Colorado is renowned throughout the world as an epicenter for skiing and snowboarding, with resorts to match just about anybody’s ability and pocketbook.
From the glitz and glamor of Aspen and and Telluride, to the funkiness of Echo Mountain and Wolf Creek, to the steeps and deep of Crested Butte, Steamboat, and Silverton, to the relative serenity of Powderhorn and Sunlight, Colorado has it all.
No wonder the state describes itself as Ski Country USA.
It may be hard to imagine, but there’s more to a Colorado winter holiday than skiing and snowboarding. Tubing, sledding, tobogganing, and other snow-play options are just right for the non-rider in your family, for children who have yet to master the single- or double-plank means of descent, and for skiers and boarders who are looking for a day-off-the-lifts diversion.
After that you can snuggle up around an outdoor fire, polish off a few s’mores, and bask in the afterglow of a day well-spent in mountain country.
The following is a short list of Colorado resorts that also cater to the snow-angel maker in all of us. Most of the sledding hills provide some sort of uphill conveyance, and generally all mentioned have warming and refreshment facilities a snowball’s throw away.
Hop aboard Crested Butte’s free shuttle to the Nordic Center where you can spend hours sledding down the hill. Sledding is free, and sled rentals are available for a few dollars per day.
Aspen has a couple of options to soothe your inner Katerina Witt: The indoor skating rink at the Aspen Ice Garden and the outdoor rink at the Silver Circle Ice Rink.
Historic Howelson Hill is the site of Steamboat’s tubing hill. The park is open daily and costs $16-$20, depending on age, and includes tubes and rides up the Magic Carpet lift.
Telluride offers two options for ice skating: There’s a rink in the Town Park and one at the Village. Use of the rinks is free, but there is a charge for skate rentals.
Visitors to Monarch Mountain can opt for something completely different in the Skate Park in Salida. The park – which is for skateboarding, not ice skating – features bowls with three different depths and a street course also is available.
Durango Mountain Resort is the region’s top site for the relatively new sport of skibiking, and they will set you up with all the gear and instruction necessary. Also, there’s the Snow Coaster hill which offers three lanes for your tubing enjoyment.
Guests at SolVista Basin can go sledding tubing and tobogganing at the Silver Creek hill, which also offers snow biking.
There are several rustic sledding and tubing hills - i.e., limited facilities, if any, and uphill conveyance is by shank’s mare - situated throughout Colorado.
Check out Paul Doherty's One Stop Guide For Snow Tubing, Sledding, And Snowplay for detailed information on snow-play areas throughout North America.