Winter in the Banana Belt

Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding

Situated within 90 minutes of eight ski resorts, Buena Vista is in the heart of skiing and snowboarding country. Beat the traffic and lodge in the beautiful town of Buena Vista, and you’ll have access to a wide variety of terrain.

Monarch Mountain, located about 45 minutes from Buena Vista, is set in a stunning area along the Continental Divide in the Sawatch Range of the San Isabel National Forest. Ski Cooper, located less than 50 minutes from Buena Vista, also has beautiful scenery and boasts of majestic views of some of Colorado’s highest peaks, such as Mount Elbert and Mount Massive. While Monarch Mountain and Ski Cooper offer a range of terrain options, both are great areas for families with young children. You’ll get a true Colorado skiing and snowboarding experience as you shred through the 100% natural, soft snow at these ski resorts.

If you want to enjoy the Colorado mountains without the crowd, consider exploring Buena Vista through backcountry skiing. Buena Vista Mountain Adventures provides guided backcountry tours in the Sawatch Range of the San Isabel National Forest. Guides utilize snowmobiles to access untracked powder in the bowls and glades of the high country, some of the best backcountry ski terrain in all of Colorado. Skiing through untouched powder and discovering Colorado’s backcountry is an experience you’ll always remember.


Looking Past the Slopes


Experience Buena Vista with These 6 Winter Activities


Buena Vista is often referred to as the “Banana Belt” because of its mild winters and many days of Colorado sunshine. You’ll find that the town of Buena Vista, resting in a valley between mountains, sees less snow and higher temperatures than surrounding Colorado regions. As you ascend to higher elevations on the trails around town, though, you’ll find beautiful, fluffy snow, which makes Buena Vista the perfect playground for winter fun.

Start your morning with a cup of coffee and pastry at the Brown Dog Coffee Company, located at 713 South Highway 24, and then head out to explore Buena Vista with these fun winter activities:


Dog Sledding

Meet some furry friends and adventure through the San Isabel National Forest on a dog-sled adventure with Monarch Dog Sled Rides. You’ll meet the Alaskan huskies, learn about the sport of mushing, discover how to harness the dogs, and take a 30-40 minute dogsled ride through the forest. This exhilarating activity is a fun option for the whole family.


Enjoy a winter hike as you traverse through the Colorado Rockies and BV trails with snowshoes. The mild winter weather coupled with the tranquil views and quiet snow will evoke your love for wintertime in Buena Vista. Bring your own snowshoes or rent them in downtown Buena Vista, and make sure to swing by the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center for a hiking guide before you hit the trails.  

Cross Country Skiing

You don’t have to be an expert to try Cross Country skiing (often called Nordic skiing). Guides at Buena Vista Mountain Adventures will provide instruction and direct your route as you glide through the forest in an unmatched winter landscape.


If you’re ready for some action, consider speeding through powder on a snowmobiling adventure in the Colorado Rockies. Numerous groomed backcountry trails are accessible so you can explore the mountains for hours. Consider snowmobiling at Cottonwood Pass, Mineral Basin, Tincup Pass, or Hancock Pass. Contact All Season Adventures, Colorado Adventure Rentals or White Mountain Snowmobile Tours for rentals and more route information.

Fat Tire Biking

Ever biked through snow? If not, this is an adventure you won’t soon forget. Fat biking is gaining traction throughout Colorado; it’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’s all available right in Buena Vista. Head downtown, rent your bike and then hit the trails on Midland Hill, located at the end of East Main Street, or head to the Four Mile Trail System which offers miles of beautiful scenery and views of the Collegiate Peaks.

Hot Springs

After adventuring through the snow, relax in Buena Vista’s all-natural, odorless hot springs at Cottonwood Hot Springs, Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort or the Treehouse Hot Springs. While you can enjoy these rejuvenating hot springs at any time of year, it’s the perfect end to a winter day in Buena Vista.