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Lift Off: What to Do When You’re Not Skiing or Riding

REI Snowshoe 18

Of the hundreds upon hundreds of trails available to us at Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts, my family and I are still scratching the surface (and a very nice, groomed or bumpy or powdery surface at that). Still, we also like to click out of our skis and explore the other outdoor options open to us, from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to shopping and even gallery hopping. So here are a few tips on getting the most out of a ski day, even when you’re not skiing or riding.

Make it a Skinny: On our recent trips to Eldora, I’ve enviously eyed the folks dressed up in cross-country gear, eagerly heading to the 40 kilometers of trails. Many other CSCUSA resorts also have adjacent nordic centers, and the sport is a great way to burn off all those calories consumed in lunchtime burgers.

It’s a Shoe-In to Go Up: In December, I said adieu to my 5th and 6th grade children and joined 20 other women in a snowshoe trip to Janet’s Cabin near Copper Mountain. It was one of the highlights of my year, giving me access to sights and sounds I would not have seen if riding a chairlift.

You Tube: At the Coca Cola Tubing Hill at Winter Park—and at similar tubing spots around Colorado—individual lanes and banked curves make sitting in an inner tube one of the most fun (and funniest) events of winter. Plus, conveyer lifts allow you to spend more time tubing and less time schlepping up the hill.

Shop Offline: Whether you’re looking for unique Colorado home furnishings, art work ski gear, souvenirs, or if you’re just in the mood to browse, ski towns abound with superb shopping. From Aspen’s Prada store and fur shops to Telluride Trappings & Toggery, retailers allow skiers to step away from green circles and spend some greenbacks.

For more information about activities off the slopes, visit the Colorado Ski Country comprehensive non-skiing activities guide

Sarah Tuff Dunn recently moved to Louisville, Colorado, with her husband, Carlton, and their two children, Dillon, 12, and Harper, 10. They’re looking forward to exploring the world-class skiing in Colorado, aided by the Colorado Ski Country 5th and 6th Grade Passport Program. Sarah has been writing professionally for nearly 25 years and her work has appeared in The New York Times, SKI, Skiing and Powder, among other publications. Read more of Sarah’s stories here and follow along with her Colorado skiing journey here