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THE ULTIMATE 8 DAY CHRISTMAS IN COLORADO WINTER ITINERARY

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Post summary: A complete Christmas in Colorado itinerary! Perfect for visiting Colorado in the winter time! 8-days packed full of fun!

Christmas is my favorite season of the year; however, I am from San Diego meaning we never get your classic “white Christmas.”

I had always wanted to experience what a snowed-in Christmas day would look like and I was finally able to do that by spending a Christmas in Colorado.

It was everything I could have dreamed of and more! So, I figured since I had so much fun spending a Christmas in Colorado I would share a complete Colorado itinerary with you!

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Colorado is a large state and there are so many fun activities that this state has to offer! This article focuses on winter activities because I visited during the Christmas season!

However, if you are looking for a summer in Colorado guide then check out my complete itinerary to visiting Aspen, Colorado.

Also! This article, as usual, is geared to the adventurous outdoor lover! And this Christmas in Colorado itinerary is jam-packed!

So, get your winter gear packed up and ready to go!

DAY 1: TRAVEL AND ARRIVAL DAY

Day one is going to be your travel day! Plan to fly into Denver, Colorado at whatever time works best for you!

(I highly recommend wearing fun Christmas clothes on the plane! Everyone loves it :))

After you land, pick up your rental car and make sure to grab one that is snow friendly.

If you plan to follow my recommendations here (which I think you should) then find a place to stay in Silverthorne. 

Headed out to spend Christmas in Colorado

Silverthorne itself isn’t a poppin’ kind of town, but it seemed pretty central to everything we wanted to do! 

Either head to your hotel/place of stay or pick up groceries along the way! If staying in Silverthorne there is a Whole Foods in town!

Tip! Whenever my husband and I travel we like to purchase groceries instead of constantly eating out. We always feel healthier and save money this way! 

*Don’t get me wrong though we definitely do eat out some too! 

Want to make life easy!? Stay at the exact place we stayed through Airbnb! This place was perfect for us! We had six adults and one baby! 

The cutest airbnb in Colorado

This condominium was just the right amount of space! It had two bedrooms and a loft room upstairs and then two bathrooms. The kitchen wasn’t large, but it was big enough for what we needed.

I loved how the living room space was open! I would highly recommend staying here!

The rest of your night is filled with spending time with each other and relaxing after a long travel day!

DAY TWO: CHRISTMAS DAY AND RELAX

The second day was Christmas day! So, for us, we spent the day relaxing with the family-of course in our matching Christmas pajamas. It actually snowed on Christmas morning, so I got to experience a true “white Christmas.” 

And let me tell you, Christmas in Colorado is absolutely beautiful. 

Matching pajamas for our Christmas in Colorado

Our day was filled with games, presents, and family-bonding time. The condominium complex had a pool/spa, sauna, and ping-pong, so we also spent our time enjoying those amenities on this day. 

Snow shoeing on Christmas Day

Looking for a different way to spend Christmas other than buying presents?

Slow mornings with my niece

This year we decided to do something creative and instead of getting presents for each other, we either had to re-purpose something we already had or come up with a non-monetary gift.

For example, my husband took all his old medals and gifted them to each family member. 

He “awarded” people with something such as most changed throughout the year and then he went on to give a speech about each person as he awarded them. 

Oh and of course! You have to always wear matching pajamas :).

DAY THREE: HIKING AND DOG SLEDDING

Alright, let’s get into the fun outdoor activities now! We each took turns planning out what the activity of the day was going to be, so first up was me and Dan’s day!

We planned a hike and dogsledding! 

We chose to find a hike along the way to dog sledding which ended up being the hike around the Clinton Gulch Dam Reservoir. 

Wearing my KEEN winter boots for our hike in Colorado
Hiking the Clinton Gulch in Colorado

This was my first time ever walking on a frozen lake! Not going to lie I was a bit scared! Our hike took about two hours and we didn’t make it completely around the reservoir. 

We were hiking through a lot of snow and we also had to head to dogsledding!!!!

So, imagine the pictures you see of being pulled bu huskies while on a sled! That is exactly what we did! Our experience with Alpine Adventures Dogsledding was unreal and makes me want to go do the same thing in Norway or Finland! 

The best experience dogsledding at Alpine Adventures
make sure to add dogsledding to your Colorado itinerary

Surprisingly you go quite fast when being pulled by the dogs. They take you around the man-made course and each person gets to take a turn “driving/steering” the sled as well as riding in the sled. 

Dogsledding in Colorado with Alpine Adventures

You will be on the back of a tractor in front of the dogs while you wait for your turn. It is still fun because you get to see the dogs pulling the sled!

Tip! It was FREEZING dogsledding-especially my feet and face. So, bring extremely warm clothes!

DAY FOUR: SKI AT VAIL MOUNTAIN

Now I am not a skier by any means, but I feel pretty dang cool saying I have now skied at Vail resort. 

This place was huge! The trails were endless! It was a beautiful day, still cold, but sunny day to ski. 

Unfortunately, skiing at Vail makes for an expensive day, However, if you book your tickets beforehand then you can save some money. Some ways that we helped counteract the cost was by bringing our own lunch and drinks! 

Vail Resort skiing
Skiing at Vail Resort in Colorado

If you have the opportunity to ski or snowboard here though I would highly recommend it! Of course, I am always exhausted after skiing, but I can never pass up a good hamburger after a day of skiing. 

We decided to eat at a restaurant right at the base of the mountain and then walk around the cute town of Vail and daydream about buying the overly priced gear! 

DAY FIVE: TRAIN RIDE IN GEORGETOWN AND EXPLORE BRECKENRIDGE

Christmas in Colorado wouldn’t be complete without a train ride on the Georgetown loop railroad. This is the full Christmas experience and is a great activity to do with kids! 

Georgetown Loop Railroad

This was the cutest little activity and the perfect snowy day adventure. Arrive prior to your train ride and enjoy some warm cookies and hot coco outside by the firepit.

Make sure to leave time to take cute photos around the area as it is all decorated. 

Purchase tickets for the Holiday train (not running for 2020 season, but they will open in 2021) to get the full Christmas experience.

Georgetown loop railroad during Christmas time in Colorado
Make sure to add the Georgetown Loop Railroad to your itinerary

Each person is allowed to order one drink of your choice and a cheese/cracker and chocolate tray is distributed to each person as well. 

The kids can visit Santa as you ride through the lighted forest of Georgetown. 

Plan to spend about 1-hour on the decorated Holiday train!

At night, we decided to head into the town of Breckenridge and explore all the cute little shops while drinking a warm chai tea latte! 

DAY SIX: DILLON ICE CASTLES AND TROLL HIKE

It is time to move on to a new town! Leave your Silverthorne housing and move on out to housing near Keystone, a quaint little ski town.

On your way to your new resort location I highly recommend stopping back in Breckenridge and doing the troll hike.

Hiking in the snow in Colorado
Breckenridge Troll hike

This 15-foor tall wooden troll sculpture is located along the Trollstigen Trail. It is a short walk with a super cool ending.  

The trail is not maintained during the winter months, but it is a short 15-minute trail and super easy to find. 

Read more for a full guide on visiting the troll and where to park

Next up! The ice castles! On your way to Keystone stop by the ice castles in Dillon. This is another great activity for the kids! 

Ice castles in Dillon Colorado

Unfortunately, it is a steep price to enter and usually a long line if you don’t purchase your tickets ahead of time.

Upon entering, you will find ice caves, slides made out of ice and some epic photo spots!

DAY SEVEN: HIKE IN DILLON OR SKI KEYSTONE

The magic of Christmas in Colorado continues in Keystone. We found a VRBO directly below the Keystone ski lifts. It was a cute little apartment that fit four adults (the other family members had lef to go back home).

Hiking on a frozen lake in Colorado!

If you are an avid skier, then I recommend skiing Keystone, however, we chose to explore the area of Keystone instead. 

We found a short hike/walk to do, called the Dillon Nature Preserve Trail, located near our stay. This was a flat trail that ran alongside the road and led to a lookout over the frozen lake. There were even people ice fishing on the lake!

Other fun activities we partook in was relaxing in the spa, throwing hot water over our heads to see if it would freeze and walking around the village of Keystone.

Relaxing on Christmas Day in Colorado

In the Keystone Village, you will find cute shops and an ice rink! 

We chose to end our night eating pizza at Last Chance Pizza

DAY EIGHT: RED ROCKS AND HEAD HOME

Sadly, this Colorado itinerary has to come to an end! End your day by driving through the gorgeous mountains of Colorado. 

Save time to make pitstops along the way to take some epic photos! 

Epic views of Colorado Christmas

Before you fly out, end your day by visiting the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatere. I hope to go back for a concert one day! 

And now it is time to say goodbye, or see you later, to Colorado! 

FINAL THOUGHTS FROM YOUR OUTDOOR LOVING GIRL

Spending my Christmas in Colorado was an absolute dream! I couldn’t have asked for a better trip and I hope to go back one day!

I hope you found this Colorado itinerary helpful for planning your next vacation!

I would love to hear in the comments if you have ever been to Colorado and what is your favorite place to see or thing to do while in this state?

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THE ULTIMATE 8 DAY CHRISTMAS IN COLORADO WINTER ITINERARY

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