December is an ideal time to visit Colorado, as snow blankets the majestic peaks, transforming them into a winter wonderland. Colorado has something to offer everyone, from world-class ski resorts to breathtaking hiking trails. Immerse yourself in thrilling outdoor adventures, soak in natural hot springs, and witness the beauty of winter wildlife.

Delight in festive celebrations, explore charming towns, and savor the flavors of the local cuisine. Join us on this comprehensive travel guide as we unveil the magic and splendor of Colorado in December.

We also have travel guides available to visit Colorado in April And September.

What To Consider Before Planning Your Trip To Colorado In December?

Several important factors must be considered when planning your December Colorado trip to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some key aspects to focus on:

  1. Duration of Stay: Determine how long you intend to stay in Colorado. Consider the number of activities and attractions you wish to explore and any additional destinations you may want to visit.
  2. Entry Point: Research the best entry point for your trip. Colorado has several major airports, such as Denver International Airport (DEN), which offers convenient access to various regions within the state. Plan your transportation from the airport to your desired destination, whether renting a car, taking a shuttle, or utilizing public transportation.
  3. Accommodation: Explore the diverse range of accommodation options available in Colorado, including hotels, resorts, cabins, and vacation rentals. Consider proximity to your planned activities, amenities, and budget. Booking in advance is recommended, as December is a popular time for tourism in the state.
  4. Budgeting and Expenses: Determine your budget for the trip, taking into account accommodation, transportation, activities, dining, and any additional costs. Research the average prices for various services and attractions in Colorado to help create a realistic budget. Consider purchasing lift tickets or activity passes in advance to save money.
  5. Seasonal Clothing and Gear: As Colorado experiences cold temperatures and snowfall in December, pack appropriate winter clothing, including insulated jackets, waterproof boots, hats, gloves, and warm layers. If you plan to engage in activities like skiing or snowboarding, consider renting or bringing your equipment or factor the rentals costs into your budget.
  6. Itinerary and Activities: Research the top attractions and activities available during December in Colorado. Skiing and snowboarding are popular choices, with numerous world-class resorts offering slopes for all skill levels. Winter hiking, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, festivals, and relaxing in natural hot springs are also highly recommended. Create a flexible itinerary that allows for exploration while leaving room for spontaneous discoveries.
  7. Weather Conditions: Familiarize yourself with the weather conditions in Colorado during December. While snowfall creates a picturesque setting, it can also impact travel and road conditions. Stay updated on weather forecasts and road closures, and be prepared for possible changes to your plans.

Top Attractions and Activities In Colorado Opened In December

Top Attractions and Activities In Colorado Opened In December

Here's a chart outlining some of the top attractions and activities in Colorado, along with expected expenses and transportation options:

Top Attractions and Activities

Expected Expense


Skiing and Snowboarding

Lift tickets: $50-$150/day

Rental car, shuttle, or public transportation to ski resorts

Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing

Free or minimal cost for trail access

Rental car or organized tours to trailheads

Winter Wildlife Viewing

Free or minimal cost for national parks and refuges

Rental car or organized wildlife tours

Festivals and Events

Varies (some events may be free)

Rental car or public transportation to event locations

Hot Springs and Spas

$10-$40 for hot springs access

Rental car or organized tours to hot springs

Rocky Mountain National Park

$25 for park entrance fee

Rental car or organized tours to the park

Colorado Springs (Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs)

Free (park entrance fees may apply)

Rental car or organized tours to Colorado Springs

Boulder (Pearl Street Mall, Flatirons, Chautauqua Park)


Rental car or public transportation to Boulder

Denver (Museums, Historic neighborhoods, Food scene)

Varies (some museums may have admission fees)

Rental car or public transportation within Denver

Practical Tips and Advice Before Visiting Colorado In December

Practical Tips and Advice Before Visiting Colorado In December

When traveling to Colorado in December, being prepared and equipped for winter conditions is important. Here are some practical tips and advice to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip:

  1. Packing Essentials: Pack warm clothing suitable for cold temperatures, including insulated jackets, thermal layers, hats, gloves, scarves, and waterproof boots. Remember to bring extra socks and hand warmers. Packing sunscreen and sunglasses is also advisable, as the sun can be intense even in winter.
  2. Safety Precautions: Be aware of the potential hazards of winter conditions and take necessary precautions. Check weather forecasts regularly and be prepared for changes in conditions. Familiarize yourself with the signs of hypothermia and frostbite, and know how to stay safe in snowy or icy environments. Having a basic winter survival kit in your car is a good idea, including a flashlight, blankets, food, water, and a first aid kit.
  3. Transportation Options: Renting a car provides flexibility and convenience for getting around Colorado, especially if you plan to explore multiple attractions. However, be prepared for snowy and icy roads and consider choosing a vehicle equipped for winter conditions. Alternatively, public transportation options, including buses and light rail, are available in major cities like Denver and Colorado Springs.
  4. Road Conditions and Safety: Stay updated on road conditions and closures by checking the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) website or using their mobile app. Practice safe driving techniques in winter, such as driving slowly, allowing for increased braking distances, and avoiding sudden maneuvers. If you need to become more familiar with driving in snowy or icy conditions, consider taking a shuttle or hiring a professional driver for certain excursions.
  5. Altitude Considerations: Many parts of Colorado are higher, which may cause altitude-related symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or shortness of breath. Stay hydrated, avoid excessive physical exertion during the first few days, and consider acclimatizing gradually by spending time at lower elevations before ascending to higher areas.
  6. Respect the Environment: Colorado's natural beauty should be respected. Follow “Leave No Trace” principles by properly disposing trash, staying on designated trails, and avoiding wildlife disturbance. Be mindful of fire restrictions and follow guidelines for campfires and outdoor cooking.
  7. Local Customs and Etiquette: Embrace the friendly and welcoming nature of the locals. Be polite, respect personal space, and use common courtesy when engaging with locals. It's also important to familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations, including those related to cannabis, as Colorado has legalized its recreational use.
  8. Travel Insurance: Consider obtaining travel insurance that covers trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and weather-related disruptions. Check the policy details to ensure you have appropriate coverage for your specific needs.

Resources and Additional Information About Colorado

Here are some additional resources to help you plan your trip to Colorado in December:

Resources and Information


Guidebooks and Maps

Official Tourism Website


Colorado Tourism Office


Visit Denver


Visit Colorado Springs


Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park: The Complete Hiking Guide by Lisa Foster

Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides


Colorado State Parks


CDOT Road Conditions


Lonely Planet: Colorado


Lonely Planet Colorado (Travel Guide)

Moon Colorado


Moon Colorado (Travel Guide)

National Geographic: Colorado


National Geographic Guide to the National Parks: Rocky Mountain National Park



Google Maps


Guidebooks and maps are subject to availability and may vary based on your location and preferred retailer. It's always a good idea to check online marketplaces, local bookstores, or digital platforms for the most up-to-date options.

Additionally, explore online forums and travel communities, such as TripAdvisor's Colorado Travel Forum or Reddit's r/Colorado, for valuable insights, tips, and personal recommendations from fellow travelers.

These resources and information will assist you in planning your trip, providing essential details about attractions, road conditions, maps, and guidebooks to make the most of your adventure in Colorado.

Colorado In December - Personal Experience

As a travel guide for Colorado in December, I had the opportunity to explore this breathtaking state and discover its wonders during the winter season. From transportation to the most amusing places, I'll share my firsthand experience and recommend the best places worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime.

Transportation in Colorado during December can be a mix of adventure and convenience. I found that renting a car was the most practical option as it allowed me the flexibility to explore the state at my own pace. However, preparing for winter driving conditions is important, especially if you plan to navigate the mountainous regions. Make sure to have snow tires or chains, and check the weather and road conditions regularly.

Transportation in Colorado

Fun Places

  • One of the most fun places I visited in Colorado was Aspen. This world-renowned ski resort town offers a unique blend of outdoor adventures, luxury shopping, and vibrant nightlife.
Fun Places
  • Another must-visit destination is Breckenridge. The Breckenridge Ski Resort is known for its varied terrain and superb skiing conditions. I had an unforgettable experience skiing down the slopes, surrounded by majestic mountain vistas. The town's Main Street is lined with colorful Victorian buildings, housing an array of shops, restaurants, and art studios. Take the chance to explore the Breckenridge National Historic District, which provides a glimpse into the town's rich history.
Another must-visit destination is Breckenridge
  • For a truly mesmerizing experience, I highly recommend visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. Despite the colder temperatures, the park's beauty is unparalleled in winter. Majestic snow-covered peaks, frozen lakes, and peaceful trails create an awe-inspiring and rejuvenating serene atmosphere. I took part in guided snowshoeing tours, which allowed me to explore the park's winter landscape and witness its abundant wildlife.
Rocky Mountain National Park
  • If you're seeking a unique natural phenomenon, plan a visit to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. While visiting dunes in winter may seem counterintuitive, the contrast between the snow-capped peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the vast expanse of golden sand is simply breathtaking. I marveled at the sheer scale of the dunes and had a blast sandboarding down their slopes. It was a surreal experience that left me in awe of nature's wonders.
 Sand Dunes National Park
  • Finally, a trip to Colorado in December would only be complete with a visit to the charming town of Durango. Known for its scenic beauty and rich history, Durango offers visitors a wide range of activities. I enjoyed riding the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which winds through the snow-covered San Juan Mountains. The town's downtown area is filled with charming shops, restaurants, and breweries, where I immersed myself in the local culture.

Final Words

Colorado in December is a winter paradise that caters to every traveler's desires. This state has everything, whether you seek thrilling outdoor adventures, vibrant nightlife, or serene natural beauty. Embrace the snowy wonderland, explore the charming towns, and let Colorado create memories that will last a lifetime.

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