Holidays

Get Outside: Gift These Ten Outdoorsy Colorado Experiences

Who wouldn’t be excited to mush their own dog team?
Who wouldn’t be excited to mush their own dog team? Unsplash / Rasmus Gundorff Sæderup
Gear is great, but many outdoor enthusiasts would agree that excursions are even better. Throughout the state, incredible guide and tour companies host memorable adventures, while ski resorts and hot springs offer nearby weekend getaways.

Here are ten Colorado experiences that cover a variety of preferences and budgets to gift your outdoorsy loved ones:

America the Beautiful Parks Pass
An America the Beautiful Parks Pass gives the gift of unlimited access to more than 2,000 recreation areas  managed by six federal agencies, including the Forest Service, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management. In Colorado, the most popular places to use this annual permit are at the state’s four national parks. From hiking in Rocky Mountain and Mesa Verde to incredible stargazing at Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison, adventures with this $80 pass are endless. Order online to have a pass shipped within five business days.

Dog Sled Tour

Steamboat Springs
Dogs and the outdoors rank highly on Coloradans’ list of favorite things. It’s unlikely that your loved one will be disappointed by this unique experience from Grizzle-T Dog & Sled Works. The family-run business involves Iditarod (long-distance dog sledding) competitor Kris Hoffman, his family and team of Alaskan Huskies. Learn how to mush your own dog team on the half-day tour along backcountry trails. Standard pricing is $275 per guest over eighty pounds, $175 for guests under eighty pounds, and $50 for children under two. Gift cards of any value can be purchased online.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa
Tabernash
Spanning 6,500 acres, Devil’s Thumb Ranch is a true outdoor escape, but it’s far from rugged. This luxurious resort is complete with elegant lodging, fine dining and spa services. On-site winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowcat tours, fat tire biking and horseback rides. After a day of outdoor fun, join a relaxing yoga class or lounge by the heated pool and hot tub. Activity pricing varies, as does lodging based on rooms and booking dates. Let your loved one select their preferences with an all-encompassing gift card, starting at $50.

Colorado Mountain School Course
Various locations
Founded in Estes Park in 1981, Colorado Mountain School is one of the state’s most-trusted mountain guide companies. It’s accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association, offering a range of skiing and climbing courses. As the country’s foremost American Institute for Avalanche Research avalanche course provider, Colorado Mountain School greatly supports beginners interested in backcountry skiing. Other education programs include mountaineering, ice climbing and rock climbing for a variety of skill levels. Pricing varies by course and can be covered in full or in part by a gift card.

Ten-Punch Skate Card at Evergreen Lake
Evergreen
The $120 ten-punch skate card at Evergreen Lake is a great Colorado gift, especially for a family. It can be used for all family members, saving 20 percent on standard day admissions. All ages will love gliding around this scenic alpine lake, which is one of the state’s best places to go ice skating. It’s also one of the largest Zamboni-groomed outdoor ice rinks in the world, hosting broomball and pond hockey games, skating classes and more. Purchase a punch card online and assign the gifted party’s name upon checkout.
Gift a snowmobile tour to the sightseers and thrill seekers.
Unsplash / Nate Johnston
High Country Snowmobile Tours
Silverthorne and Leadville
High Country Snowmobile Tours offers a variety of day trips from its outposts, with beginner tours to advanced excursions. Those without prior experience will prefer the scenic tours, available from either the Heeney Outpost in Silverthorne or the Birdseye Outpost in Leadville. Thrill seekers will greater enjoy the action tours, which travel at speeds of up to thirty miles per hour. As a bonus, both Heeney Outpost adventures allow a stop for some snow tubing. And if your gift recipient is a snowmobiling expert, un-guided rentals are also available. Pricing varies; see all rates and purchase a gift card of any value online.

Heli Skiing on Silverton Mountain
Silverton
Set to open on December 29, Silverton Mountain Ski Area is one of the few Colorado ski resorts where you can experience heli skiing. The daring adventure and the steep slopes of Silverton Mountain are best suited for experts who are familiar with backcountry terrain. Skilled skiers will be stoked by this present. A single heli run is $184, not including a same-day lift ticket. Lift tickets are $219 through March 16 (when guided skiing is required) and $99 for the remainder of the season. Gift cards of any value can be bought online.

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort
Glenwood Springs
After a busy holiday season, anyone would be excited for a relaxing, rejuvenating retreat to one of Colorado’s best hot springs. Glenwood Hot Springs Resort showcases the world’s largest hot springs pool, along with upscale lodging and convenient on-site dining. Set in a charming mountain town, the resort also serves as a great home base for more outdoor experiences, such as hiking and skiing at nearby resorts. Gift certificates start at $25 and can be applied toward day pool passes, overnight stays and other amenities.

Backcountry Skiing and Snowshoeing Tours
Various locations
Based in Boulder, Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides hosts a variety of training clinics and outdoor excursions. Adventure packages range from multi-day backpacking trips to mountain biking and whitewater rafting tours. But given the season, you may opt for a winter adventure for your loved one. Backcountry skiing and snowshoeing tours are available for all experience levels. They take place in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and Rocky Mountain National Park, providing solitude and stunning scenery. Gift cards of any value are available online and can be applied to trips, classes and gear.

Winter Park Gift Card
Winter Park
Winter Park is Denver’s very own ski area, and locals love the mountain for its world-class terrain, countless slopeside condos and nearby attractions. Gift cards start at $25 and can be used however the snow-sport lover in your life sees fit. The value can be applied to lodging through Central Reservations, perfect for avoiding I-70 ski traffic, as well as lift tickets, ski and ride school lessons and other activities. Gift cards can also be used at nearby restaurants like Doc's Roadhouse and Derailer Bar, perfect for some après-ski fun.
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