Three Alternative Winter Sports You Have to Try in Colorado
Skiing and snowboarding tend to dominate the mountainsides during the winter months out west, but those looking to do something different won’t be disappointed in Colorado. You’ll find an array of affordable adventures offered in mountain towns across the state, many of which are activities directly derived from an already established summer sport. The only catch here is that you have to be willing to embrace the elements, but the beautiful scenery is sure to take the chill out of the air. Be brave with one of these off-beat winter sports this season:
Snow biking simply moves the concept of mountain biking onto the snow-covered trails of winter, putting riders on “fat bikes” that have wide, oversized tires that allow for stability on the slick surface. The Telluride outfitter BootDoctors offers daily rentals to explore the area on your own ($39/day with helmet), guided family tours, and our personal favorite, the Big Tire Bike and Brew Tour, which includes a stop at the Telluride Brewing Company for a cold one (half day tour: $99, full day tour: $149).
The Dillon Reservoir, mostly admired as part of a dramatic view from Breckenridge and Keystone ski resorts, is very much part of the action when it comes to snow kiting, a new winter sport that is very similar to kiteboarding on the ocean but instead you wear skis or a snowboard and use a kite to glide across a frozen lake – the Dillion Reservoir, in this case. You can check out a video of the experience here, and check in with Colorado Kite Force for rates and more information.
Ski Biking in Vail
If riding in the foothills and back country on a fat bike isn't enough to get your juices pumping, perhaps you should give the downhill version a shot. Ski biking replaces the tires with ski blades, allowing riders to carve downhill on groomed trails. Tours are offered every night at Vail at Adventure Ridge, right after the lifts close for the day to the general public. Good thing, because it looks like the learning curve for this one might require a bit of space.
[Photos: Jaunted/Bike Hugger/Snow Kiting School/Vail]