousands of Christmas trees decorated with lights and snow. Been good this year? Visit Santa at his workshop located at the base of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. The snow and mountain settings really bring in the Christmas cheer. You can even rent a tube from one of the many local ski resorts and chase those nostalgic memories of sledding down the hill.
5. Cheer on One of Colorado’s Many Professional Sports Teams
Colorado is home to a sport lover’s dream. They are also home to several lower level leagues across multiple sports. This means that no matter the day of the week, you have the ability to catch a game and escape that cold winter weather. The Colorado Eagles are a minor league professional hockey team and frequently hold events and giveaways at their games. Empower Field at Mile High where the Broncos call home, also is home to the Colorado Mammoth a professional lacrosse team.
6. Warm Up in a Hot Spring
Colorado winters can be notoriously cold. After skiing or shopping along main street in Breckenridge, shake off that Colorado winter in one of the many hot springs along I-70. Indian Hot Springs located in Idaho Springs is a short drive from Denver and can be made as an evening or late afternoon trip. If you’re looking to visit more of the high country perhaps visit Mount Princeton Hot Springs or Hot Sulphur Springs. Mount Princeton Hot Springs is located at the base of Mount Princeton, one of Colorado’s most notorious and beautiful 14’ers. Hot Sulphur Springs borders the Colorado river and makes for a beautiful view and background for enjoying the hot springs. How about that for a hot tub with a view?
7. Travel Back in Time With the Royal Gorge Railroad
Located an hour southwest of Colorado Springs in Canyon City, the Royal Gorge Railroad takes you back to time when rail was a necessary form of transportation through the Colorado Rockies. You can hop on the train and get the best view of Royal Gorge Bridge, a freestanding bridge located 1,000 ft above the Arkansas River. If you are visiting during Christmastime, you can even have tea with Santa while on the train. After riding the Royal Gorge Railroad,through the smaller gorges and enjoy a more temperate version of Colorado winters.
8. Sand-Surf Down the Great Sand Dunes
While Colorado is most notorious for its many jagged peaks and valleys, it is also home to one of the few sand dunes large enough to actually surf down! Great Sand Dunes Park and Preserve is located west of Pueblo and a few hour car ride from Denver. However, the journey is more than worth it. Enjoy a sunny day surfing down the dunes and soaking in some vitamin D. Just be sure to bring a face-covering or mask or you may be picking sand out of your teeth for the next week.
9. Ghost Hunt at the Stanley Hotel
The Stanley Hotel located in Estes Park about an hour north of Denver, is where Steven King gained the inspiration for the movie, “The Shining.” King reported hearing knocking on his walls and seeing figures in the notorious Room 217 on the second floor. Colorado winters can get colder with the chill of ghosts in the air. The Stanley gives daily tours through the hotel and even takes you down to the underground tunnels that exists below the Stanley. If you really want to test yourself, book a night at the Stanley and see if Steven King was right.
10. Spend the Day Inside Enjoying Denver’s Cultural Attractions
Not everyone wants to brace those Colorado winters. Denver has several museums across the city. Most notably are the Denver Art Museum and Denver Museum of Science and Nature. Both museums have multiple exhibits and could entertain for an entire day. Looking for that live nature fix? Visit the Denver Aquarium which is home to over 500 species of animals including lion fish, octopus, and tigers oh my! After touring the exhibits or interacting with a sloth, head over to the underwater restaurant and enjoy a meal while watching mermaids swim.
If you haven’t yet enjoyed one of these activities during the winter in Colorado, make sure to plan a trip to Colorado and mark these ideas off of your bucket-list! Let us know in the comments some more reasons to visit Colorado in the winter time!
Featured image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/car-near-green-trees-and-mountain-3608033/?utm_content=attributionCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pexels
Img sources: https://mtprinceton.com/relax/, Colorado Springs Gazette, @Royalgorgerouterr, @thestanleyhotel, @joshua.raschke on Instagram, and Pexels
Journalism and Media Communications student at Colorado State University. Lover of hiking, snowboarding, and traveling.