Winter fun in Colorado reaches far beyond skiing. From snowshoeing to ice fishing, you’ll find plenty of winter festivities to enjoy off the slopes. Here are some of our top picks for adventure:
1. TRY OUT ICE CLIMBING
Brave the cold for an unforgettable ice climbing escapade at Ouray Ice Park. Nestled in Uncompahgre Gorge, the park features more than 100 man-made ice and mixed climbs, 11 distinct climbing areas and 3 miles of vertical terrain.
Note: If you’re not experienced in ice climbing, it’s important to seek out a local guide company for assistance.
2. TELL FISH STORIES ALL YEAR LONG
Ice fishing will have you hooked this winter. Top destinations include Eleven Mile State Park, Antero Reservoir, Manitou Lake, Skaguay Reservoir and Monument Lake.
Note: Ice fishing can be dangerous — know how to judge the strength of ice prior to casting your line.
3. EXPLORE THE HIDDEN ICE CAVES
Natural wonder awaits at the Ice Caves in Rifle Mountain Park. This true winter gem is found on the Western Slope, about 30 minutes from the small town of Rifle and less than an hour from Glenwood Springs. December through February is generally the best time to visit.
4. VISIT A FRIGID WONDERLAND
Silverthorne officials have had talks about bringing the breathtaking Ice Castles back to Summit County this winter. If the attraction returns to Colorado, don’t miss out on an opportunity to enjoy ice caves, colorful lights, music and even fire dancers.
5. LACE UP THE SKATES FOR A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
Swap out your snowboard for an ice skating adventure. There are several charming rinks throughout the state, including free ice skating at Meadow Creek Pond in Frisco.
6. EMBARK ON A ONE-OF-A-KIND TRAIN JOURNEY
Take a picturesque journey this winter by train in Cañon City. The Santa Express Train on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad is filled with plenty of holiday cheer — from favorite Christmas tunes to warm sips of cocoa and even visits from Santa Claus. There’s also a winter scenic ride edition that skips the holiday theme.
7. CRUISE DOWN A POWDER RUN ON A TUBE
Take your winter adventures to the next level with a visit to one of the state’s longest tubing hills. Bundle up and soar down the steep slope of Frisco Adventure Park. The tubing hill offers 1,200-foot lanes, stunning views and a “magic carpet” lift that transports tubers back to the top.
8. SOAK AWAY YOUR WORRIES
The state of Colorado is home to many hot springs that remain open in the winter. A few favorites include Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort and Iron Mountain Hot Springs.
9. TREAT YOURSELF TO SWEET AND SAVORY CREPES
Swing by Crepes a la Cart on Main Street in Breckenridge. This ski town eatery features a sweet and savory collection of delicious crepe fillings. Options include strawberry shortcake, German apple strudel, smoked salmon club, pesto turkey, Philly cheesesteak and more.
10. MAKE TRACKS IN THE HIGH COUNTRY
Snowshoeing is an ideal way to explore the high country during winter. Rocky Mountain National Park offers a playground of snowshoeing treks, including Bear Lake, Sprague Lake, Nymph Lake, Gem Lake, Dream Lake and Sky Pond. Other options for snowshoeing include Herman Gulch, St. Mary’s Glacier and Quandary Peak.