Winter in Colorado can be just as much fun for those who don’t ski as it is for those who do. It’s not difficult at all to come up with a list of fun things to do in Colorado. In fact, you may become overwhelmed by our great list of Colorado winter activities. We have ideas for every age and activity level.
Durango has a large ice skating rink that adds to its winter charm. If you like “late” night ice skating, twirl around the ice until 9 pm at Beaver Creek Village’s Ice Skating rink. Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa near the firepits that surround the rink.
Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides
Just north of Durango lies Buck’s Livery of Durango, which offers horse-drawn winter sleigh rides. Beautifully well-kempt horses will pull you and your guests through a majestic alpine landscape. Taking a sleigh ride through Colorado’s winter wonderland is what memories are made of. Especially when you add elegant dinners, local Colorado wines, convivial conversation, roaring fires and decadent desserts.
What’s the easiest, most fun way to zoom down a hill? Tubing, of course. Don’t be surprised if you get a little airborne on an extra-large, extra cushy, inflated rubber tube. Get your teeth cold because you can’t stop grinning as you spin your way down the course through exhilarating curves and surprising bumps. It’s time for the whole family to slip and slide all day and right into the evening.
You don’t go ice fishing to catch fish (although you will). You go because it’s just so spectacularly relaxing. Classic ice fishing just needs a fishing pole, a saw to cut through the ice and your favorite comfy folding chair. Alternatively, you can do the upscale thing and rent an ice-fishing cabin. There are plenty of places in the area that offer ice fishing escapes but some of the best are around Vallecito Reservoir and Telluride.
Snow-shoeing is an inexpensive way to traverse back country trails that lead to snow-encompassed valleys and idyllic stands of evergreens and aspen trees. If you’ve never been, know that it’s much easier than you think. Rocky Mountain National Park maintains dozens of different trails and trail maps are available at ranger stations throughout the area.
Steamboat Resort offers moonlight snowshoe adventures near the top of Mt. Werner. And don’t miss out on Purgatory’s Alpenglow Snowshoe tour where you can fully enjoy one the State’s most breath-taking sites: the optical phenomenon that produces Colorado’s infamous pink winter-sky.
Cross Country Skiing
Downhill skiing can be fast, at times expensive, and is more complex than cross-country skiing. Cross-country skiing is a fraction of the cost of a resort lift ticket and you can explore remote trails on your own or with friends. Strap on a pair of skis and head to the high country – there are several tracks around Durango that you can visit (Hillcrest Golf Course, Purgatory Nordic Track, and Vallecito Lake, to name a few) or you can strap on your skis and head into the backcountry. Just be sure to be avalanche aware! You can read more about that here: https://backcountryaccess.com/learn-avalanche-safety/
Let the Durango Dog Ranch’s furry friends show you how much fun they have as a pack, charging down the trail. They get so excited just make sure they don’t take off without the sled because they love to run. If you like adrenaline, piloting the sled will give you an unexpected workout and an abundance of child-like joy.
Colorado offers many miles of trails for snowmobilers to get out and have a blast. Snowmobiling is one of the best ways to satisfy winter thrill-seekers. Make it even better by starting your day off with a historic train ride on Durango’s Cascade Canyon Winter Train and spend the afternoon by meeting up with your snowmobile tour guide for a soaring alpine adventure.
Frozen waterfalls transform into frozen ice walls come winter and Ouray is rumored to be the ice-climbing capital of the, not just Colorado, but the world! Come visit in January so you don’t miss out on the world-famous Ouray Ice Festival.
If you’re coming to Durango to play in the snow, Gateway Reservations offers dozens of choices in local accommodations, including the finest hotels, cabins, resorts, condos, lodges, casino resorts, inns, motels and vacation rentals – something perfect for every budget.
Even if you’re not being whisked through the scenery by a pack of deliriously happy dogs or enjoying a serene moment ice fishing, winter in Colorado invites you to enjoy the falling snow, flickering flame of a crackling fire, the luminosity of the moon on a cold, clear night, the quietness when your world is blanketed in snow and the sheer joy of building your first alpine snowman. Come join us!