As we settle into the dead of winter, January in Colorado can be one of the coldest months of the year. But don’t worry there is still plenty to do indoors and outdoors to keep those winter blues away. Discover below things to do this January.
With the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays behind us, it’s time to really embrace the winter. It’s prime time for fun in the Rocky Mountain snow and ice. We highlight some of the top things to do this January, from winter recreation to joyous festivals. For other events in January check out our festivals page.
Here are some things to do in CO during January 2022:
First-day hike with State Parks
Kick off the new year with a hike in one of Colorado’s stunning state parks. First Day Hikes offer a chance to get outside and get some exercise, a goal most of us set for the new year! At least 25 of Colorado’s state parks will offer an organized hike to celebrate the event.
Winter X Games
Ok so it’s not the Olympics, but the Winter X Games in Aspen is one of the more popular winter events in Colorado, for spectators and participants alike. Watch as some of the world’s best athletes compete in their own disciplines (ski, snowboard, or snowmobile) at the 20th Winter X Games!
Witness competitors complete these death-defying stunts, all for a chance to be awarded some of the most recognizable medals in action sports. But entertainment doesn’t stop there, spectators will also enjoy live music throughout the entire weekend!
Where: Base of Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen
When: January 21 – 23, 2022
Ouray Ice Festival
Celebrating its 27th anniversary in 2022, the Ouray Ice Festival is one of the more popular winter events in Colorado, both for participants and viewers. Watch as the tiny mountain town of Ouray becomes a climbing mecca for those looking to test their skills at climbing the jagged ice walls of Ouray Ice Park. This year’s event is virtual.
Where: Ouray Ice Park
When: January 20 – 23, 2022
Rio Frio Ice Fest in Alamosa
Take in the beautiful scenery of the San Luis Valley in the winter at the Rio Frio Ice Fest in Alamosa, CO. The entire weekend is packed full of everything that makes the winter, well, winter including ice carving and sculptures, an icy bonfire, the Polar Plunge, and an ice carousel.
But the festival’s most popular event is the Rio Frio 5K. Participants take to the frozen Rio Grande River and run over three miles of snow and ice. The race takes place on Saturday morning.
Where: Alamosa, Colorado
When: January 28 – 30, 2022
By now, in January, the lakes and reservoirs are well-frozen over and offer a good base for some of Colorado’s best winter activities. Many local lakes and reservoirs are ideal for ice skating, ice fishing, and ice boating. Even waterfalls that have become frozen over from the winter’s cold provide a perfect canvas for ice climbing.
Free Entrance Day to National Parks
Every year the USFS and BLM offer several free entrance days to the state’s National Parks. January 17th, 2022, Martin Luther King Day, enjoy free entrance into any one of Colorado’s four National Parks: Rocky Mountain, Great Sand Dunes, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and Mesa Verde.
Head to a hot springs
While any time of the year is a good time to visit one of Colorado’s many hot springs, January is a great way to experience the coldest part of winter in mother earth’s hottest geothermal pools. Colorado is home to several primitive, commercial, and even clothing-optional hot springs. Popular sites include Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Glenwood Hot Springs, and Mount Princeton Hot Springs.
Breckenridge Snow Sculptures
When the snow comes to town, Breckenridge doesn’t just host some of the best ski terrains around, they also host one of the best winter festivals around, the International Snow Sculpture Championships. This highly-anticipated week-long event showcases 16 teams from around the world who battle it out to be crowned best snow sculptor.
This is no ordinary contest, as the teams have to hand-carve 20-ton blocks of snow into massive snow-sculpted works of art, only using hand tools (no power tools are allowed!) to create their masterpieces.
During the week, each team slowly sculpts their vision to life, while the closing weekend offers visitors a chance to view the completed sculptures displays. The sculptures aren’t around for long, as they are taken down on the last day of the event.
Where: Riverwalk Center in downtown Breckenridge
When: January 24 – February 2, 2022
National Western Stock Show
An iconic event in Colorado, the National Western Stock Show has been in business since 1906. The stock show includes a whole host of events over the two-week time span including the Stock show kick-off parade, livestock judging contest, rodeos, horse racing, western art, and so much more.
Where: National Western Complex in Denver
When: January 8 – 23, 2022
Estes Park Winter Festival – canceled for 2022
Celebrate what makes winter in Colorado so fantastic with the Estes Park Winter Festival. The festival includes a silent disco and photo booth, live music, beer tasting, chili cook-off, and so much more! Held Martin Luther King weekend, it’s the perfect mountain weekend, plus stay an extra day and take advantage of free entrance day to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Where: downtown Estes Park
When: CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19
Those are among the most intriguing activities to partake in this January in Colorado. Stay tuned for more excitement to follow in February.