What To Do Near Ski Resorts if You Don’t Ski

We are all fortunate to live in a State with amazing access to the outdoors. Ski season is finally underway, but not all of us are die-hard skiers and snowboarders. So, if you find yourself in a mountain town or at a skier resort and don’t plan on hitting the slopes, check out these activities and try something new when you’re in the mountains.


Copper Mountain

Photo courtesy of Woodward Copper on Facebook.

Rocky Mountain Coaster
Part of Copper Mountain’s ongoing $20 million capital improvements is the debut of the Rocky Mountain Coaster. The RMC is an alpine coaster where a drive and passenger zip through the trees along the American Flyer Lift. This is a great option for the adventure seeker and a fun way to see the mountains. The coaster is 5,800 feet long and drops 430 feet over the course of the ride.

Woodward Copper
The Barn at Copper Mountain features over 19,000-square feet of indoor trampolines, foam-pits and action-sport ramps. Designed as an action-sport training facility this branch of Woodward is open to the public and offers a variety of classes for all skill levels or basic day passes to check the place out.

Located in the East Village, the Copper Mountain Tubing Hill offers a great opportunity to catch some speed off the slopes. Offering classic straight lanes or some serious banked curves the Tubing Hill has something for everyone with a new twist on classic winter fun.


Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Photo by Kelly Prososki.

Hot Springs

Although skiing is definitely one of the main attractions in Steamboat, the hot springs are equally worth a visit. Boasting two main hot springs, you have the option of staying in the city for the one in Old Town or venturing into the woods for Strawberry Hot Springs. Strawberry Hot Springs is the more famous of the two and is known for its remote location and beautiful surroundings. But take note, it’s clothing-optional after dark.

Outlaw Mountain Coaster

Many resorts have built mountain coasters for this upcoming ski season, but none of them except Steamboat can say they have the longest mountain coaster in North America. With 6,280 linear feet, the alpine ride will allow you to control your speed with a hand brake but we recommend going full speed (like we did).

Fat Biking

There’s a reason Steamboat is called “Bike Town USA.” Known for its expansive mountain biking trails and beloved biking culture, getting on two wheels is almost required while in Steamboat. For the winter months, you can hop on a “Fat Bike” which has bigger wheels with large tread to give you more control while on snowy paths.



Photo Courtesy of Thaddeus Roan via Flickr

Flightseeing Tours
Alpine Flight Tours is a unique way to experience the mountains of Colorado. Operating out the Eagle County Regional Airport, about 40-minutes west of Vail Village, these Flightseeing tours offer fantastic views of Vail, Beaver Creek, the New York Mountain Range, Holy Cross and Gore Mountain Range. Flying at over 11,000 feet, each passenger receives a headset to communicate with the pilot and interact with the tour.

Located at the base of Solaris in the Vail Village, CineBistro is a fun twist on watching a movie. Prior to each show, dinner is offered and a full selection of beers, wines and cocktails inside the theater. The theater is complete with leather seating and outside a quiet lounge provides a good spot to hang out before or after a show.

Ice Skating
Vail features three separate ice rinks, all offering skate rentals and open ice time. The rinks located at Solaris in Vail Village and The Arrabelle are outside and feature lights for night-time skating. If you are looking for some faster-paced action, the third ice rink located at Dobson Ice Arena in Vail Village is a full-service hockey rink featuring the Vail Yetis amateur hockey team.

Vail Nordic Center
Once the Vail Golf Course is covered with snow, the pro shop shifts gears to offer a full selection of rental cross-country skis, snowshoes and fat-tire bikes. Each activity has dedicated groomed trail space so you can experience the snow without worrying about space. The Nordic Center offers lessons for classic cross-country skiing or skate-skiing, giving visitors the skills to take to the trials on their own.


Photo courtesy of Keystone Ski Resort on Facebook

Keystone Adventure Tour

Based out of the Tubing hut at River Run Gondola, the Keystone Adventure Tour takes guests for a 45-minute ride in a heated snow-cat across the highest points at Keystone. Along the ride, you will be able to see spectacular views of the Gore Range, Ten-Mile Range and continental divide.

Snow Biking
If you’re looking for a way to experience the slopes but not up for skiing or snowboarding, grab one of the snow-bikes at Keystone. The snow-bikes are set up with skis instead of tires and the rider navigates with small skis strapped to their boots. Keystone offers lessons and snow-bike rentals for all skill levels.

Lake Dillon Theater Company

Headquartered in Silverthorne, just off of I-70 at the exit for Keystone, the Lake Dillon Theater Company is a professional theater offering a variety of live performances throughout the season. Running through the end of the year is a musical, comedy, Murder for Two.

Winter Park


Photo via Thinkstock.


If you want the thrill of going fast on a mountain side but still don’t want to put on skis, snowmobiling should be on your list. Winter Park has a bunch of options including a Continental Divide tour which will take you up to 12,000 feet for views of Winter Park and Fraser valley.

Hot Sulphur Springs 

First discovered by the Ute Indians, these hot springs are said to have healing properties. Called “magic waters” by their original founders, the hot springs have been operating as a spa for 140 years. So steal a minute for a soak while everyone else braves the cold on the slopes.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch  

Although a private resort, the lands surrounding the beautiful getaway has tons of winter activities including snowshoeing, nordic skiing, sleigh rides. Luckily, all are that are open to the public for a fee. If you need even more activities, Winter Park has put together a list of 100 things to do so you can never get bored.


Photo courtesy of Frisco Adventure Park on Facebook

A great way to experience the mountains and wintery outdoors surrounding Breckenridge is on a set of snowshoes. The Town of Breckenridge features two Nordic Centers with over 30-miles of interconnecting trails between the two. The interconnecting trails around Town are groomed allowing visitors to set their own difficulty level. Both centers offer rentals, lessons and guided tours, making getting out on the snow at any level a breeze.

Frisco Adventure Park
Located just nine miles from the base of Breckenridge the Frisco Adventure Park offers something for everyone looking for a day off the slopes. The main attraction is the 1,200-foot long tubing runs, but the adventure park also features cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and beginner ski and snowboard lessons for those looking to try it out.

Sleigh Rides
The 2 Below Zero scenic sleigh rides operate offer a great opportunity to see the mountains in a quiet outdoor setting. Operating out of the Frisco Adventure Park, 2 Below Zero offers two options for visitors, a group ride up to a heated tent that features live music and drinks or private ride to a more quiet, remote location.

Beaver Creek

Photo Courtesy of Vail Resorts.

Thursday Night Lights
Every Thursday at Beaver Creek, the mountain and sky are lit up with a glowing skiing parade down the mountain followed by music and fireworks display. The events starts every Thursday at dusk and is free for everyone to enjoy.

Vilar Performing Arts Center
A world-class performing arts center located directly below the Beaver Creek Village ice rink. The Vilar Performing Arts Center is known for hosting everything from global-famous symphonies, Cirque du Soleil shows, classic rock concerts to throw-back movies. There is something for everyone with shows running almost every night during ski season.

Helmut Fricker
A sight to be seen, Helmut Fricker has been playing music and entertaining at Beaver Creek for over 30 years. The lederhosen-clad entertainer has become the unofficial mascot of Beaver Creek playing his alpenhorn and accordion every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoon in the Plaza at the base of Beaver Creek.


1 comment
  1. Looking for a resource/company that offers dog sledding and carriage/sleigh rides //
    January in Vail Lodge

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