The winter is coming. Finally! With the dropping of temperature and the promise of snow, there’s a sense of adventure in the air. The Colorado winters bring so many different things to do (even if staying inside by a warm fire is your choice of adventure). As my love for the outdoors has grown, so has my love for the winter. There are some magical days in the snow-covered mountains and forests. Those moments are completely different experiences from being in the mountains during the summer. Adventure is readily available in any season that you come to the Rocky Mountains and luckily the gear you need to embrace these adventures is available too. If you’re looking for a place to rent some gear for a new sport you want to try out or just to save some money these are my go to places.
Ski and Snowboards
Colorado is known for its skiing and snowboarding which is probably why traffic is killer on the weekends heading to the mountains. If you plan on driving to the mountains for some adventure I suggest leaving Thursday or Friday or later in the day on Saturday and don’t try and come back Sunday afternoon-evening. Check the weather and see if there are any storms in the forecast because that will add a few extra hours to your drive. I’ve had friends stuck in ski traffic for over 8 hours, so definitely plan ahead on this one!
Our go-to place for ski and snowboard rentals. It’s based in Boulder so it’s a better spot to rent your board or skis for an entire season (unless you’re going to a mountain near Boulder). For the entire season, you can get an Adult Economy Ski Package for $155 or an Adult Snowboard Package for $150. If you’re looking to just rent for the day you can get a pair of skis for as low as $35 and a snowboard for as low as $25 for their most basic packages. Of course, you’ll probably want to get a helmet too which is $5 for the day.
This ski shop has plenty of locations to choose from making it a great option to rent your gear and be able to get it back at the end of your last ski day. Prices differ by $5-10 depending on which location you go to but you’ll be looking at $20-45 for skis or a snowboard plus $10 for a helmet at the Denver location. Depending on the type of skis/snowboard you want and the quality will decide how much you’ll end up spending.
Snowshoeing has become my new all-time favorite winter adventure. It’s a lot less crowded than the ski slopes but doesn’t let that fool you, just like the summer everyone is looking for a way to get outside on the weekends even if it’s freezing outside. You’ll want to go early and get parking because most places do get crowded. If you can find some secret spots, please tell me about them so that I can get away from the crowds. Even with the people on the trails, it’s still nice to get out and get moving and the winter in the forests adds an extra kind of magic to the experience.
If you plan on going snowshoeing near Boulder then Crystal Ski Shop is your best place to rent snowshoes. For only $12 for the day it’s the best deal around and their customer service is even better!
If you aren’t going to be anywhere near Boulder then REI is the next best place to rent snowshoes. Some REI’s don’t offer these rentals so you’ll want to call ahead but if they do but their $15 a day per pair.
Of course, these aren’t the only options for Colorado adventures in the winter. There’s cross country skiing, sledding, and Tubing at some of the resorts. If you’re looking for other gear to rent all these shops offer a plethora of other products to help you have the best adventure yet. And sleds are pretty readily available at Target, Wal-mart or even the grocery store for pretty cheap. Hopefully, these places will make a good start for helping you plan your next big Colorado adventure.