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Northern Colorado Winter Recreation

Discover the best of northern Colorado's outdoor recreation during your next visit. You'll find premier skiing destinations, winter hikes, ice fishing, and more as you travel from cities like Fort Collins, Estes Park, and Craig.

Northern Colorado, which is often considered the area directly north of Denver, stretching west to Craig and east to Sterling, is a vibrant landscape of sweeping mountain ranges, stunning plains, and a healthy selection of lakes. 

One of the can't-miss destinations in northern Colorado for outdoor thrills is Rocky Mountain National Park. Arguably the premier winter destination in Colorado, Rocky Mountain NP yields exceptional winter wildlife watching, snowshoeing, sledding, and cross-country skiing. 

Within Rocky Mountain NP, check out Hidden Valleyfor exceptional sledding opportunities. Try snowshoeing with the free ranger-led programs offered at Rocky Mountain NP. January through March, you can find these ranger-led programs on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays. 

Make your way to Winter Park, which has continually operated as a ski resort for more than 75 years in northern CO. You'll find seven different territories here, spread across 3,081 acres of picturesque terrain. The Parsenn Bowl territory at Winter Park is the highest in elevation at 12,000 feet. 

When your northern Colorado visit has you in Craig, be sure to visit the Black Mountain-Freeman Wilderness Ranch. Here, you'll discover some of the most exceptional snowmobiling trails in the state. You'll be exploring the west end of Routt National Forest, where nearly 107 miles of snowmobiling trails await.

One of the most popular winter recreations in Colorado is ice fishing. In Fort Collins, the go-to destination for ice fishing is Horsetooth Reservoir. With 25 miles of shoreline, and several different dammed areas, Horsetooth Reservoir is not laking in ice fishing chances.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Located west of the Denver Metro Area, the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area offers all Dillon-bound snowboarders and skiers over 960 acres of skiable area and 109 runs. With over 350 inches of snowfall a year, the mountain is usually open from mid-October to early July – one of the longest ski seasons in the country.

The mountain is located 10 miles east of Dillon and with such an extensive ski season, is one of the most popular summer destinations for Dillon visitors.

Breckenridge Ski Resort

Covering over 600 skiable acres, Breckenridge Ski Resort is located in the historic mining town of Breckenridge in central Colorado, and offers a wide range of recreational activities. At the Breckenridge ski area, skiers have a choice of 155 ski runs, including a 25-acre terrain park. The resort's 16 lifts and gondola services over 37,000 skiers per hour.

Summer activities at Breckenridge Ski Resort include hiking and mountain biking on the variety of trails. Favorite activities in Breckenridge include golfing, shopping, hot air balloon rides, mine tours, and spa services – all just south of Dillon and Interstate 70.

Copper Mountain Ski Area

A popular destination for all visitors headed to Dillon, the Copper Mountain Ski Area offers over 125 runs spread throughout 2,465 acres of skiable area. Located just off Interstate 70 in the Denver metro area, the mountain receives over 310 inches of snow a year and is usually open between November and April.

Aside from skiing and snowboarding, visitors can also go ice skating, snowshoeing, tubing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and much more. If you're visiting in the summer, take advantage of scenic lift rides, hiking trails, bungee jumping, go-karting, and paddle boat rentals.

Keystone Ski Area

One of the largest skiing destinations in the Denver Metropolitan Area, the Keystone Ski Area features over 3,100 acres of skiable area and 135 trails.

All skiers and snowboarders are welcome – the trails are split between beginner, intermediate, and expert levels. The mountain also features the A51 Terrain Park, perfect for riders looking to catch air.

In the summer, Dillon guests enjoy mountainside activities like hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and more.

The mountain also features two 18-hole championship golf courses.

Sunlight Mountain Resort

Set on Compass Mountain, the Sunlight Mountain Resort is located in the White River National Forest near Glenwood Springs in central Colorado.

Established in 1966, the Sunlight Ski Area features 67 ski trails.

During the summer months, Sunlight Mountain Resort offers biking tours and horseback riding.

Besides skiing, winter activities at Sunlight include snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling – all in the heart of Colorado Ski Country.

Winter Park Resort

Offering a wonderful variety of recreational activities throughout the year, Winter Park Resort is a favorite destination among Winter Park visitors.

Don't miss winter activities like skiing, scenic snowcat tours, guided snowshoe tours, Nastar Racing, ice skating, and Skibike rentals.

For summer visitors, however, activities include mountain biking, Colorado's longest Alpine Slide, disc golf, mini golf, zip lines, bungee rides, the climbing wall, and scenic chairlift rides.

There's no question Winter Park Resort is a premier, high-altitude destination in central Colorado.