Why Colorado Springs is the Perfect Winter Getaway

Cold and snowy weather doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. Planning a snow-filled vacation could be the step you take to get over a stressful 2023 and slide (literally) into a fun-filled new year.  In fact, there’s no better place for a snow-filled vacation full of stunning vistas and winter magic than Colorado Springs.

Nestled at the base of mighty Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs delivers majestic mountain scenery and charming small-town charm. During winter, it transforms into a true winter wonderland with twinkling lights, plenty of holiday spirit, and endless options for festive fun, adventures, or relaxation – whichever you’re looking for in your mountain retreat!

Compared to many other Colorado mountain towns, the Springs often enjoy sun-filled bluebird days to showcase those snow globe scenes in all their glory. That, combined with exciting attractions and activities, makes it an unbeatable winter vacation destination that will have you eager to come back again soon.

Top 9 Things to Do in Co Springs in Winter

  1. Take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway

Take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the world’s highest cog railroad, as it chugs up the mountainside, offering spectacular views. At the summit, frosty evergreen forests and rocky terrain provide a magical winter backdrop.

  1. Go Ice Climbing

Test your balance and dexterity while scaling frozen waterfalls at locations like Paint Mines or Mount Princeton Ice Park. Local outfitters like Colorado Mountain School offer intro classes for beginners.

  1. Try Snowshoeing & Cross-Country Skiing

Strap on some snowshoes or cross-country skis to explore Pikes Peak trails and alpine meadows.

  1. Go Camping & Hiking

Mueller State Park offers over 5,000 acres of rugged wilderness perfect for winter camping and hiking adventures. Located just over an hour from Colorado Springs, this park makes an ideal home base for accessing backcountry trails and nature viewing.

Pitch a tent or park an RV at one of Mueller’s over 100 campsites open year-round and accessible to both tent campers and RVs. Lots of sites offer electric hookups, while more secluded spots allow remote backcountry camping. Rise early to spot foxes and elk grazing in forest clearings wrapped in mist.

Be sure to strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis to traverse deep winter powder. Certain trails also allow leashed dogs, so bring your furry hiking buddy along.

 

  1. Ride the Royal Gorge Railroad

Trade icy precipitation for wheels on steel rails with a ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. This vintage train transports passengers in comfortable domed railcars from Cañon City and follows the tumbling, frothy waters of the Arkansas River deep within the dramatic Royal Gorge.

As the train slowly traverses a section of track that clings to canyon walls, passengers will marvel at the soaring granite cliffs rising over 1,000 feet on either side. The famed Royal Gorge Bridge, suspended nearly 1,000 feet above the river, makes for a stunning photo opp. Keep cameras ready as the train passes by remote homesteads and possibly even mountain goats and bighorn sheep scrambling on rocky ledges.

The Royal Gorge Route Railroad offers a variety of specialty-themed trips throughout the winter, including murder mystery dinners, Santa express rides for the kids, champagne toasts to ring in the New Year, and more. Packages include dining on the train along with entertainment and sightseeing. With no driving or parking hassles, the train allows travelers to take in gorgeous scenery and wildlife while leaving the navigation to the professionals.

As an extra thrill, book passage on the line’s restored 1952 Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad open-air car for crisp winter vistas. Just be sure to pack accordingly and layer up! With exceptional views, fun themes, and a smooth ride along a historic railroad route, the Royal Gorge train promises to be a scenic winter trip highlight.

  1. Tour Glen Eyrie Castle

History buffs can tour the ornate Tudor Revival-style Glen Eyrie Castle, which gets even more magical with snowy accents across its English garden hedges and bushes in winter. This historic property sits on 38 acres near the base of Pikes Peak and was originally constructed in 1871 as a private residence for General William Jackson Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs.

Today, visitors can take guided tours through the castle’s interior of 60 decadent rooms showcasing intricate architecture with meticulously carved woodwork dating back to the late 19th century. Marvel at the detailed masonry and soaring Cathedral Spires ascend from the Great Hall. During the holiday season, the castle gets decked out in elegant Christmas decorations, making it feel like a scene from a movie.

The property also encompasses acres of scenic grounds, including formal English gardens that dazzle with glittery layers of frost and snow. Walk the same lush paths General Palmer and his family strolled for generations. In warmer months, these vibrant floral spaces burst with color and fragrance, so consider coming back to see spring and summer splendor as well.

Immerse yourself in Colorado history while touring this extraordinary castle. Docent-led tours provide insider perspectives into the property’s past as a private family estate. With imposing stone architecture capped in winter white against a sapphire blue sky, Glen Eyrie Castle presents a regal vision in any season.

  1. Go Ziplining

Challenge your fears or fulfill a bucket list dream by ziplining over Cheyenne Canyon. Choose from lines that are over 1,500 feet long and soar over a scenic landscape dotted with pines and cacti.

  1. Attend the Ice Festival

The charming mountain hamlet of Cripple Creek hosts a one-of-a-kind Ice Festival on weekends in January. Artists create beautiful sculptures from blocks of ice for visitors to admire.

  1. Visit Santa’s Workshop

No winter trip to the Springs is complete without a visit to Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole, celebrating over 60 years of Christmas magic.

 

Climate & Packing Recommendations

Colorado Springs enjoys 300 days of sunshine each year, but winter days often start out crisp before warming up. Average high temps reach into the mid 40s Fahrenheit during the day, while lows frequently drop below freezing to the mid 20s overnight.

The low humidity helps the milder temperatures feel warm when standing in the sun, but shade, clouds, and wind make things chilly fast. Light, moisture-wicking base layers topped with fleece and insulation make the best combination for comfort. Always bring gloves, warm socks, winter boots, and don a weatherproof winter jacket or parka. Top off outfits with a winter hat and scarf.

Be sure to pack thermal leggings and long-sleeve tops to layer under snow pants and jackets for outdoor activities. Bring beanies, thicker waterproof gloves or mittens, and scarves to protect from icy winds in high-altitude areas. Keep an extra sweater and long underwear handy in case conditions change.

Don’t forget the sunglasses and sunscreen as the high altitude intensifies the solar radiation reflecting off the snow. Lip balm with SPF also helps protect delicate skin from harsh exposure.

Make sure to have traction devices to slip over winter boots for slippery areas, along with hiking poles or a walking stick if tackling snow-covered trails. Staying hydrated is also key in the dry mountain region, so carry a reusable water bottle and drink frequently.

With the right cold weather gear and some Colorado-hardy spirit, visitors can fully embrace winter adventures as well as bundle up to enjoy the magical holiday ambiance around town. Adjusting layers to suit variable conditions goes a long way towards winter comfort.

Where to Stay

With such pristine natural surroundings, cabins make wonderful lodgings for a Colorado Springs winter getaway. For cozy seclusion, book a cottage rental at one of the area’s many cabin resorts. Choose from basic studios to deluxe lodges loaded with amenities like hot tubs, fireplaces, and full kitchens.

Vacation home rentals, including cabins, make great bases for a Colorado Springs winter vacation because they provide spacious, home-like amenities for families and groups, as well as convenient access to outdoor adventures. Most vacation rentals come with fully stocked kitchens, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, cozy fireplaces, and relaxing hot tubs – perfect for warming up after a long day playing in the snow.

Settle right into a Colorado mountain town experience without an airport transfer or eating every meal at a restaurant. Home rentals allow you to cook breakfasts and dinners and really make the space your own for several nights or even weeks. Save money by sharing costs between multiple guests. Benefit from local insider tips on the best sledding hills, snowshoe trails, and winter festivals from attentive homeowners and property managers.

Beyond cabins, Colorado Springs visitors can find vacation rentals ranging from secluded cottages to luxury homes to downtown condos, all professionally decorated and equipped with amenities. The right home rental matched to your group’s needs and budget makes experiencing this stunning winter destination even more marvelous.

Revel in Spectacular Vistas

With urges for adventure and scenery, Colorado Springs makes the ultimate winter playground. Revel in spectacular mountain vistas or test cold-weather courage while creating lifelong memories. After exhilarating days exploring all this winning winter destination has to offer, warm your toes by a crackling fire in a cozy cabin or hotel room and start planning the escapades for the next frosty, fun-filled day.

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