Mountain Town Parties that Celebrate Winter
Don’t miss these rockin’ Colorado festivals in 2018.
If you think the festive winter fun winds down after the holidays, think again. These Colorado mountain towns up the party momentum in the new year. Here’s the inside track on the biggest and best high country fests.
January 10–13, 2018
Norse mythology tells us Ullr, the god of snow, covered the earth with the white stuff to ski and hunt with speed and skill. Each January, powder worshipers descend on Breckenridge to chant his name (pronounced Oool-er) and pray for bountiful snowfall. Don your best Viking gear (horned hats are available around town) and join the nightly parties that span Ullympics, a rowdy Ullr Parade down Main Street, a bonfire fueled by old skis and Christmas trees, the world's longest shot ski, a talent show, comedy night, film festival and more.
January 11–14, 2018
This spirited toast to winter began in 1951 as a hat-tip to Aspen’s Nordic lifestyle. The 2018 Wintersköl theme is “Better Together,” a tribute to resort and community and the four-day festival unleashes a full menu of winter fun with on-mountain activities, film screenings, a winterfest, broomball and fat-biking competitions. Local favorites include the kids snow sculpture competition on Mill Street Mall, an ‘80s Snow Jam concert and an apple strudel downhill “race” where – you guessed it – the finish line comes equipped with strudel, whipped cream and hot drinks. There’s also ice skating, vintage ski films, stand-up comedy and much much more.
January 13–14, 2018
Pack up the family for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend and head to the Estes Park Events Complex for a chili cook-off (red on Saturday and green and white chili on Sunday), ski and snowboard demos, craft beer and wine tasting and numerous other family activities. The little ones will love the mac 'n cheese tastings and sledding while outdoor enthusiasts can get in on the coinciding Winter Trails Day in Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday. Learn about outdoor winter adventures, equipment and safety at the free annual snowshoe festival and be sure to get out for a snowy hike to stunning Bear Lake.
January 18–21, 2018
The Ice-Climbing Capital of the World invites fearless competitors from around the globe during this three-day annual frozen fest. Watch incredible athletes scale solid waterfalls at the Ouray Ice Park and try the sport on yourself at one of the fest’s beginner sessions. Daily vendor exhibits showcase the latest ice tools, apparel and gear and more than 100 interactive and educational climbing clinics accommodate newbies to experts. At night, mountain music, food, dance parties and a live and silent auction keep the party going.
February 7–11, 2018
One of Colorado’s most acclaimed festivals, Steamboat’s Winter Carnival has been around since 1914. Take in ski-jumping competitions, dog-sled pulls, cross-country obstacle races, a tubing party and fireworks. The oldest continuing Winter Carnival west of the Mississippi never fails to impress—usually by way of the United State’s only skiing high school band. Or the brave ski-jöring cowboys flying down Lincoln Avenue behind horses. Or the skiers jumping through flaming hoops. Or the Lighted Man coming down the mountain with roman candles shooting out of his backpack. You get the idea!