Thrilling Outdoor Activities for Cold-Weather Cabin Campers in Colorado

The Centennial State is a year-round wonderland for outdoors lovers, bar none. And for more than a few Colorado devotees, wintertime is the most wondrous season of all, thanks in part to some of the best-known destinations for snowsports in North America! Winter camping in Colorado, meanwhile, comes easy when you’ve got one of our cozy and well-appointed Royal Gorge Cabins to call home, complete with an inviting fireplace.

That warm, comfortable, and amenity-rich cabin of yours can serve as a fantastic springboard for seasonal sightseeing and adventuring. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best winter activities in Colorado at your disposal as a guest of ours here at Royal Gorge Cabins.

Skiing & Snowboarding Adventures

view of Monarch Ski Resort, ski runsWe might be a bit biased, but we happen to believe the Colorado Rockies lay claim to some of the finest powder on Earth. With accommodations in the Cañon City area here at Royal Gorge Cabins, you’ll find yourself within easy reach of some fabled skiing and snowboarding slopes.

Those include the nearly 70 trails maintained at Monarch Mountain, set up in the Sawatch Range (the highest chain in the Rockies) less than 1.5 hours from our property. Monarch’s got a warm and welcoming feel: a real “locals’ mountain,” less glitzed-out than the big ski resorts but still serving up topnotch runs for skiers and riders. Its 800 skiable acres come served by seven lifts and encompass 1,162 feet of vertical, with a nice balance between beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails.

You’re also within day-tripping reach of one of the most popular ski resorts in North America: the world-famous Breckenridge, which encompasses five peaks of the Tenmile Range only about an hour and 45 minutes from Royal Gorge Cabins.

And when it comes to playing out in the snow, it’s not all about downhill thrills and terrain-park tricks, either: Hundreds of thousands of acres of snowbound wildlands await cross-country skiers and snowshoers vacationing at Royal Gorge Cabins, including the extensive winter trails of Pikes Peak—that celebrated Fourteener that looms only about an hour away—and via nearby access points in the San Isabel National Forest.

Winter Hiking Expeditions

You may be surprised to learn that hiking is very much among the top winter activities in Colorado. Trails with shallow or nonexistent snowpack (as on south-facing exposures or at lower elevations) can be sought out, and the wintry vistas, wildlife-tracking opportunities, and deep quiet they offer are pretty darn soul-nourishing.

The Cañon City vicinity—an ideal area for winter camping in Colorado—includes extensive trail networks with multiple routes that are often very doable in the winter months. Within the scenery-dazzled Royal Gorge Park Trails System, for example—which lies a mere five minutes from our cabins, by the way—we recommend:View from Canyon Rim Trail

  • Point Alta Vista
  • Canyon Rim Trail
  • Tunnel Drive
  • Overlook Loop

And the South Cañon Trail System is another ready-at-hand option, with solid winter hikes such as:

  • Wagon Trail
  • Mutton Bustin’
  • Water Gap
  • Schepp Ridge
  • Recycle

When winter hiking, be sure to layer up for safety and comfort, wear well-insulated waterproof boots (outfitted with hiking crampons, if necessary), and bring along high-energy snacks, water, a detailed topo map, and a fully charged cell phone. And make sure to let somebody know your plans!

If you’re in the mood for more of a winter stroll than a hike, just steer your way to Cañon City’s delightful Riverwalk Trail.

View of Point Alta Vista

Hot Springs Relaxation

Does it get any better than kicking back in a hot spring in the heart of winter? Not really. And you’re in luck as a guest of ours at Royal Gorge Cabins, given you’ve got an awesome example only about a half-hour or so away: Desert Reef Hot Spring outside of Florence, Colorado. Renovated and expanded in 2022, this oasis offers pools at 100 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit in wintertime, with some dreamy sightlines as well.

After all, winter vacations in Colorado aren’t all about cold-weather adventures: You’ll want plenty of time for rest and relaxation as well!

Winter Camping in Colorado at Royal Gorge Cabins: Sheer Seasonal Bliss!

Whether you’re happily marinating in a hot spring pool, hiking to a killer vantage of the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River, or tearing down the slopes of Monarch or Breckenridge, you’ve got a bevy of wonderful winter activities in Colorado to choose from when you call Royal Gorge Cabins your easily accessible home-away-from-home outside Cañon City. Book one of our winter cabin rentals today!

Picture of Ben Sack

Ben Sack

Ben Sack is the General Manager of Echo Canyon River Expeditions and Royal Gorge Cabins. He's also a raft guide, photographer, and he loves exploring Colorado and beyond with his wife and two boys.

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