Colorado is home to a multitude of mountain towns that boast a variety of winter time activities. Immerse yourself in western culture, leave the city lights behind, and plan a weekend getaway that will be unlike any other. From eccentric to luxurious to truly one-of-a-kind, the Rocky Mountains are home to a myriad of cultures, landscapes, and communities waiting to show you what they’re all about. If you’re looking to take a break from the slopes, check out one of these towns below.
Needing a recess from snow sports? Head over to Clark, Colorado for year-round horseback riding. Guests of this northwestern Colorado town will get a taste of the Old West. Walk down a historic main street and pop into the general store for various sundries. Clark also offers snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or dog sled tours in the shadow of the majestic Hahns Peak.
Just 45 minutes west of Colorado Springs, this former mining town offers visitors a glimpse of Colorado’s rich history. Cripple Creek is a town barely touched by the passing of time. The discovery of gold in 1890 put Cripple Creek on the map as a top mining destination, and now, these historic buildings are home to casinos, restaurants, and hotels. Guests can spend the day visiting Old West Museums like Outlaw and Lawmen Jail Museum, or witness skilled artists hone their sculpting skills during the 2019 Cripple Creek Ice Festival.
Salida & Buena Vista
These two neighboring towns are often visited for their summer water sports – however, both host a variety of winter activities, as well. Cater to the adventurous human spirit by taking a dog sled tour in Monarch Park through the national forest. Guests will learn about the sport of mushing and enjoy a private, 45-minute ride through snow covered trees and serene mountain vistas Located alongside the Arkansas River, the Salida Palace Hotel will welcome you with its coupling of Old West charm and new age elegance. The warm, wooden staircases and ornate chandeliers are reminiscent of Salida’s origins. Salida Palace Hotel is in the heart of downtown and offers immediate access to delicious restaurants and cool bars.
Ouray & Telluride
Often referred to as ‘The Switzerland of the West’, many Coloradans believe Ouray is best experienced during the winter months. From ice climbing to snowmobiling, guests can enjoy winter sports without the fuss of the front range crowds. If you’re looking for a more relaxed pace, Ouray’s Hot Springs pool is open year round. Let the restorative waters work their magic while your eyes take in the beautiful winter relief of Ouray’s mountains.
Telluride offers luxury and adventure in the heart of the San Juan Mountain Range. This iconic mountain town offers an array of winter time activities – from ice skating in Telluride Town Park to Heliskiing on some of the best snow in the state, you’ll have a truly authentic mountain experience here.
Tucked high up in the San Juan Mountain Range, Dunton, Colorado is a former 1800’s ghost town now converted to a charming mountain resort. In 2016, it was listed on Conde Nast’s Travelers Gold List and has been making headlines ever since. Its cozy yet elegant cabins are isolated and picturesque – giving guests an authentic get away nestled in the rocky San Juans. Dunton offers natural hot springs, spa treatments, and much more. Recharge in the heart of the Rockies at this sophisticated get away.
Home to just under 1,500 residents, this quaint mountain town offers a break from the hustle and bustle of the front range. Originally settled by farmers, ranchers, and miners, Paonia boasts a wide variety of fruit farms and vineyards that help contribute to its burgeoning wine scene. Sip wine at Azura Cellars and swap stories with locals and wine lovers alike. Stay at the boutique Bross Hotel Bed & Breakfast and be a part of living history.
Colorado is home to much more than world-class skiing and remote alpine terrain. If you’re interested in what else this beautiful state has to offer, plan a weekend getaway to one of these mountain towns and experience our home from a fresh perspective.