12 Grand Winter Adventures in Grand County

There's so much adventure to be had in the winter in Grand County, it's hard to know where to start. But to get you started, we narrowed it down to these favorites:

1. Snowmobiling

With more than 1,000 miles of snowmobiling trails across Grand County, there's a whole of exploring to be done here. While some winter sports require you to be in great shape or have expert skills before you can enjoy the backcountry, pretty much everyone can explore the great outdoors on a snowmobile. If you've never snowmobiled before or you're a beginning snowmobiler, we definitely recommend starting out with a guide. Then once you're up to speed, keep exploring Grand Lake, Snowmobile Capital of Colorado™ or any of Grand County's snowmobiling hotspots.

2. Dog Sledding

You don't have to fly to Alaska to feel the thrill of racing along the trails of Iditarod on a dog sled. Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park and Snow Mountain Ranch – YMCA of the Rockies in Granby have teams of Siberian and Alaskan huskies that can give you an exhilarating winter experience right here in Grand County. Bring the family, bundle up in the provided blankets and enjoy the ride!

3. Hot Air Ballooning

Here's one adventure you won't soon forget — winter hot air ballooning. You journey starts with low contour flying along the Fraser Valley —where you're bound to see elk and other wildlife on the ground below — before you soar 2,000 feet up and take in magnificent 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. A post-flight champagne brunch keeps the fun going even longer.

4. Off-The-Grid Lodging

How about this for a little adventure? Spend some time off-grid at a mountain hut, where just getting there is a bit of an experience. The High Lonesome Hut in Tabernash is a 2.5-mile snowshoe or cross-country ski trek in and sleeps 12, while Broome Hut, on the west side of the Berthoud Pass, is a 1-mile trek in and can accommodate 16 people. Once there, you and your companions will have your own private winter wonderland and basecamp to explore the backcountry.

Or if you prefer something a little closer to civilization, stay in the yurt village at Snow Mountain Ranch - YMCA of the Rockies in Granby and "rough it" glamping-style while still enjoying all of the ranch's winter activities.

5. Wildlife Viewing in Rock Mountain National Park

Winter completely transforms Rocky Mountain National Park. Its mountain peaks turn brilliant white, its waterfalls freeze over and its animals (well, the ones that don't hibernate) leave their high-altitude summer homes and head down into the valleys, where you don't have to travel far to see them. Stop in at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center to find out where you can spot some elk, moose and more, and make Grand Lake, the western gateway to the park, your base.

6. Snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park

For another great Rocky Mountain National Park adventure, strap on a pair of snowshoes and head to the west side of the park. The Kawuneeche Valley has plenty of trails that are perfect for snowshoeing, including the hike to the Holzwarth Historic Site and the Green Mountain Trail to Big Meadows. And if you'd like a guide, the park also offers ranger-led snowshoeing expeditions.

7. Cross-Country Skiing

For an unforgettable cross-country skiing experience, head to Kremmling, where you can skate or ski classical on 50 km of groomed trails at Latigo Ranch, or blaze your own trail in the Rabbit Ears Pass area. Either way, you'll enjoy plenty of backcountry powder. Other great options include the popular Grand Lake Nordic Center, Granby Ranch, Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center and Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa.

8. Ice Fishing

The trout don't stop biting when the ice freezes over Grand County's lakes and ponds. In fact, winter is a great time to fish here. You can fish anywhere on the lakes you want and you don't even need a boat. The only thing funner? Entering an ice fishing contest and testing your skills against other winter anglers. Granby, Kremmling and Grand Lake all host annual ice fishing contests that offer big prizes and bigger bragging rights.

9. Sledding and Tubing

For a fun family adventure, head to one of Grand County's seven sledding and tubing hills. You'll find plenty of fresh powder and slopes that will keep kids, teens and adults smiling. Hideaway Park in Winter Park and the Grand Lake Nordic Center both have classic hills that are also free. The Colorado Adventure Park and the Historic Fraser Tubing Hill add lifts and warming huts to the mix. And Winter Park Resort, Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa and Snow Mountain Ranch - YMCA of the Rockies give tubing the full resort treatment.

10. Sleigh Rides

Here's another adventure the whole family will enjoy. Bundle up, grab a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy a sleigh ride as you jingle-jangle through serene forests and broad meadows with majestic mountain peaks in the distance. Dashing Thru the Snow in Winter Park, Winding River Resort in Grand Lake, Sombrero Stables at Snow Mountain Ranch - YMCA of the Rockies and Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa in Granby are all family favorites.

11. Fat Biking

Fat biking in Grand County is always epic, whether you ride the groomed trails at one of our resorts, roll through the trails around Winter Park, aka Mountain Bike Capital USA™, or explore Arapaho National Forest. Ready to start riding? Read our guide and check out our local outfitters and guides.

12. Hot Springs

Sometimes all that adventure can take a toll, and then it's time for a soak at Hot Sulphur Springs Resort. With 21 natural spring-fed pools at temperatures ranging from 95º to 112ºF, you'll be sure to find your bliss as you soothe your muscles and plan your next adventure!

Get Inspired & Explore

Rocky Mountain Winter Itinerary

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

Read More
Winter Activities in RMNP

As the first flakes of snow start to fall in the high country, Rocky Mountain National Park turns into a winter wonderland. The chilly conditions drive many casual tourists away, leaving ample room for the real winter enthusiasts to roam around the park and take advantage of the open space and fresh packs. There's so much to do this winter in Rocky Mountain National Park, so make sure you check off…

Read More
Top 5 Places for Fall Color in Grand County

Whether it is a long weekend escape to enjoy the mild weather before winter sets in or a long-awaited vacation during the peace and quiet of fall, autumn is a reliably gorgeous time to visit Grand County. Here, the scenic highlight comes in the form of aspens, cottonwoods and willows, which add dashes of vibrant color to our hillsides and valleys. For the best foliage viewing, we recommend the following…

Read More