Winter Getaways in the Colorado Rockies, Part One

Rocky Mountain ski towns offer so much more than just great turns in the powder.

Let’s face it, once the kids are back in school, time starts moving quickly. First, we’re carving pumpkins and then, before we’ve caught our breath, it’s the holidays. With that in mind, it's never too early to start planning a winter getaway. 

Ski season is underway at several Colorado ski areas and for world-class skiing, there’s no better place to be. However, Rocky Mountain ski towns offer so much more than just great turns in the powder. In fact, even if you don’t clip into skis during the winter, these towns make great winter getaway destinations. 

Warm-up in Winter Park

Ski Train. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Brumm, Winter Park Resort.

Taking the Winter Park Express, also known as the Ski Train, to Winter Park Resort is the best way to access this Colorado resort town. I’ve taken the Ski Train several times and it’s great because my vacation starts the moment I board the train. Instead of battling ski traffic, I can read a book or enjoy a sing-along in the lounge car with new friends.

Winter Park is a resort town that’s wildly popular with Coloradans. People who grew up here, like my husband, have been skiing the resort their entire lives. It’s not hard to find a real local, someone from Winter Park or nearby Timnath or Granby, on the slopes here.

A stay at Zephyr Mountain Lodge guarantees you’ll be exactly 110 feet from the gondola. The gondola will quickly take you up the mountain to ski or indulge at the Sunspot. Condos here come equipped with everything you need plus a fireplace to keep you cozy on cold Colorado nights. 

Don’t want to ski? Check out the Coca Cola Tubing Hill at Winter Park Resort. Your kids will love this sledding experience and don’t miss out on hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies inside the warming lodge.

Warm up in town with a green chile-covered hamburger or burrito at The Ditch. While it’s not fancy, the food here is delicious and this place is the perfect spot to catch your favorite football team.  

Laid back in Leadville​​

Photo by Casey Day.

This is one of the least pretentious towns in Colorado. From the nearby slopes of Ski Cooper to bar stools at Treeline Kitchen, there is no reason to put on airs here. This is a real town with real folks and you’re going to have a really good time here.

Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer.

In this town, you can experience tiny living on 2nd Street in one of Leadville’s rentable tiny homes. Or you can soak away your cares at The Colorado Trail House across from one of the best pizza joints in Colorado, Mountain High Pies.

Ski Cooper has added terrain this year so skiers have even more to explore. And, there’s always the Mineral Belt Trail for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. If you’d rather curl up with a good book in front of the roaring fire at The Majestic guesthouse, you can do that too.

However you experience Leadville this winter, this will be a relaxing winter getaway in Colorado.

Categories: The Heidi Guide