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05 Jan 2018

Have Fun This Winter Without Skis or Snowboards

January is the official first month of winter in Colorado, and most Coloradans are starting to strap skis and boards to the tops of their Subarus and head towards the resorts every weekend. However, there may or may not be a lot of snow up on the slopes and it’s always good to have a plan B on the weekends in case the powder is just a dusting. Or you may have kids or in-town visitors who aren’t ready to force their feet into heavy boots and bind themselves to slats of wood and hurl themselves screaming down a mountain.

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As a Reunion resident, you always have access to our parks and trails for hiking, snowshoeing, or even dog sledding (if you can get the family dog to cooperate). But if you’re looking for a little more adventure off-campus, here are a few winter activities that don’t require a lift pass.

ICE SKATING

Strap on a pair of blades and glide effortlessly across a ring of ice (or cling to the wall and hope for the best!). Skyline Park in downtown Denver offers free ice skating during the winter. You can bring your own skates or rent them for $6 for kids or $8 for adults. If you want more mountainous surroundings, head over to Evergreen Lake for day or night ice skating.

DOG SLEDDING

Have you ever dreamed about yelling “Mush!” at a team of huskies as they’re speeding you along a snowy trail, wind whipping at your face? Who hasn’t? Dog sledding is becoming more and more popular in Colorado, so go ahead and jump on the dog-driven bandwagon.

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TUBING

This is the perfect activity for kids or non-skiers in the family. Many ski resorts offer tubing lanes, including Copper Mountain, and night time tubing is an option in Snowmass. Once you reach the bottom, lifts and tow ropes will carry your tube back up the hill.

SLEDDING

Get ready to fly down a snow-covered hill on your chariot of choice! Most places that offer tubing also offer sledding options. One of the more popular sledding destinations is Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll have to bring your own sled, though. Another fun destination is Firecracker Hill in Telluride. You can BYOS or rent one from the Nordic Center in town.

SNOWMOBILING

Zip across a beautiful snowy landscape with the added thrill of horsepower. With more than 3,000 miles of snowmobiling trails throughout the state, you won’t have trouble finding a place to rent and ride. A few popular destinations are Grand Lake, Winter Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Buena Vista. If you’re a first-timer, consider going on a guided tour with a reputable outfitter like High Country Tours or Grand Adventures.

CAVE OF THE WINDS

Amusement parks aren’t just for summer vacations. Cave of the Winds is a Colorado natural attraction that’s open daily, year-round, from 10 am to 5 pm. Take a cave tour, ride on one of the daring attractions, and enjoy breathtaking views of Williams Canyon.

Colorado offers so many ways to relish the cold and snow before late spring hits and everything starts to melt. So throw on your down jackets, grab your hats and mittens, lace up your snow boots, and go out and enjoy the crisp winter air. And then come home to that roaring fireplace and hot cocoa (or hot toddy) that you’ve earned.


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