The Best Winter Activities for Non-Skiers in the Vail Valley
How to have fun in the Vail Valley during the winter if I do not ski.
If your family, friends, or partner are planning a winter ski vacation, but you are a non-skier, you do not have to stay home or spend time in the hotel room by yourself.
The Vail Valley is known for its fantastic ski resorts, but also for the plenty of activities it offers its visitors during the winter. These exciting fun winter snow activities will make your winter vacation one to remember forever.
Sleigh rides are an incredible way to enjoy the winter and take in views of the surrounding mountain ranges. You can have the sleigh ride your way by making it fancy and romantic, or by enjoying it with your family while sipping on your favorite beverage and learning the history of the area. Join either 4 Eagle Ranch or Bearcat Stables for their signature sleigh rides and dinner pairings. Enjoy a sleigh ride while sipping on your favorite beverage and learning the history of the area. At Bearcat Stables you can take advantage of one of two packages – après or dinner. At 4 Eagle Ranch, you can finish your evening roasting s’mores over the outdoor campfire.
Ice skating in the Vail Valley looks and feels like something out of a movie. Many of the ice rinks are situated in the middle of the village, surrounded by galleries, shops, cafes, restaurants and fire pits. Each ice rink has it’s own feel, some being more intimate than others. Beaver Creek’s ice rink is the ideal place to create new memories and be inspired by your surroundings. Vail’s Alderhof Ice Rink at the Arrabelle (Vail Square) is the type of rink that will make adults will feel like kids again with twinkling lights! Vail’s Solaris Ice Rink allows visitors to enjoy skating in center of Vail village with its spectacular panoramic views of Vail ski mountain. And lastly, for a larger indoor ice rink in Vail, the Dobson Ice Arena is open year-round and features public skating, private lessons, hockey, bumper-cars, and special events such as concerts.
Glenwood Adventure Park
Head to Glenwood Springs and take a scenic gondola ride to the top of Iron Mountain where you will discover Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which takes fun to another level. The park features various thrill rides, a variety of family-friendly attractions, and cavern tours. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is America’s only mountain-top theme park and western Colorado’s number one, must-see attraction. Nestled on the edge of Glenwood Canyon, the Park is located 1,300 feet above the Colorado River, which allows you to see panoramic views of the Canyon and its surroundings.
Snowshoeing & Cross Country Skiing
Snowshoeing is the perfect family activity. Since it does not require any technical expertise, it is perfect for everyone. There are several places in the area that offer both free and paid guided snowshoe tours through the forests. If you want a self-guided snowshoe, try the EagleVail trail system that extends from the neighborhood and through the forests and connects to Beaver Creek, or Meadow Mountain in Minturn which offers more vertical terrain. To enjoy a guided snowshoe, check out Walking Mountains Science Center daily snowshoe offered from two different locations.
For cross-county skiing head to Vail Nordic Center and enjoy their 17 kilometers of daily-groomed skate and classic tracks or Beaver Creek’s McCoy Park which is accessed via The Strawberry Park Lift – Chair 12 and is considered to be one of Beaver Creek’s best kept secrets, featuring 32 kilometers of groomed trails. If you’ve never cross country skied before lessons are available at both locations for skate and classic skiing. Both Vail Nordic Center and Beaver Creek Nordic Center offer snowshoeing as well.
Ice fishing and fly fishing in the Vail Valley are unique experiences that should not be missed. It is an excellent way to get out and enjoy the winter landscape. There are plenty of places in the Vail Valley with gorgeous scenery such as Sylvan Lake, Gypsum Ponds State Wildlife Area. The ice fishing experience is unbelievably pleasant and it only requires warm gear such as ski jackets, snow pants, sunglasses, gloves, and hats to provide the necessary warmth for the entire day. Looking for a guide? Check out winter fishing trips with Vail Valley Anglers.
Enjoy a day snowmobiling and take the ideal backcountry escape to explore miles of natural groomed terrain and endless bowls filled with fresh powders. Whether you are a first-timer or an expert snowmobiler, the Vail Valley is filled with many options for the whole family. There are guided and self-guided snowmobiling options for guests. Complimentary transportations are available on most of the snowmobile tours. Check out your options with Sage Outdoor Adventures or Nova Guides.