With views like the picture above, it’s no wonder that folks in Boulder get out — and at all hours of the day — to enjoy our little winter wonderland. I mean, being ranked as the healthiest city in the country doesn’t come easy.
Boulder’s reputation has been earned with everyone (and their dog) going for a run at the park, or eating at the latest organic restaurant. As seasons change, the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle doesn’t.
But what are we to do when the summer weather goes away and the snow starts pouring in? On the surface our winter options appear limited compared to the warmer months but this is the true beauty of the Rocky Mountain spirit where the temperature drops and the fun really starts.
Below are some great activities to get out of the house and into the snow.
A Shout Out to the Adventure Seeker
Our winter tourist season is testimony as to the pristine powder found skiing and snowboarding on our slopes as the staples of outdoor activities in Colorado. Of course, the more famous slopes are found in Breckenridge and Aspen, but only 35 minutes away from downtown Boulder is the 680 acre Eldora Mountain Resort. Its great terrain is host to the best ski and board enthusiasts with its most popular run being 3 miles long. So, don’t spend your weekend crawling along on I-70, just head to Eldora instead. There’s also plentiful skate skiing and groomed cross country trails for those preferring to skip the ski lifts and get around by your own volition.
Ice Climbing Anyone?
Ever wanted to climb up a waterfall? Then ice climbing is your sport. Lake City and Clear Creek Canyon are known for their amazing ice climbing terrain, but thanks to a leaky aqueduct in Boulder Canyon, there are some serious ice formations during the winter months that provide a great local spot for ice climbing. Mountain Project offers some great training courses for those who want to take it to the next level.
CU also offers courses designed to get you on the ice and loving the swing and stick. You can always pop into Neptune Mountaineering for your gear.
Sledding might not be the most intense winter activity available but who doesn’t enjoy sliding down a hill at high speeds? Feel like a kid again and go grab your sleds, toboggans, disks and tubes and hit the hills! Some great local spots include Chautauqua Park, Harlow Platts Park, and Scott Carpenter Park. If you want to head up to Breckenridge, they have an alpine slide that will blow the whole family’s mind.
Winter Wonderland via Hiking/Snowshoeing
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy exploring the majesty of the mountains on foot. The views from the top are just as beautiful in the winter as they are in the warmer months. Hiking trails abound here in Boulder and the winter opens better parking spots at some of the more popular locations. The trails are an incredible gift for those with the proper gear and can be great workouts. Also, don’t forget to help the Boulder OSMP Rangers find Flatiron Freddy on Groundhog Day (February 2nd). Just show up at Chautauqua Park at 8:00 a.m., guzzle down some free coffee and treats and see if he decides to poke his head out.
Other popular hiking locations include Marshall Mesa, BoboLink Trail, Dry Creek, Mount Sanitas, South Boulder Creek and Big Bluestem Loop. If you’re more interested in snowshoeing, make sure to check out Bald Mountain, Betasso Preserve, Heil Valley Ranch, and Rabbit Mountain.
For the Culturally Inclined
Attend the Boulder International Film Festival
February 13th-16th marks the 10th anniversary of the Boulder International Film Festival. Named one of the coolest film festivals by MovieMaker Magazine, BIFF attracts thousands of ecstatic movie goers and industry players each year, but remember that popcorn isn’t included in the price of admission. Make sure to visit their website for more information.
Belly Up for those 21 and Over
Tour Some Local Breweries and Distilleries
If you’ve lived in Boulder for more than a day, you know that this city is packed with world-class craft breweries and distilleries. Nothing warms you up faster than a glass of whiskey or a nice pint from a local brewery. Make sure to check out some boulder staples like Upslope, Boulder Beer, Avery, Wild Woods, and much more. If you prefer spirits, make sure to include J&L Distilling Company, Vapor Distillery and other local distilleries along your tour. We also have a thing for writing about all that is Boulder beer.