The first signs of winter arrived in Colorado earlier than expected with steady snowfall and the opening of Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin, and now all the other ski areas have begun to open. Vail even opened one week before they had planned. With snow continuing to fall in the high country, conditions are nearing their peak for winter adventures. And as the temperature drops, the state’s outdoor activities are now heating up.
Play in Colorado’s Winter Playground
Skiing and snowboarding are a way of life in mountainous Colorado. Visitors will find Colorado’s 25 mountain resorts offer a multitude of ways to experience this rich winter tradition. This is a state where there is an average of 300 inches of snowfall, 2,000 trails and 39,000 ski and boardable acres of fun. One in five North American skiers choose to ski or board Colorado every year.
Along with the great ski terrain and vertical challenges, visitors can experience Colorado’s winter wonderland gliding over the snowy countryside by skikite, traveling on numerous cross-country trails, or just snowshoeing to where your heart desires. Colorado also is home to other popular winter sports including dog-sledding tours and ski biking.
Enjoy the scenic Colorado Rocky Mountain landscape pulled by 12 furry dogs and fly through the trails on a dog-sled tour in Telluride, Aspen, Vail, or other ski resorts. Half-day, full-day and sometimes, overnight sled-dog trips are generally available. Head to the Snowmass Ski Area and you will find the state’s largest dog-sled business. It is home to 200 sled dogs and all the winter adventure you can handle.
Children and adults will find tubing down Colorado’s mountains and hills can provide a wonderful afternoon break for the whole family. And, if you’re not in the mountains, snowmobiling is always a great winter experience.
Make Use of Colorado’s Ice Too
For more quality time in Colorado, take a spin on one of the state’s outdoor ice-skating rinks. Keystone Village features the largest, Zamboni-maintained rink in North America. Fun for the whole family can be found there. Most Colorado communities have ice rinks where people of all ages glide on the ice under sparkling lights and festive holiday decorations.
Ice fishing provides another chance for anglers to cast their lines and for those that are tantalized by Colorado’s famous fishing. The Blue Mesa Reservoir, near Gunnison and Crested Butte, is Colorado’s largest body of water and home to Kokanee salmon fishing. But there are many areas throughout Colorado that provides ice fishing for those adventuresome souls.
Try ice climbing as an alternative to rock climbing. The Ouray Ice Park, the first park in the world devoted to the sport of ice climbing, features ice walls taller than 100 feet and climbing is free. But you can ice climb wherever water has frozen as it comes down the sides of the mountains throughout Colorado.
Families Gather After the Slopes
Families also can also enjoy the winter pleasure one of the state’s 50 hot springs. You’ll find the world’s largest hot springs pool at The Hot Springs Lodge in Glenwood Springs. This has always been a winter favorite. But you’ll find many hot springs located throughout Colorado.
For an indoor trip for the family, you’ll find various historic museums located near your skiing and winter sports locations. The Colorado Ski Museum located in Vail features historic photographs, equipment, clothing and memorabilia from Olympic and World Cup events.
And don’t forget the Colorado nightlife. Each ski area features its own style of nightlife and after skiing entertainment. Great restaurants feature world class menus and there’s always shopping do be done when you’re not on the slopes or enjoying one of the other winter adventures that you’ll find in Colorado.