Colorado has a stigma of attracting hardcore outdoor enthusiasts, the winter especially being a mecca for powder hounds and those chasing first tracks. But don’t let the stereotypes fool you; the Rocky Mountains have something magical for everyone both on and off the slopes.
Don’t sweat it if you’re awkward on skis or simply have no interest in practicing your pizza and French fries. There are plenty of incredible snowscapes without ever needing a lift ticket. Get out and enjoy snuggle season with these fantastic cold-weathered Colorado getaways.
Pronounced “bew-na vista” this mountain town offers a lot to see and do in the winter. Rent a cute and cozy cabin while you watch the sunrise over the mighty Sawatch Range, which is home to 15 of Colorado’s tallest mountains. During the day, you can hot springs hop between Cottonwood Hot Springs, Treehouse Hot Springs, and Mount Princeton Hot Springs and after a nice long soak, grab a local brew and pizza from Eddyline to cuddle by the fire.
Touted as one of Colorado’s most luxurious towns, Aspen is the place to be seen, even if you don’t ski. The downtown is lined with highbrow restaurants and luxury boutiques, while the Aspen Art Museum hosts rotating exhibits throughout the year. You can catch a concert at Belly Up, try another winter sport like snowshoeing, take a hot air balloon ride over the Rockies, or check out the Maroon Bells for your nature fix.
Just four hours from Denver, you’ll find the welcoming, charming town of Steamboat Springs. Also known for its namesake hot springs, there are a variety of outdoor attractions from hot air balloon rides to dog sledding and snowmobiling at the famed Rabbit Ears Pass. With both rentals and tours available, you can go on a high-flying, thrill-seeking snowy adventure on the many snow trails from a motorized sled.
Okay, so Dillon, Frisco, and Breckenridge may be surrounded by ski resorts, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay on the slopes to enjoy this much-loved part of Colorado. Check out the trails near Dillon Reservoir or Crystal Lake. Blue Lakes is a fun and easy hike with killer mountain views. Dillion Ice Castles is another major draw. Each year, in January, world-renowned ice sculptors create a magical wonderland made of ice that’s perfect for family photos.
Located in the southwestern part of the state, the town of Ouray is a must-visit during winter. See the stunning San Juan Mountains dusted in snow, and after you’ve picked your jaw off the ground, head to the Ouray Ice Park to learn the ropes — literally. Classes, rentals, and various routes are available for all abilities at this man-made ice park. They host a massive ice climbing festival in January, complete with clinics, competitions, and nightly entertainment.