Happy New Year to all!! Now that we have officially turned the calendar over to 2016, it is time to start the year off right…..with a winter adventure!! Although Colorado is known for her plethora of summertime activities, she is something that you won’t want to miss in the winter, even if you aren’t a skier!
Any Colorado Native will tell you that January and February can be some of the best winter months to go do some exploring. The mountains have had a decent amount of snowfall, but it isn’t mud season yet. While most Colorado Campers envision summer trails laced with wildflowers and a campsite by a steady flowing river, or crystal lake, those who are in the know, will tell you that the snow covered vistas, and practically empty campgrounds, make Colorado winter camping something that you need to add to your list! What better way to see the Rocky Mountain in all their splendor than by doing some off-season camping or exploring. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite campgrounds for winter camping, as well as fun winter activities in the our State and National Parks!
Ok, it had to be obvious that we were first going to suggest a snowshoeing trip right? That shouldn’t have been a surprise, seeing as Colorado is known for her hiking, why wouldn’t you want to see your favorite spots on snowshoes? Don’t let the idea of snowshoeing scare you off either if you haven’t done it yet! Gem Lake is a hard one to pass up in any season, but especially in winter. With snowshoe rentals readily available in Estes Park, this lake tucked away in Rocky Mountain National Park, measuring only 1.6 miles it is a fairly easy excursion on snowshoes. Your reward isn’t just met at the end…you are treated with your own passport to the past in the winter wonderland; surrounded by 1.8 billion year old granite walls and views of the Continental Divide, Gem Lake is a must do.
Don’t feel too comfortable ‘shoeing into the wilderness yourself yet? Rocky Mountain National Park offers some of THE BEST (voted by my personal experience!) ranger-led excursions at either entrance from January through March.
Looking for winter adventures to tickle every fancy in your family? Cheyenne Mountain State Park (15 South of Colorado Springs) and Mueller State Park (40 minutes outside of Colorado Springs) offer anything from snowshoeing and sledding, to cross-country skiing trails and endless beauty to discover. Want to stay the night after a long day of frolicking in the snow? Have no worries! Cheyenne Mountain State Park’s Swift Puma loop is available through the winter months (October 16th-April 14th) and consists of full hook up sites; while Mueller State Park’s entire campground is open through the winter with hook ups at all sites! Who wouldn’t want to live in a snow globe for a day when your campsite is situated in a picturesque forest with views of the Continental Divide? That’s what I thought.
Looking for a little more kick in your giddy up? Snowmobiling is allowed through the park in the winter months!
Looking for something “off the beaten path”? Check out the ranger-led full moon trips. If you think the Canyon is breathtaking during the day, you will be floored when you see it lit by the light of the moon.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet….Colorado’s national parks are the place to BE in the winter. Forget the lines and crowds and all the mental pictures of these parks you have in your head, because seeing them in Winter is almost mind-boggling. Mesa Verde is no different. Ranger led tours to the Spruce Tree House are offered three times a day and the views of the Mesa from a freshly snow-shoed trail are hard to forget.
Do we have you feigning to go on a Winter Colorado Getaway yet? Find yourself in one of our new Viking Ultra Light Travel Trailers that come with all the amenities (yes, including a furnace!) and hit the road to one of our favorite Colorado Getaway spots. Not into winter camping? Make sure you can get your entire crew up in one of our 12 or 15 Passenger Vans.
See you out there