Rocky Mountain Winter Holiday Activities

Estes Park, Grand Lake, and Denver, Colorado glow with Christmas and New Year cheer.
Christmas lights downtown

Estes Park Catch the Glow Christmas Parade & Celebration, Late November

The annual "Catch the Glow" parade caps a day of full activity in downtown Estes Park. With holiday music broadcast outdoors throughout the town helping set the scene, visitors can interact with strolling animal characters, enjoy free hayrides and visit with Santa Claus throughout the day. All activities are free. More Information:

Estes Park Winter Festival, Mid-January

Take a turn on a toboggan run, ice skate downtown, demo snowshoes, taste award-winning chili, sample mac 'n cheese and sip a variety of beers and wines at the Estes Park Winter Festival. This family festival partners with the Annual Winter Trails Day in Rocky Mountain National Park, offering a weekend jam-packed with events. More information:

More Winter Fun in Estes Park

Spend a day tromping through Rocky Mountain National Park--hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, etc.--this December, and you'll be wandering through your very own winter wonderland.

Warm up and grab a cup of joe at local favorite Kind Coffee (552 West Elkhorn Ave., Estes Park; 970-577-1220) and then spend a little time meandering around the small town as it sparkles with Christmas cheer. The lights blinking from the treetops above are sure to put you in a festive spirit. Or wander up to the iconic Stanley Hotel and imagine Christmas as it was in the early 1900s.

Denver Botanic Gardens Lights, December

Denver Botanic Gardens during Christmas Holiday

Embrace the holiday season at Blossoms of Light. Over one million colorful lights draped in elegant designs highlight the Gardens' winter beauty. Enjoy sparkling passages and brand new displays, as well as the always anticipated HoloSpex glasses.

Denver Zoo Lights, December

Come and experience a holiday light safari with more than 38 brilliantly-illuminated acres of lights, featuring more than 150 animated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where they're least expected.

New Year's Eve Fireworks over Grand Lake

Watch the midnight celebration of the new year with fireworks over a Rocky Mountain lake.


Dream Lake in Winter at Rocky Mountain National Park

19 Things to Do in Winter in the Rocky Mountains

Of course you can ski, snowmobile and snowshoe. But have you seen the ice sculptures, tried ski biking, or skijoring? And don't miss the festivals.

Robin Guthrie, Wildland Trekking Guide at Rocky Mountain National Park

A Trail Guide's Insight to the Colorado Rocky Mountains in Winter

Wildland Trekking outdoor guide, Robin Guthrie gives the inside scoop of why winter is the best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park's Dream Lake in Winter

Win a Rocky Mountain Winter Vacation

This 6-day vacation for two people includes Estes Park lodging, dining, and guided snowshoe tours through a Rocky Mountain winter wonderland.

Snowshoers on a trail in Rocky Mountain National Park

Snowshoeing & Backcountry Skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Whether you want to cross country ski, strap on some snowshoes, or grab a sled, Rocky Mountain Park is a great winter activity destination.

Perseid Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

Annual Perseid Meteor Shower in Rocky Mountain National Park

A perseid meteor shower can be seen every year in Rocky Mountain National Park in mid August

Aspen trees in autumn

See Aspens in Fall at Rocky Mountain National Park

Starting in late August, aspens in the highest reaches of the Park begin their annual quaking, a term to describe the aspens unique leaves changing a golden-yellow hue and how they react in wind.

Snowshoeing in Glacier Gorge in Rocky Mountain National Park

3 Wintertime Blunders in Rocky Mountain National Park

On a winter trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, I thought I was well prepared. But the snowshoe adventure was an education.

Mom hiking with baby in winter

Free Guided Hikes on New Year's Day

Jan 1, Colorado Parks & Wildlife will offer free, guided hikes through state parks as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes.

Winter in Rocky Mountain National Park's Glacier Gorge with Longs Peak in the horizon.

Winter in Rocky Mountain National Park

Check out the winter wonderland that is RMNP. Just make sure to do a bit of planning and preparation before heading into this lovely white landscape.