Winter is a time when many people retreat indoors; turning to board games, books, and other leisurely activities that offer protection from the elements. Others feel a distinct urge for adventure at the first sign of snowfall — staying indoors simply isn’t an option. Luckily for the latter group, Colorado is the perfect place for trying unconventional snow sports and trekking through the frozen wild, all while having a blast with friends new and old.
Six Pack Sports League offers freshman, jv, and varsity-level broomball clubs at the ice rink in downtown Louisville. Whether you sign up as an individual or start your own team, broomball combines the social aspect of organized sports with the adrenaline rush of running on ice to keep you warm all winter.
For $15, Nederland Curling Club teaches two-hour Learn to Curl (LTC) classes that cover the essential rules, drills and techniques of curling. Held on Saturdays in the winter, LTC lessons require a minimum of 6 people, so you’re pretty much obligated to invite your adventurous friends — or remind the less adventurous that it’s an indoor sport.
Cross Country Skiing
Boulder Nordic Club focuses on grooming Boulder’s city parks and public spaces to make cross country skiing more accessible. Becoming a member costs only $25 and includes a partner pass, which makes it easy to bring friends along.
Ranging from leisurely beer runs to Olympian-led training groups, Boulder is home to dozens of run clubs in the warmer months. Runners who lose their training partners in the winter, however, can turn to all-inclusive, year-round running groups like Boulder Road Runners, Boulder Track Club and the Erie-based Mile High Runners.
Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park brings the thrill of the iditarod to everyday people. While dog sleds typically fit two people, those who try it alone will still be among a loyal pack.
Old Man Winter rally
Not for the faint of heart, the Lyons-based Old Man Winter Rally aprovides three options for cardio enthusiasts: a 50km bike ride, a 100km bike ride, and a 5-mile run through Red Rock Canyon. Participants can join fellow ralliers at the after-party to guzzle local beer, listen to live music and bask in eternal glory.
While your unadventurous friends stay cooped up in the city, you and your most daring comrades can head to nearby State Forest State Park for an easy, yet primitive experience. Groups small and large can find the perfect accommodations with Never Summer Nordic’s sprawling yurt system, which is comprised of one cabin and a dozen yurts.
Full Moon Snowshoeing
Led by the rangers of Rocky Mountain National Park, these full-moon snowshoe tours provide a rare opportunity to explore Estes Park at night. Hikes are offered November through March and reservations can only be made one week in advance, making it an excellent option for friends who want to escape ski town crowds but still enjoy a winter wonderland.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Eldora Mountain Resort is just 40 minutes from Boulder and boasts a variety of terrains for all levels, making it an easy and affordable day trip for groups. Loveland is another great option and is one of the best places to learn, so friend groups with mixed abilities will find their sweet spot here.
Winter Outdoor Groups
An informal outdoor adventure group focused on bringing together people to appreciate nature and enjoy a sense of community.
Colorado Mountain Club
The club offers multiple trips throughout the winter, including ice cave exploration and cross-country skiing.
Where to Get Active:
Lost Lake (Winter Route)
Cross Country Skiing
Devil’s Thumb Ranch
Frisco Nordic Center
Foothills Community Park
Scott Carpenter Park