It’s time to trade in your summer gear and break out your winter gear. Colorado is full of winter wonderland parks just waiting for you to explore!
You’ve packed away your summer gear, so now what? It’s time to break out your snow shoes, cross country skis, and snow mobiles because we have a list of state and national parks that you should definitely experience in the winter time!
Cross country skiers and snowshoers will get staggering views of Gunnison’s snow-dusted “black” rock walls. One of the most popular trails is South Rim Drive, which is seven miles long. This trail welcomes nordic skiers and snowshoers to breathtaking views at this national park.
Here’s a great opportunity to try ice fishing. How often do you get to spend quality time with your friends in a homey hut? Enjoy reeling in fleshy kokonee, trout, and pike. If you don’t know anything about ice fishing, no worries because 11 Mile Marina offers equipment rentals and guided trips.
This park has a whopping 30 square miles of sand dunes reaching heights up to 750 feet. This vastness is even more impressive in winter with cooler temperatures, fewer visitors, and that fresh blanket of snow.
Trying to decide what you want to do? Mueller State Park, which is 40 minutes outside of Colorado Springs, offers you sledding, plenty of snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing trails. In addition, they have cozy winter cabins with modern amenities for those who prefer celebrating the winter in front of a fireplace.
This park is only 14 miles away from Ouray — dubbed the “Switzerland of America” — and is set among the majestic San Juan Mountains. Ridgway State Park is a peaceful destination for winter hikes and fishing in the five-mile-long reservoir. Yurt camping is available year-round by reservation. These yurts are far from roughing it because they sleep up to six people with amenities that include thermostat-controlled heat.
You can’t go wrong when choosing a winter activity within Rocky Mountain National Park. Snowshoeing is popular for a few reasons: It’s easy to get the hang of, rentals are a breeze from the gateway towns of Estes Park or Grand Lake, and it allows you to snowshoe throughout this winter wonderland without overly demanding athletic distractions. The Gem Lake trail is a favorite among locals with granite high-rise walls and views of the Continental Divide.
The winter landscape offers some of the best opportunities to watch mammals in their natural habitat. State Forest State Park is home to more than 600 moose that roam 71,000 acres. It’s a great idea to stop by the Moose Visitor Center to get the inside scoop on where to watch these striking creatures. If you are an adrenaline junky, imagine snowmobiling through 70 miles of trail.
One of Colorado’s best-kept secrets for winter is Sylvan Lake State Park. This park is located in the Vail Valley, which is famous for skiers and snowboarders. Visitors hit the jackpot with the snow conditions, isolation, and pure wilderness that yields a wide variety of activities such as cross-country skiing, ice fishing, sledding, snowmobiling, snow-shoeing, wildlife-watching and winter camping. Your winter excursions have endless opportunities at Sylvan Lake State Park.
We hope this list of parks inspires you as you set out on your winter wonderland journeys. Make reservations and pack up your RV for weekends of endless fun!