Itinerary: Rocky Mountain Winter Trip

A man with skis on a snowy slope.

Winter in Grand County brings countless delights: the quiet of Rocky Mountain National Park, excellent skiing at two classic Colorado resorts, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Nordic centers, snowmobiling and excellent shopping. We've put it all together for you with our winter itinerary.

Day 1: A Rocky Mountain Welcome

As the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand County represents the "quiet side" of this popular destination. Although Trail Ridge Road, the summer access from Estes Park, is closed during the winter, the park can still be enjoyed from Grand Lake. Weather permitting, the Kawuneeche Visitor Center is open during the winter and serves as the base for snowshoe and cross country tours into the park's trails.

Day 2: Skiing

Whether your style is alpine or Nordic, Grand County is home to some of the country's best ski resorts, so this is definitely the place to enjoy some fine Rocky Mountain skiing. Winter Park Resort has been offering family-style skiing since 1940, and now covers nearly 3,000 acres. Ski Granby Ranch specializes in the intimate family experience. If you'd rather strap on some skinny skis, you can choose from Devil's Thumb Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies/Snow Mountain Ranch, C Lazy U Ranch, Ski at Granby Ranch, Grand Lake Touring Center and Latigo Ranch — or strike out on your own on the backcountry trails on our many local public lands.

Day 3: A Day Off

Time to relax and enjoy some local flavor. Grand Lake and Winter Park offer some fine shopping opportunities, while local dining runs the gamut from casual family pizzerias to romantic, upscale dinners for two. Even during the winter, the Hot Sulphur Springs Resort is a great place to relax and enjoy the healing hot waters in a rugged canyon of the Colorado River. In the evening, head to Winter Park for a movie or live music at a local bar.

Day 4: Snowmobiling

Grand Lake is known as Colorado's snowmobile capital, for the wealth of trails available in the area and the local enthusiasm about the vehicles. In addition to area trails into the surrounding public lands, there's good snowmobiling to be had on the county's frozen lakes — and good ice fishing to boot! Another favorite snowmobiling destination is the east side of Rabbit Ears Pass above Kremmling, where a good season sees nearly 300 inches of snow. (If motor sports aren't your speed, contact one of the local dogsled outfits for an unforgettable trail ride!)