8 Colorado Ways to Enjoy the Long Weekend this Month
Posted by Danielle Maxey on Jan 17th 2020
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is coming next week which means a long weekend for most people. If you aren't sure what to do on your day off, here are some recommendations to get outside and enjoy the weather.
Go Snowshoeing - Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Fraser
With so many great wilderness areas only a couple hours from Denver, there are quite a few built trail specifically for snowshoeing. Check out Cub Lake Loop at RMNP, or the CMC snowshoe trail at Brainard Lake in the Indian Peaks for a great day of snowshoeing. The Fraser/Winter Park area also has some maintained snowshoe trails as well.
Afterwards, stop into one of the small towns nearby. Both Estes Park and Nederland have some great food and coffee shops.Or if in the Fraser area, go hit the slopes the next day.
If you need to rent, be sure to check out our rental page for great deals on snowshoe rentals.
Climb a 14er - Front Range, Ten Mile Range, Mosquito Range, Sawatch Range
Climbing 14ers isn't just for summer! You'll need an early start, winter hiking experience, and avalanche knowledge, but you can still check some off your list. Take a look at Quandary in the Ten Miles or Sherman in the Mosquitos for an "easy" winter 14er.
Or make it an overnight and stay at the Barr Camp to climb Pikes Peak. You'll need to make reservations beforehand, but it's a great experience to stay on the mountain overnight.
Crampons are starting to be needed on some portions of certain peaks, so pick up a pair at our Denver store or rent some for your next adventure.
Go for a Hike - Cottonwood Canyon, Table Mountain, Chautauqua Park
Even though the mountains have seen a lot of snow this winter, you can still enjoy some great hiking around Denver without seeing much of it. Head to Cottonwood Canyon State Park for some different views of Colorado, or hike up Table Mountain outside Golden to see great views of both Denver and the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Or take a trip up to Boulder and go see the famous flatirons that line Chautauqua Park.
You can't go wrong with any of these, but there are over 40 state parks to hike in Colorado, so look at others to have a great hike. And check dog restrictions too so Fido doesn't have to be left at home.
Browse our selection of backpacks for your next hike.
Go Camping - Never Summer Range, Eleven Mile State Park, Multiple Ranges
'Bear' with us here. It doesn't need to be summer to enjoy sleeping in the great outdoors. In fact winter sees clearer night skies, meaning you'll get fantastic views of the stars. You can pack your own tent by either backpacking it in or just driving straight to the site at Eleven Mile State Park. Either way you'll want a sturdy 4 season if the winds are strong, otherwise you can make do with a 3 season tent.
Or live a little luxuriously and book a yurt in the Never Summer Range or one of the many 10th Mountain Division Huts all over the state. Great, easy access huts include Shrine, Continental Divide Cabin, Broome, and Francie's. All have relatively short approaches and/or limited elevation gain.
Check out our tent and our sleeping bag collection to stay cozy on your camping trips.
Go Skiing or Snowboarding - All Over the State
There is a reason Colorado is known as one of the top ski destination states in the country. With over 20 ski areas over the state, and nearly unlimited options for backcountry, you can't really go wrong with planning an epic three day ski vacation here. For resorts close to Denver, check out Keystone, Winter Park, Breckenridge, and Copper. You'll have an awesome day of skiing, following by an awesome night of Après Ski.
Or take a peek at some local's favorite mountains, Eldora, Arapahoe Basin, or Loveland. You won't find a resort village at these places, but guaranteed to have a great day either way. After you finish skiing, head to the lodge at the base of the resort and mingle with locals who are just as stoked as you are to be there.
If you still need to be outfitted for your next ski trip, don't forget about our large selection of winter apparel and accessories.
Go Climbing - Table Mountain, Clear Creek Canyon, Flatirons
There are plenty of places around Denver that still see enough sun to allow you to climb throughout the winter. Check out Table Mountain in Golden for some climbing under the sun, or head to Clear Creek Canyon for some Colorado classics. Turn Boulder into a three day trip and spend some time climbing the various routes on the Flatirons.
Rope climbing not your thing? There is some good local bouldering around Boulder and Golden too. Head to Morrison or Flagstaff for some fun rocks. If you aren't familiar with the area, pick up one of the various guide books from our stores, grab a crash pad, shoes, and chalk, and you are set.
Don't have a crash pad? Buy or rent one from our Denver location.
Go Ice Climbing - Ouray, Colorado Springs, Denver
Regular climbing not adventurous enough? Try ice climbing! Certified guides all over the state will take you out and show you the ropes. Ouray is home to one of the biggest ice parks in Colorado with enough routes to keep you preoccupied all day. Spend the evening soaking away the soreness in the hot springs afterwards.
If you aren't feeling the drive to Ouray, check out local guides in Denver and Colorado springs. They'll take you out to some of the local Front Range ice where you can get the chance to climb with less people.
You'll need warm gloves or mittens to keep your hands comfortable as it can get extremely cold when climbing on the ice and waiting for the next route.
Soak in the Hot Springs - Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs, Buena Vista, Ouray
There is no better way to finish a long weekend of skiing, hiking, camping, or climbing than soaking up in one of the dozens of hot spring around the state. Or center your weekend around the hot springs if you are needing a more relaxing outdoor adventure. A beer after hot springs always pairs nicely, and you'll be sure to find a local brewery in most towns you visit.
There are larger, resort hot springs to natural hot springs that require a hike in all over the state. If you are feeling a large scale, check out the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs. If you are looking to get closer to nature, check out the Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat for amazing riverside views.
Need more even inspiration for things to do before you hit the hot springs? Check out some of our favorite ski areas and see why we all call Colorado 'Home'.
However you spend your time outside, we have the gear to get you there. Don't forget to stop into your local Vital Outdoors, or shop online, for great deals for even greater adventures.