Winter isn't gone yet! With March and April traditionally being the snowiest months in Colorado, Kristin Mastre of Fresh Air Fort Collins was kind enough to share her tips for beginners to get out there and enjoy the Colorado snow. 

How to make the most of snow in Colorado

Maybe you just moved to Colorado and you’re ready to jump feet first into our winter activities. Or maybe you’ve loathed the snow but have had a change of heart and want to give the white stuff your best shot.

Either way, you’re in Colorado where it snows on our trails and mountainsides until early April, and even then the snow can stick around in the high country until June. If you have not given yourself the chance to experience Colorado winters to the fullest and want to try some cold outdoor adventures for the first time, here are some recommendations for you!

*Before you go on any cold weather adventure, make sure you’re prepared for our Colorado winters. See this post on Colorado Winter Preparedness for tips on layering, hypothermia detection, and more.


Downhill Skiing or Snowboarding

When people think of Coloradans, they think we live on skis at the resorts. Don’t we wish! It’s a thrilling winter sport in some of the most beautiful areas of Colorado.

How To Get Started is going to have a list of all of the ski resorts so that you can pick the place that suits your fancy. Each listing will have a link to the resort’s website. From there, you can pick your place, price out rentals, and get registered for lessons – because you’re going to need those before hitting the slopes for the first time!

Top Recommendation

Try Loveland Ski Area if you’re a first-timer. They have a separate base area and gentle slopes for learning how to ski or snowboard

Cross-Country Skiing

Also known as Nordic Skiing or XC, this style of skiing isn’t nearly as expensive as downhill, nor does it require specialized lessons from an instructor since you’re on flat trails. This is something you can easily learn on your own! With snow-covered trails all over Colorado, there are numerous opportunities to bundle up and go on some backcountry adventures.

How To Get Started

Check your local outdoor gear shop for affordable rentals. They’ll have package deals that include all that you need – boots, skis, and poles. They’ll help you get fitted, give you some tips on techniques, and trail recommendations, too!

If you would like a little more knowledge ahead of time instead of hands-on learning, outdoor gear shops often host classes for beginners. REI is always offering classes as well as Jax Mercantile. Check their schedules for opportunities.

You can also find guided trail events with rangers through Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Rocky Mountain National Park. Take a look at their event schedules, too!

Top Recommendation

Gould Loop Trail at the Moose Visitor Center in State Forest State Park on the other side of Cameron Pass is perfect for beginners with breathtaking views, and maybe even a moose sighting!


















Photo by Kristin Mastre


Snowshoeing is even easier than cross-country skiing and not nearly as awkward. If you can hike, you can snowshoe! You often share the same trails as cross-country skiers, but you can also do some backcountry off-trail snowshoeing if you’re extra adventurous.

How To Get Started

Really all you need to do is rent your gear from your local outdoor gear shop, pick a trail and go! It’s as simple as that.

Top Recommendation

Nymph Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is exceptionally easy for beginners and in one of my favorite areas of the whole park – Glacier Gorge. You will see amazing views with varied trail lengths. You can stop at Nymph Lake, or continue on to the higher alpine lakes at treeline. But rest assured, whatever you choose to do in this park will be memorable and amazing.

There’s so much more to do in Colorado during the winter – ice fishing, ice climbing, sledding, snowmobiling… we truly live in a winter wonderland. Hopefully this post helps to inspire you to ditch the draw for hibernation and gets you outside to enjoy one of the most beautiful states to live!


















Photo by Kristin Mastre

Kristin Mastre is a freelance writer and professional blogger on She’s spent years hiking different trails in Northern Colorado every week, going dispersed camping with her family in Poudre Canyon, exploring alpine lakes, snowshoeing, fly-fishing, elk hunting, going on river rafting assignments for freelance writing gigs, and finding sanctuary in the Rocky Mountains.