What to Add to Your Colorado Winter Bucket List


Colorado is a winter wonderland, offering many unique experiences and activities for visitors to enjoy during the colder months. From thrilling outdoor adventures such as ice climbing in Ouray Ice Park and skiing at Aspen Snowmass to cozy culinary delights, there’s something for everyone on the Colorado Winter Bucket List. Engage in winter activities like ice skating at Evergreen Lake or relax in the hot springs of Glenwood Springs. Whether exploring the majestic Rocky Mountain National Park or enjoying the vibrant scenes of downtown Denver, the Colorado bucket list for winter has it all.


  • Colorado offers various winter activities, from skiing and snowboarding to scenic drives and hot springs.
  • Visitors can immerse themselves in local culture through seasonal events, festivals, and culinary experiences.
  • Family-friendly options abound, making Colorado an ideal destination for a winter vacation.

Destination Overview

Colorado, a key destination on many a Colorado winter bucket list, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, and the winter season only enhances its allure. The state boasts world-class ski resorts such as Breckenridge, Aspen Mountain, and Copper Mountain, where visitors can hit the slopes and enjoy various winter activities. Beyond skiing and snowboarding, Colorado offers many other winter activities, including snowshoeing, ice fishing, and scenic drives along picturesque byways like the San Juan Skyway and the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway near Rocky Mountain National Park.

Local Experiences and Culture

Immersing oneself in the local culture is a must when visiting Colorado in the winter. Visitors can explore the state’s rich history by riding on the Georgetown Loop Railroad, which winds through the stunning Rocky Mountains. Seasonal events and festivals showcase the region’s unique traditions and community spirit, such as the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships and the Ouray Ice Festival at Ouray Ice Park. The lively Pearl Street in Boulder also offers a vibrant atmosphere with its winter markets and local artisan shops.

Adventure and Outdoor Activities

For adventure seekers, Colorado is a winter paradise. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, visitors can try ice climbing in Ouray, snowmobiling in Steamboat Springs, and even dog sledding near Winter Park Resort. For a more laid-back outdoor experience, snowshoeing trails like those in Brainard Lake Recreation Area and Snow Mountain Ranch offer a chance to explore the serene, snow-covered landscapes a leisurely Don’t miss the chance to soak in the Strawberry Park Hot Springs after a day of adventure.

Scenic Routes and Natural Beauty

Colorado’s scenic byways are a must-see during the winter months. The Million Dollar Highway, which stretches from Silverton to Ouray, offers breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains. The Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, located just outside of Denver, winds through the stunning Rocky Mountain National Park, providing opportunities to spot wildlife like elk and bighorn sheep. The Pikes Peak Highway offers an unparalleled driving experience with its dramatic vistas and access to Pikes Peak, one of Colorado’s most famous landmarks.

Culinary Experiences

Colorado’s winter food scene, a highlight on any Colorado winter bucket list, is not to be missed. Visitors can indulge in local specialties like elk stew and bison chili or warm up with a mug of hot chocolate at one of the state’s many cozy cafes. For a truly unique dining experience, the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse near Leadville offers a gourmet meal in a yurt, accessible only by cross-country skis or snowshoes. Nearby, the Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs offers a perfect spot to relax after a day in the cold.

Wellness and Relaxation

After a day of winter adventures, visitors can unwind at one of Colorado’s many hot springs. The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, located in Glenwood Springs, is the world’s largest mineral springs pool and offers a relaxing respite from the cold. For a more luxurious wellness experience, the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs features a world-class spa and fitness center.

Family-Friendly Activities

Colorado is an ideal destination for families looking to enjoy a winter vacation. It boasts many ski resorts, such as Keystone and Copper Mountain, which offer lessons and programs specifically designed for children. For a unique family experience, visit the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide, where you can learn about and even interact with wolves in their natural habitat. Nearby, Pikes Peak and Manitou Springs provide additional scenic and recreational opportunities.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Colorado’s winter season is packed with exciting events and festivals, making it a top destination for winter activities on the Colorado bucket list. The Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships, held each January, features stunning art carved from massive snow blocks. The Ouray Ice Festival, which takes place in the Ouray Ice Park, the “Ice Climbing Capital of the World,” offers a chance to watch elite climbers compete on the town’s frozen waterfalls. Close by, the Black Canyon and Red Rocks present further adventures and spectacular natural beauty.


What is the best time to visit Colorado for winter activities?

The best time to visit Colorado for winter activities is typically from December to March when snowfall is abundant and ski resorts are fully operational.

Are there any winter activities suitable for non-skiers?

Colorado offers a wide range of winter activities beyond skiing, such as snowshoeing, ice fishing, scenic drives, and visiting hot springs.

What should I pack for a winter trip to Colorado?

When packing for a winter trip to Colorado, bring warm, layered clothing, a waterproof jacket and pants, insulated boots, gloves, and a hat. Don’t forget sunglasses and sunscreen, as the sun can be intense at high altitudes.

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About the author

Simone Weisman

My deep appreciation for nature and active living strongly aligns with the vibrant outdoor culture of Colorado. My enjoyment of yoga, hiking, and exploring scenic trails provides me with a unique perspective that I bring to ReadyColorado.com. This personal passion enriches my ability to connect with and inspire our audience, whether they’re local residents or visitors seeking to explore all that Colorado has to offer.