Colorado Winter Adventures

Advisor - Amanda Barrett
Curated By

Amanda Barrett

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  • Colorado

  • Denver

  • Couples Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Mountains

  • Hiking

snowy mountain and evergreen forest
Curator’s statement

If you know me, you quickly find out that winter is my least favorite season. But among the cold days and snowy nights Colorado has so much to offer. You can't go wrong with Aspen, Vail or Snowmass, but have you heard of Leadville? How about spending the day at one of the many hot springs or finding local rock shops? Read on for some unique local activities!

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay in Colorado

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Dunton Hot Springs

An alpine valley ghost town turned private resort, with a bathhouse, spa and on-tap mountain adventures.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Tennessee Pass Nordic Center & Sleep Yurts

Embrace the beauty of the Colorado wilderness at Tennessee Pass Nordic Center & Sleep Yurts, where rustic charm, outdoor adventures, and cozy yurts nestled in nature provide a unique and unforgettable getaway in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

Amigo Motor Lodge

Stylish motel along Highway 50 with vibrant, southwestern-inspired rooms.

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Advisor - Amanda Barrett

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Things to do in Colorado

Mountains in day light.


  • Dog sledding with Good Time Adventures - My ideal day involves petting dogs, so what better way to vacation than to get to go dog sledding! These pups love to run and are very well taken care of. If thats not your thing they also offer
    Snowmobiling. The course is 6 miles long and is a unique and interactive way to experience dog sledding and the Rocky Mountains!

  • Downtown Breckenridge - Take a stroll downtown and check out all the unique shops they have. A personal favorite is Natures Own rock shop. I am blown away with the unique items they have inside. I could spend hours in there!

  • Breckenridge Troll “Isak Heartstone” - Hop on the Breck Free Ride for an easy ride to the Trollstigen Trailhead. It’s a very easy and beautiful walk to the troll. Early in the day or later at night is quite and you’ll get some alone time with him. Please respect the signs.


  • Tennessee Pass - “Colorado’s most unique Cross Country Skiing, Dining, & Lodging Destination.”

  • Nordic Center - Over 27 kilometers of set track and wide skate lanes on a groomed trail system that offers ample terrain for every style and ability level. They have a well-stocked rental program that includes classic XC skis, skate skis, fat bikes, or snowshoes so you can leave all your equipment at home.

  • Ski or snowshoe to the Cookhouse - A one mile ski, snowshoe, or hike to the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse and enjoy an evening of four-course dining in the backcountry. This is one of my favorite dinners I’ve ever experienced. It is all off grid and you’ll be hungry after your hike up. The food is perfection and full of flavor. The best part is heading back down after dinner in the pitch dark with the twinkle of the stars and sound of snow crunching under you. Better yet, instead of heading home after dinner, you can rent one of their yurts and stay the night!

  • Ski Cooper: in the same parking lot as Tennessee Pass is a quaint ski resort. The people are friendly, slopes aren’t as crowded and lift tickets are affordable! I find that more people ski, but snowboarders are definitely welcome

Hot Springs

What better way to warm up in the cold winter months than to visit some hot springs. These are a few of my favorites:

  • Valley View Hot Springs - A nonprofit, clothing-optional, off-the-grid spot is a special way to experience the land of the San Luis Valley. Several all-natural soaking ponds are found along wilderness trails. There is also a hot tub and sauna that are heated geothermically and hydroelectrically. This books up fast so plan to make reservations. Also if nudity offends you, this might not be the place for you.

  • Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort - I grew up going here as a child and have so many fond memories of it. Its proximity to Monarch Mountain and Ski Cooper makes it a perfect after ski stop. Thirty small pools are located right in Chalk Creek, which runs alongside the property. They also have more full size swimming pools with slides for kids and an adults only area with a swimming pool, snack bar and spa.

  • Great Sand Dunes Swimming Pool - Open year-round, this outdoor facility features a family pool and therapy pool. There's also an indoor adults-only greenhouse with a variety of pools. Who doesn’t want to jump off a diving board in the middle of winter into warm mineral water?!

Places to eat & drink in Colorado

Interior of a coffee shop.

Lunch and dinner

  • Tennessee Pass Cookhouse: I talked about it above, but this is such an awesome experience that it’s not to be missed. The dinners are my favorite but they do also serve lunch.

  • Boathouse Cantina in Salida: set on the river, Tex-Mex style and can get very busy during high seasons. Great vegan options!

  • Simple Eatery: counter service with fresh soups and salads. Outdoor seating for warmer days.

  • Eddyline Brewery: Need a quick lunch? They will get you in and out in time for your next adventure.

  • Twist Creative Cuisine: Daily specials and always a vegan option on the menu.

  • Piante Pizzeria: All vegan pizzas made from mostly fresh, organic, non-GMO, local, seasonal, and house-made ingredients.

Breakfast and lunch

  • Amazing Grace: Healthy locally sourced options for breakfast and lunch. Hearty salads

Have a picnic

  • The Lettucehead: Grab some organic food to make your own healthy picnic. I love stopping here to get snacks, but they are a full grocery and have great options for sandwiches and easy-to-make meals. Take your goodies to the nearby river for the perfect peaceful meal.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, The Best of Denver Guide.

Advisor - Amanda Barrett

Travel Advisor

Amanda Barrett

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Colorado.