Winter Activities Dolores Colorado

Winter Activities Dolores Colorado

Dolores, located in Southwest Colorado, offers a multitude of opportunities for winter activities. Everything that comes to my mind is outdoors, for good reason. The attraction is what you see outdoors; mountains, rivers, lakes, canyons. The activities in this part of the world are available four seasons of the year. They differ by season, because of the weather during the four seasons, but for the outdoor lover this part of the world can’t be beat. In a series of posts I have outlined some of the things to do, by the season. I have also listed some resources you can use for further research and planning. And of course if you need a great place to stay, please keep us in mind. We will have our winter accommodation ready for this winter.


Winter Activities Dolores ColoradoSkiing! – I love skiing! I grew up in a family passionate about skiing. As I’m sure you know, Colorado has some of the best skiing in the world. The San Juan mountains of Southwest Colorado have some great terrain to ski and usually we have plenty of deep light snow. Keep in mind that the following resorts offer year-round activities as well. The following are ski areas nearby:

Resort Skiing – Closest

Winter Activities Dolores ColoradoTelluride – Telluride is the closest to our accommodations. Telluride is a great mountain with terrain to suite the whole family. It is one of the most scenic locations I have ever known with jaw dropping views every direction you look. There are plenty of dining opportunities on the mountain, in town and in Mountain Village. It is convenient to get on the mountain from our location. When the roads are dry, you can be in the Mountain Village parking lot for the gondola in less than an hour. My favorite things about the mountain are The Plunge, all the hike to terrain and most of all – its hardly ever crowded.

Telluride Ski and Golf

Hesperus – Hesperus is a little. One old chair that services 60 acres of skiing with 700 feet of vertical. To date I have not skied here but I intend to. I have heard from friends that it is fun and the price is certainly right. Hesperus is about a 50 minute drive towards Durango from us.


A Little Further Away

Purgatory – Purgatory is about an hour and a half drive. Purgatory is up the road from the town of Durango on highway 550. I haven’t skied there in a number of years, mostly because I love Telluride so much! The mountain is wide across and offers a good variety of terrain. The width of the mountain does require some effort to get around. some have nicknamed it ‘Traverse-atory’. The catwalks can be a pain on a snowboard. They typically get great snowfall with plenty of powder days.


Wolf Creek – Wolf Creek is famous for early and plentiful snow fall. They are typically one of the first ski areas to open up. Last year they had 385″ of snow. It’s a fun mountain, though smaller compared to Telluride and Purgatory. It is also a good drive from here at 2 1/2 hours. It sits at the top of Wolf Creek Pass northeast of Pagosa Springs. I don’t frequent it but I have gone for the day when they opened in October just to make some early turns.

Wolf Creek

Winter Activities Dolores ColoradoSilverton Mountain – This mountain is on my list. Located deep in the San Juans Silverton offers more of a backcountry experience. This is from their website:

“Imagine a place where the average total snowfall of over 400 inches exceeds the amount of daily visitors. Advanced and expert only riding, no groomers, no clearcut runs and a real mountain experience with plenty of adventure on tap. All thrills no frills. 
Welcome to Silverton Mountain, Colorado. Here you will find amazing skiing in every direction and one chairlift perfectly located to deliver you to the goods.”

They also offer heli skiing and guided cat skiing.

Silverton Mountain

Beyond the Resorts

Ski Touring and Heli Skiing – The San Juans have some great terrain for ski touring. Below is a search result for Guides that can keep you safe and provide the proper avalanche training. This is a dangerous sport. There are multiple fatalities every year around here, most involving experienced backcountry skiers. The terrain in the San Juans is incredibly steep and the variable snow conditions make them ripe for avalanches.

Ski Touring and Heli Skiing

Winter Activities Dolores ColoradoCross Country and Skate Skiing – There are two groomed trails nearby, one at the top of Lizardhead Pass and another on the other side of the pass near Trout Lake. For Winter Activities near Dolores Colorado there are some trails in Boggy Draw, above the town of Dolores that are groomed.

Fat Tire Winter Mountain Biking

The trails in the Boggy Draw trail system get groomed for riding in the winter.

Snowmobile Tours

There is good opportunities for snowmobiling on the way and at the to of Lizardhead Pass. The link below is a search result of companies offering tours.


Snowshoeing – Many of the trails that offer such great hiking in summer and fall get buried in snow come winter and are still accessible to snowshoe. This is another Winter Activities near Dolores Colorado that can be dangerous due to variable weather conditions and avalanches. Only venture into the backcountry in winter if you have been trained and properly assess the risks.

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