Sporty Mountain Festivals This Winter

3 Colorado festivals that will leave you breathless even if you aren’t the athlete

I like to travel with a purpose. Sometimes we travel to check out a new town, but more frequently we travel with a specific festival as our goal. 

Today, the festival season is year-round. That’s right, during the winter there is everything from beer festivals to music festivals in the mountains. However, there are several sporty festivals that are fun to watch.

Here are some sporty festivals that will leave you breathless even if you aren’t the athlete.

Ouray Ice Festival

January 23-26, 2020

Photo by Michael G. Seamens

This festival brings all the climbers to town, seriously. The place fills up with climbers who want to be part of one of the country’s oldest and best climbing events. Held annually in the charming village of Ouray, this year marks the 25th Ouray Ice Festival. 

There are seminars, clinics, vendors, demos and competitions. You can get a front-row seat to the nail-biting competitions on Saturday and Sunday by being one of the first to get to the top of the Gorge. Here you will witness some of the best ice climbers in the world navigate Ouray Ice Park, sheets of vertical ice through the Uncompahgre Gorge.

Whether you’re a climber or just admire the athleticism, this is an exciting time to be our Ouray. Learn more about Ouray by visiting

Dew Tour

Copper Mountain
February 6-9, 2020

Photo by Chip Proulx, courtesy of Dew Tour.

Since 2005, Dew Tour has been one of the most gnarly televised sports competitions. For 11 years, Colorado has been the epicenter of Dew Tour and this year the event moves to Copper Mountain for the first time.

It’s an event that celebrates skateboarders, snowboarders, skiers, artists, brands and fans. The Dew Tour has taken on sports that once existed on the fringes of society and made some of the competitors household names. For instance, Olympic snowboarder, Shaun White. 

The move to Copper Mountain is a win/win for spectators who will get a front-row seat to the action on the 22 ft. Superpipe located next to the base in Center Village. The event will be incorporated into many aspects of Copper Village and it will be a great time to visit.

Dog Sled Races

All Over Colorado
Various Dates 

Dog sled competition in 2016 at Snow Mountain Ranch. Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer.

One of the most exciting events that I have witnessed is dog sled racing. I have been lucky to see this wintry fun at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby and in nearby Winter Park. The sport is especially exhilarating for dog lovers. 

In both instances, there were skijoring races held in conjunction with the dog sled races. In this case, skijoring involved a dog or a team of dogs pulling a human on cross-country skis. 

Dog sled competition in 2016 at Snow Mountain Ranch. Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer.

If you’d like to see a dog sled race in person, go to for details on where they will run in Colorado this winter.

Whether you head to Silverton or Meeker, Grand Mesa or South Fork, you won’t be disappointed. There’s something thrilling about watching dogs run through the snow. For dog lovers, it’s a sight you must see at least once in a lifetime.

Categories: The Heidi Guide