STAY IN A BACKCOUNTRY HUT
Maybe it’s my recent stay at YMCA of the Rockies, but now I just want to be snuggled up in cabins all weekend long. True fact: snowshoeing the 6-7 miles to a backcountry hut that climbs 1500-2500 feet in elevation from a trailhead that is at 8,000 feet or higher, might be out of my physical prowess right now, but if it’s not out of yours – you should book one. The 10th Mountain Division Hut Association is a collection of over 2 dozen backcountry huts, including Summit Huts (Francie’s Cabin, Janet’s Cabin, etc), which I’m sure you’ve seen cross your instagram. You’ll find most are booked up on weekends, but there’s still time to make a midweek reservation, here. Even cooler, they give you a list of other backcountry huts (that they are not associated with) that may be easier to book, here.
With cabins starting at $38 per person, this is also something to start looking ahead to book for the summer months.
GET YOUR WINTER HIKE ON
Both friend and adventurer, Natalie Magee, and Feral Mountain Co. have Winter Hike’s coming up. Get out, snowshoe and enjoy majestic views before Spring is upon us!
GAZE AT COLORADO’S MOST INSTA-WORTHY VIEWS
My all time favorite instagram for peeping at all the beauty that Colorado has to offer is definitely photographer and adventurer, @nateinthewild. When I saw he recently did a post on his website about his favorite Colorado views, I knew I had to share them with you!
- The iconic view of Mt, Princeton from Hwy 285 as you approach Buena Vista
- Summit of Arapahoe Pass looking down on Caribou Lake
- Loch Vale, RMNP
- West Maroon Pass looking back towards Crater Lake
- The Three Apostles from the summit of Mt. Huron
Winter is a perfect time to gaze at these beauties, when you’ll find them less congested with crowds.
GET YOUR ADVENTURE ON AT FRISCO ADVENTURE PARK
The Town of Frisco is just a little over an hour from Denver and well worth the drive if you just want to have a lot of fun, and act like a kid again. In warner months, it’s such a great destination for adventurers who want to go rafting, paddle boarding or kayaking and canoeing. In winter, it’s all about post-skiing fun – whether you enjoyed a day of down-hilling at nearby Breckenridge Mountain or Copper Mountain – at Frisco Adventure Park. There, you’ll find Tumble Bubbles (pictured) an AMAZING tubing hill, sleigh rides and a Nordic Center that offers skate skiing, classic cross-country skiing and even snowshoeing, all with expansive views of mountains in every direction. Best of all, they’ll provide rentals, lessons and maps to all trails.
GO TO ICE CLIMBING SCHOOL
You’ll never feel more bad ass than when you learn a new skill and ice climbing is perfect for those who swore this would be the year of more adventure. Though I’ve never been to Apex Mountain School, they come highly recommended by hotel concierges in the area, and have great Yelp reviews. Up your game from the climbing wall at the gym, get in some gear and try something new! If you’re more experienced, you can still learn a lot, too (who knew there were different kinds of climbing styles?).
Pro Tip: Arrange to bring a group of friends and you can significantly bring your cost down, to $165 per person.
DRINK ON A PATIO
The crazy thing about Denver weather is you never know when you’re going to get a 70 degree day in winter- so best to be prepared when you do, with these three off-the-radar but exceptionally awesome patios:
- Tamales by La Casita has the sweetest little patio outside. A definite must hang for the warmer days that are coming. The food is incredible and really (really) inexpensive, think tamales, burritos and rellanos, all authentic and homemade, most starting at just under $3. You will only find beer and wine here.
- Patzcuaro’s is my favorite place to grab an outdoor margarita, mostly because here, they’re gigantic. You can get a 24 ounce one for just $6.95. They have a great patio that’s perfect for accommodating larger parties, too. Also: hands down my favorite chips and salsa in the city!
- Cochio Taco – It’s a little out of the way but completely worth it to drink on this patio (and if you do end up inside, you’ll take in one of the best designed restaurants I’ve seen)! I’ve yet to see a more fun, creative menu – think chicharrones dusted in powdered cheddar served with a side of jalapeño vinegar aka Evil Cheetos, Dorito Nachos and the BEST spicy ceviche you will ever eat. Plus plentiful margs galore… from a rose hibiscus to a spicy to the most refreshing cucumber and orange! Collect them all.