Got a Car? Take a Day off from Skiing and Enjoy Some Off-Mountain Activities

Get Off the Slopes, Hit the Road, and Add Additional Memories to Your Colorado Vacation

I often recommend to visitors that they take a break from the mountain to enjoy more than gravity and speed. Also, Once in awhile, I'll run across a family who has a member or two that would rather not be on the slopes.  Regardless, the surrounding area has some astounding scenery and wonderful experiences.  

If you have a car, try some of the suggestions below. If not, I will soon write an additional post on some other activities you can do without a car (i.e. snowmobile tours, dog sledding, horse tours, snowshoe hikes, etc.).  Note that none of these ideas are targeted towards those who'd like to spend a day at a spa or shopping - that's not exactly my thing.

1. Take a Driving Tour of the Copper Triangle and have lunch in a mountain town

 Take a Drive to the Mountain Town of Leadville

If you have a car and the weather is cooperating, doing a loop-trip can on US 24 can provide incredible views and let you experience a few true mountain towns.  I recommend the "Copper Triangle."  A 1 hour loop that connects Cooper Mountain, Leadville, Minturn, and the Vail Pass.  You should take more than the hour to grab a bite or drink in Leadville, Minturn or Red Cliff.  The Route includes three easy passes (Tennessee, Fremont, and Vail Pass).  You'll cross the Continental Divide.  See the area that the 10th Mountain Division trained at (Camp Hale)

I know, it sounds a little unusual, but this museum will provide a few glimpses of a life and industry that few ski town visitors might ever experience.  See the instruction in the suggestion above and take US 24 to Leadville.  I guarantee you will find this to be worthwhile.

3.  Go soak in the hot springs in Glenwood Springs

glenwood springs.jpeg

About 45 miles west of Vail is the town of Glenwood Springs, home to great public mineral springs and vapor caves.  Soak in a 104 degree therapy pool.  The highlight of the drive will be the 17 mile traverse through Glenwood Canyon.  That strip of I-70, completed in the early 90's was the most expensive piece of US interstate, until the "big dig" in Boston - it's an engineering marvel.  Also, the won Glenwood Springs is another mountain town worth visiting and having a meal in.  It's also the turn-off to Aspen.

4.   Head west, Far west, and see the spectacular colorado national monument

Moab and the Colorado Plateau are fantastic, but a bit far.  Yet, in less than two hours west on I-70 you can visit the Colorado National Monument, which is a microcosm of the Canyonlands of the Southwest.  You'll be glad you made the trip to the desert and the drive there and back is rather scenic.

5.  Don't have a car?  Go snowmobiling, horse/dog sledding, snowshoeing, sledding, etc.

Do any of the above, go play in the snow, or (heaven forbid) do the spa and shopping thing!  Note: the outfitters that run tours like snowmobiling will pick you up at your accommodations and take you to their base of operations.

Need other ideas of tips? Drop me a line at

Kevin R Foote

marketing exec | digital evangelist | trend spotter | outdoor enthusiast | x-Google Kevin Foote is an independent advisor and interim executive for private equity & venture capital firms, investors and their portfolio companies. His focus – rapid growth and capital optimization through the transformation of marketing and sales in the face of digital adoption and the changing customer-corporation dynamic. He and his clients expect rapid execution and results. Kevin's career in marketing, advertising, and strategic planning have nurtured his passion for understanding basic human truths and how individuals' beliefs, perceptions, and preferences are formed. He is focused on forging deep relationships and creating partnerships to unlock big ideas and activate brands through the innovative use of digital marketing and technologies. His blog, The Blurred, explores the overlap of our digital and physical lives. In his recent role at Google, Kevin had the privilege of working closely with the leadership of the world's leading creative and media agencies as a digital marketing evangelist. Prior, Kevin served as the Managing Director of Marketing at United Airlines Mileage Plus, the worlds largest frequent flyer program. However, his roots are deep in the digital domain, having worked at several agencies, including Leo Burnett and Digitas, for over a decade. At Digitas, Kevin was the Group Director of Strategy in the Midwest and Global Account Director on major accounts. He has had the privilege of working with great brands including Crate&Barrell, Purina, Energizer, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, P&G, and Microsoft. His career began in strategy consulting, working at both Braxton Associates (Deloitte Consulting) and Parthenon Group. He received his MBA from Kellogg and holds undergraduate degrees from MIT.