Nearly 40 percent of Colorado is federal public land, including four National Parks and eight National Monuments, 42 state parks, as well as hundreds of regional parks and open spaces. Public land is part of what makes the state’s landscape so breathtaking and lifestyle so rich, offering outdoor recreation, wildlife habitats, clean air and water. As the colder weather sets in, Colorado continues to provide exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities and in a much quieter landscape. Below is a sampling of 15 ways to explore the magic of winter on Colorado’s public lands from snowshoeing and wildlife watching to Nordic skiing and ice fishing.
Cross-Country Ski at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park offers incredible groomed cross-country skiing trails including the South Rim Drive, which swishes Nordic skiers and snowshoers to staggering views of Gunnison’s snow-dusted “black” rock walls.
Winter Hike in Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks: With the appropriate hiking gear, winter can be a wonderful time to experience many of the 155 miles of trails Boulder offers. Enchanted Mesa provides a variety of trails winding among ponderosa pine forests and small meadows, while providing stunning views of the Flatirons. The trail is relatively flat and free from slippery ice, but take strap-on boot traction, like Yak-tracks or Micro-spikes, just in case.
Ice Fish at Eleven Mile State Park: Spend quality time with friends near Lake George in a homey ice fishing hut while reeling in fleshy kokanee, trout and pike. Out-of-towners or newbies can visit 11 Mile Marina for equipment rentals or guided trips.
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