[Winter Warrior Snowshoe Race. Photo: 4cornerstv.com] Celebrate winter, Colorado style! Embrace the cold and the snow—or seek out warmth—with these ideas for midwinter fun in Telluride, Durango, Silverton, and Pagosa Springs.
Telluride Fire Festival
Festivarians, take note: Telluride is heating up winter with its Fire Festival. This new festival—it began in 2015—offers both free and ticketed events.
Fire artists and performers light up the winter nights, with fiery outdoor sculptures and art cars inspired by Burning Man. If you’re in the area, check out the pre-festival workshops, which include glass blowing and welding for beginners. January 20-22, 2017
Winter Warrior 5K/10K Snowshoe Race
Runner’s World magazine named Durango’s Winter Warrior one of the country’s top snowshoe races. The course consists of groomed trails and singletrack at the Durango Nordic Center, located just north of the entrance to Purgatory on US Highway 550.
Registration opens at 9 am; the race begins at 10 am. The course meets U.S. Snowshoe Association standards. January 28, 2017
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
This beloved historic steam train offers several winter excursions. On February 4, board the Snowdown Balloon Rally Train for a scenic trip that includes a viewing of the hot-air balloon ascension in the Animas Valley—it’s part of Snowdown, Durango’s winter festival and “cabin fever reliever.”
A week later, on February 11, the Romance on the Rails Brunch Train combines San Juan Mountains scenery with a brunch buffet and live music. Both trips head up to Cascade Canyon, then return to Durango. February 2017
Rodeo meets winter Olympics in the Nordic sport of skijoring: a horse and rider pull a skier, who flies through the air navigating jumps and obstacles. According to the Silverton Skijoring rules, “Skier must cross finish line in upright position and on at least one ski, with rope in hand …”
One imagines it doesn’t always turn out that way. Silverton’s eighth annual races take place at noon on historic Blair Street. Last year more than 2,500 spectators turned out to watch. February 18-19, 2017
Pagosa Hot Springs
Snow and frigid temperatures got you down? Immerse yourself in one of the 23 pools at Pagosa Hot Springs’ The Springs Resort.
The pools are on terraces just above the San Juan River, so you can gaze at the icy currents as you contemplate the miracle that is geothermal energy.