Colorado is such an amazing destination with incredible National and State Parks, epic scenic train rides, and just about every sort of outdoor adventure you can imagine. Yet when I think of winter in Colorado, I immediately pull up visions of a winter wonderland with mountains draped thick in powdery snow, skiers and snowboarders swishing down steep slopes, and families ice skating or curled up in front of fires with hot chocolate and s’mores.
But what about the people who want to enjoy the stunning scenery without getting on the slopes in the winter? If that is you, then Colorado Springs is the answer. There are so many things to do in Colorado Springs in the winter that don’t involve skiing or snow that it may just surprise you!
Colorado Springs in the Winter
Just an hour and a half outside of Denver, it is easy to include Colorado Springs on a Colorado road trip. With average daily high temperatures in the 40s in the winter, Colorado Springs doesn’t even get enough snow to make it a ski town, but it is still an outdoor enthusiast’s heaven. In the winter, temperatures in Colorado Springs fluctuate between 28 and 61 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because there is very little humidity, even when it does snow, this powdery snow melts quickly. When we visited the Garden of the Gods in March, there had been a blizzard in Boulder just days before but in Colorado Springs, there wasn’t any snow on the ground.
I’m a strong believer in active family adventures. In the winter, we usually turn in our hiking boots for cozy slippers and become couch potatoes for a few months. Which is why I was so excited to learn all the fun things that you can do in Colorado Springs in the winter. These year-round activities in Colorado will warm you up, keep you moving, and create some special memories at any time of year.
7 Things to do in Colorado Springs in the Winter
This post is sponsored by the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, all opinions are my own.
Many ski resorts offer winter ziplining, but most of those are either a single zip or just platform-to-platform over the ski trails. Near Colorado Springs, you can zipline across some truly stunning landscapes.
You have your choice of locations from zooming over Colorado canyons to gliding through Aspen glades and past waterfalls to zipping over the raging rapids of the Arkansas River.
2. Rock Climbing
Ever since Hannah and I went outdoor rock climbing at Smith Rock in Oregon, we have been eager to try it again. The rock climbing in the Pikes Peak Region is world-renowned with some of the most beautiful and challenging rock formations.
With sunshine 300 days of the year and mild temperatures, this area offers year-round rock climbing. With a permit, climbers can take on the tallest rock walls inside Garden of the Gods Park. Front Range Climbing Company can teach even beginners how to climb.
Of course, the Garden of the Gods Park is not just for rock climbers. There are 21 miles of trails to hike and walk between the stunning red rock formations, even in the winter. See these tips for visiting the Garden of the Gods.
The nice thing about caves is that no matter what the weather is outside, the inside temperature always stays the same. At the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park, it is a constant 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Families have a choice of three different cave tours.
But the adventure continues outside the cave. The Wind Walker Challenge Course is a ropes course that hangs over the edge of Williams Canyon, 600 feet above the canyon floor.
There is also the Bat-A-Pult tandem zipline with a 1,200-ft. round trip. Or the scariest, TERROR-dactyl, which launches guests 200 feet into the canyon at nearly 100 miles per hour.
4. Jeep Tours
A great way to take in the spectacular scenery and do some wildlife viewing is from the inside of a customized jeep on a personalized tour. You will spend half a day on dirt roads in the mountains of the Pike National Forest with views from as high as 11,200 feet above sea level.
It may be harder to see wildlife in winter but there are chances of spying eagles, deer, cougars, and bears (when they aren’t hibernating).
5. Scenic Train Rides
The Colorado Springs area is home to some of the prettiest historic train rides. The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway is one of the most scenic train rides in the United States.
Other options include the Royal Gorge Route Railroad or the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad. The Royal Gorge offers up specialty theme trains (like the Santa train at Christmas), dinner trains, and even Vista Dome cars for amazing panoramic views.
6. Meet a Wolf
Getting to see wildlife (in a safe way) is usually a sure winner when it comes to family travel. At the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center, you can take a tour to learn about and see wolves, coyotes, and foxes. For an extra special experience, you can even get up close and personal with several of the wolves.
7. Laser Tag
I’ve only ever done laser tag inside. But Battlefield Colorado is Colorado’s first and only outdoor laser tag adventure park. Open year-round, right in Colorado Springs, it takes up a whole city block with three acres and six buildings for indoor and outdoor play.
In addition to outdoor adventures, there are brewery tours, shopping, the Ghost Town Museum, gold mining, the Dinosaur Resource Center, and the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum. Find out more kid-friendly things to do in Colorado Springs.
Where to Stay in Colorado Springs
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. All opinions are my own.