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Winter doesn’t have to be gloomy – especially when there are so many wonderful activities and festivals taking place! So if you’re trying to figure out ways to make your winter vacation a little more fun, then keep reading. We have everything you need to chase those winter blues away and help you make the most of your winter getaway!

Ice Skating
If you like to ice skate, then head over to Telluride where they have two ice skating rinks to choose from. Andy Hanley rink is a professional grade, full-sized indoor rink that is fully enclosed. Telluride also has, for your skating pleasure, its own outdoor rink.  The outdoor rink is now open and should stay that way until at least mid-February.  Don’t worry about getting cold because situated nearby is a comfy warming hut.  In between skating in full view of the breathtakingly, snow-capped San Juan Mountains, stop by the convenient hut to catch your breath and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.  Don’t worry about not having your own skates either – you can always rent a pair at the Telluride Nordic Center.  If you’re in the mood to skate with your friends and family, the warming hut at Andy Hanley rink can be booked for birthday parties and other small events during the regular skating hours.

Durango’s Purgatory Resort’s Winterfest

From the 12th to the 15th of January, don’t miss out on Winterfest 2018 at Durango’s Purgatory Resort.  There you’ll find a jammed-packed weekend full of fun and amazing winter activities.  Even though it’s only a weekend, you don’t want to miss it.  They have everything, and I mean everything! Ice climbing, dog sledding, snow-cat tours, airbag jumps, dinner excursions, snowshoeing and tubing.  Believe it or not, these are just some of the adventures that await you!

Durango’s Snowdown Winter Festival
Snowdown is just what the very well-dressed doctor ordered for a bad case of cabin fever.  Every year has a unique theme.  For 2018, the theme is “It’s a Black-Tie Affair”.  There’s no other opportunity to dress formally in Durango! Get out of the house and get dressed up – way up!  This coming year welcomes the 40th year of this five-day winter celebration.  From the end of January until the 4th of February, come celebrate with all of Durango.  There are events for all ages, including the always-popular and family-friendly parade of lights.

Snowdown winter festival in Durango.

Snowdown in Durango, the hot air balloons en force. Photo courtesy of DATO.


Pagosa Springs Winterfest

The fun isn’t over after Durango’s Snowdown.  It’s time for Pagosa Springs’ Winterfest beginning February 3rd.  This Winterfest event is another activity-packed weekend for the entire family.  Enjoy the spectacular winter view in downtown Pagosa as hot air balloons fill the sky and then again, the next day when they drift over the Pagosa Lakes region.  You could be a participant or a spectator for the 7th Annual Penguin Plunge!  If you’re the spectator, you can enjoy your view from the San Juan river walk as you nervously watch the turnout of some very brave folks plunge into the near-freezing San Juan river on behalf of local area charities.  How about riding in the Fat Bike Fun Race, or running your own creative, homemade entry in the “Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race”?  You can also warm up inside with a specially-made Winterfest drink and appetizer for a little game called the Super Bowl served up by the friendly peeps at Pagosa Brewing.

Ouray Ice Festival
Haven’t had enough ice?  The 23rd Annual Ouray Ice Festival begins January 18th and runs through the 21st.  For three days and nights, Ouray is the ice-climbing center of the universe.  Ice climbers, of every degree, from all around the world, come to Ouray to celebrate all things ice-climbing.  You’ll find an abundance of vendor exhibitions, giving you the opportunity to explore the latest in ice-climbing tools, gear, and apparel from leading retailers.  A multitude of observers line the top of a spectacular natural gorge to view the battle of the world’s best ice and mixed climbing talent.  The Ouray Ice Festival also offers climbing clinics for every skill level.  It doesn’t stop with the competitions or clinic either.  The nightlife offers plenty of good music, food, silent auctions and dance parties.  The best part? No registration required to climb, watch the competitions or check out the vendors. If you’d rather participate than watch, see our package discounts here.

Cross-Country Skiing
If you’d like something a little more sedate and quiet, Purgatory Nordic Center, Mancos-Chicken Creek Nordic Ski area, and Vallecito Lake offer groomed trails for the cross-country ski enthusiasts.  They all provide various routes and a variety of trails for all levels of skill.

Hot Springs

Finally, when you just can’t take any more fun, any more snow, or any more ice, then consider soaking in one of nature’s own spas.  While you’re celebrating Snowdown in Durango, check out the Trimble Spa and Natural Hot Springs. If you happen to be near Glenwood Springs, Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge offers the world’s largest hot springs pool while Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood gives you a choice of 16 different soaking pools ranging in temperature and a family-friendly freshwater pool to enjoy right on the Colorado River.

Ouray also provides a wealth of hot springs choices including the Wiesbaden Hot Springs, the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs and the Twin Peaks Lodge and Hot Springs.

Did watching those crazy people jump into the San Juan River in Pagosa give you the chills? Warm up with a relaxing soak in the world’s deepest geothermal springs at the Springs Resort and Spa or the Overlook Hot Springs Spa.

Now you have no reason to be blue! Come enjoy Alpine entertainment at its finest. You don’t have to be a skier to love the winters in Southwest Colorado.