The first “official” day of spring is March 20, but temps started warming weeks ago, in the schizophrenic manner typical of Colorado. The birds will start chirping, the tulips will start poking up, and the heavy snows will fall. As most of us know, spring can bring the biggest snows. But it usually melts a moment later because, of course, the day after a big storm will be sunny and 60.
Spring is that time of year in Colorado when you have both your snow boots and your flip flops out at the same time, when you have the heat on in the morning and the A/C in the afternoon, when you can go snowshoeing in a t-shirt. It keeps you on your toes but offers endless possibilities in outdoor activities—as long as you’re willing to prepare for rapidly changing weather. Listed below are five awesome outdoor activities for spring in Colorado.
Spring can be the best possible time for skiing or snowboarding. Ideally, you can hit the slopes on a beautiful sunny spring day while simultaneously enjoying some fresh, beautiful *pow*. Here is a list of ten favorite Colorado ski resorts (Copper, Vail, Breckenridge, and the likes), complete with info on the towns and links to purchase tickets. If you want to go somewhere smaller, less crowded, and more affordable (Cooper, Wolf Creek, Echo Mountain, and 11 others), check this out.
Snowshoeing is an increasingly popular outdoor activity in Colorado, and spring is the perfect time to try it out. If you can walk, you can snowshoe, and it can take you to some seldom-traveled gorgeous trails on a spring day. This article lists five great beginner snowshoeing hikes, but snowshoes.com is a great resource for new and avid snowshoers alike.
To ease those sore muscles after skiing or snowshoeing, who doesn’t love soaking in a hot tub while it snows? Even better, soaking in some natural hot springs, with all those mineral benefits and lovely scenery. Colorado has an abundance of hot springs locations. This list tells you about 30 of them.
Scenic horseback riding is yet another way to enjoy the Colorado outdoors in spring. It keeps your own feet out of the mud while your furry friend does the work. You can do anything from a few hours’ ride to an overnight trip and feel like a real cowboy. Check out horsey ideas on this page.
Finally, after the snow melts, spring wildflower hikes can be incredible, especially in the Crested Butte area, known as the Wildflower Capital of Colorado. Closer to Denver, Roxborough and Staunton State Parks have some great trails for wildflower viewing as well, although there will be wonderful sights in any of our beautiful state parks this spring.
Just remember to pack your flip flops AND your winter parka.