Submitted by alison on Sat, 03/29/2014 - 3:42pm
April’s a tricky month. Spring has definitely arrived, but the days seem to alternate between cold and gloomy or warm and sunny. Plus there’s mud and slush and still the occasional snowstorm to contend with. How do you plan with the ever-changing conditions? After months of winter, we’re eager to get outside and stretch our legs no matter what the weather’s doing. Here are 20 ways to get the most out of Colorado’s great outdoors this April.
1. Shred a Spring Powder Day
Sure, it’s officially spring, but if you’re visiting Colorado in April, don’t miss out on the best of winter. Spring powder days can offer the best skiing
– warm temps, deep snow, and zero crowds.
Where to go: i70 Corridor (Vail, Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland)
2. Demo Some New Skis
Once spring break ends, most of the local ski shops put their leftover inventory on sale, so it’s the perfect time to score some new gear. Check to see if your favorite mountain is offering any demo specials and you’ll not only save even more, but you might just learn about some of the hot new brands.
Where to go: Loveland
3. Test Your Pond Skimming Skills
Feeling brave? Try skimming across open water on your skis. Many of the resorts have pond skimming competitions in April, so you can go head to head with your friends. Feeling less brave? Kick back and enjoy the spectacle from the safety of shore.
Where to go: Vail
4. “Beach” in the Mountains
Sunshine, folding chairs, cold beer, grills….and snow. “Beach” mountainside at Arapahoe Basin for a unique Colorado party scene. If you need a change of scenery, you can always take a run or two on ski hill.
Where to go: A Basin
5. Enter a Cardboard Derby
Sure, you can ski or snowboard down the hill, but what about tackling the slopes on cardboard? Construct the cardboard craft that will slide you to wacky victory!
Where to go: Steamboat
6. Kayak on Snow
Want a truly wild race? Monarch hosts a kayak race on the slopes through a specially designed skier cross-style course complete with obstacles and ending in a pond.
Where to go: Monarch
7. Attend a Free Outdoor Concert
Almost all of Colorado’s ski resorts, from Copper and Breckenridge to Vail and Steamboat, offer free live music
on select weekends during the month of April featuring a range of national acts. Enjoy the sunshine while catching your favorite performers.
Where to go: Copper Mountain, Steamboat, Breckenridge
8. Go Snowshoeing
With all the snow on the ground, hiking might still feel a little daunting, but strap on a pair of snowshoes
, and you’ll discover you suddenly have access to all of Colorado’s backcountry. It’s the perfect answer to a warm spring day in the mountains.
Where to go: Loveland Pass, Leadville, Buena Vista
9. Learn How to Mush
With the above-average snowfall that Colorado received this year, winter tour guides and outfitters will be able to run well into April, so you’ll have an extra opportunity to take advantage of activities that would normally be closed for the season. Book a dog sledding tour
for a totally unique adventure.
Where to go: Vail, Breckenridge
10. Dine al Fresco
Looking to grab a bite after a morning of skiing or shopping? Many restaurants will have their patios and decks open for spring so you can catch a few rays while refueling.
Where to go: Boulder, Aspen
11. Shop a Farmers’ Market
As the ground starts to thaw, farmers’ markets will begin to open across the state. Whether you need to restock the fridge in your vacation rental or you’re hoping to find a unique gift for friends back home, you won’t regret a sunny morning perusing the stalls.
Where to go: Boulder, Fort Collins
12. Explore a Local Winery
Wine season is just kicking off in April and several events take place across the state. On a tight schedule? Just head to the nearest winery to sample the local fare on your own time.
Where to go: Palisade, Grand Junction
13. Watch for Wildlife
Whether you’re hiking, cross country skiing
, or driving a mountain pass, keep an eye out for local wildlife. As the weather gets warmer, you’re likely to see many of the species that were in hibernation all winter.
Where to go: Georgetown, Estes Park, Durango
14. Take a Walking Tour
Want to celebrate the warm weather but stay in the city? From historic tours to art walks, you’ll find plenty to explore in any of Colorado’s urban areas.
Where to go: Boulder, Fort Collins
15. Join an Easter Egg Hunt
Easter falls on April 20th this year, and there are numerous events planned in the major cities and resort towns. From on-mountain scavenger hunts for skiers to town events for little ones, there’s no shortage of fun options.
Where to go: Glenwood Springs
16. Hit the Golf Course
Ready for summer? If you just can’t handle any more of winter, there’s still the opportunity to embrace summer. Get your fix by spending a morning enjoying the green grass on all 18 holes
Where to go: Denver
17. Enjoy Early Whitewater Rafting
If you’re looking to get the best of Colorado’s summer adventures, consider an early-season rafting trip. Sure, you’ll need a wetsuit, but you’ll beat the summer crowds and get a truly unique whitewater experience.
Where to go: The Royal Gorge (Canon City)
18.Head Out on the Bike Trail
If you’re looking for a thrill but wanting to stay dry, pack your mountain bike and head to the western slope to enjoy the world class bike trails as the weather gets warmer.
Where to go: Fruita
19. Catch a Baseball Game
Need to kick back at the end of a long day but don’t want to go inside? Baseball season is under way – head to the local stadium for a low key evening in the fresh air.
Where to go: Denver, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction
20. Visit a National Park
It’s hard to beat free. April 19th and 20th are fee free days at all national parks
, so clear your schedule and head for one of the spectacular parks across. From hiking, to wildlife, to archeological attractions, you’ll find it easy to spend the whole weekend exploring. The hard part will be deciding which one to visit.
Where to go: Mesa Verde National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park