Follow the Holiday Magic Across Colorado This Winter

8
 days
Share:

With Colorado’s sun-soaked skies, snow-capped peaks and seemingly endless emerald-green forests, it’s no wonder that a 55-foot Engelmann Spruce is set to be the official 2020 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, harvested from the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre Gunnison National Forest.

You can follow the tree’s journey here or "Experience Your Nature" firsthand by adventuring through all of the special places the tree will visit across Colorado before it makes its 2,000-mile expedition to the U.S. Capitol.

Itinerary Tip
Backcountry Safety

Get out in front of backcountry danger this winter, and keep safety top-of-mind! Seek education and training prior to heading out, or utilize a professional guide or a seasoned mentor to explore Colorado's backcountry. Find more ways to get informed and stay safe in Colorado.

Sustainability Activity
This Land is Your Land

Wildfires, invasive insects and park overuse have left millions of acres of public lands in urgent need of restoration — and your gift will help to plant trees, restore watersheds and protect crucial habitats. Donate to the National Forest Foundation.

Day
1
Activity
Hike Bridal Veils Trail at Uncompahgre National Forest

At 365 feet, Bridal Veil Falls is the longest free falling waterfall in Colorado. Perched atop the falls is an old hydroelectric power station, which was the first of its kind back in its heyday.

Lunch
Thorneycroft Kitchen & Bakery

A beautiful farm-to-table bakery located in downtown Norwood. Organic breads, cakes, pastries, quiches, burritos and our famous addictive granola…

Activity
Fat Bike Lone Cone Mountain

Looking for a true backcountry riding experience? Norwood offers seemingly endless opportunities for fat biking on Wright's Mesa, with top-notch trails on the Lone Cone Mountain and in Beaver Park.

Dinner
Maggie's Pizza
Pizza, salads, Italian subs and more. Called "the best place within 100 miles for pizza!"
Activity
Stargaze on Wright’s Mesa in Norwood

Norwood was western Colorado’s first International Dark-Sky Community, making it one of only 28 Dark-Sky Communities around the world. Colorado has since snagged several more dark-sky designations.

Lodging
Backcountry Inn

We have created the perfect balance between luxury and value to ensure that your stay exceeds your expectations. We guarantee that you will be…

Day
2
Insider's Tip
Hit the Road

Head from Norwood to Montrose bright and early to get started on the day’s adventures.

Breakfast
Backstreet Bagel Company
At Backstreet we bake at least 15 flavors of bagels every morning. We believe our bagels are the best in the world. Maybe it’s the water that melts…
Activity
Snowmobile Grand Mesa National Forest

The Grand Mesa, one of the world’s largest flat-topped mountains, is a snowmobiler’s paradise. Stretching an impressive 123 miles, Sunlight to Powderhorn Trail — SP for short — is one of the longest snowmobile trails in the contiguous United States. A few words of caution: Don’t skimp on supplies for a long ride like this one, and stay off of the blue paths marked for cross-country skiers only.

Lunch
Horsefly Brewing Company

Horsefly Brewing Company believes that each beer should be as honest as possible …. that is, carefully crafted to the style with some added…

Activity
Snowshoe the Dave Wood Bypass Trail in Uncompahgre National Forest

Get your Gear: Stop by 970 Sports Rewind in Montrose to grab a pair of snowshoes. The folks there will help you be on your way!

Dinner
Ted Nelson's Steakhouse

We are a dinner house specializing in steaks proudly serving Certified Angus Beef®, while offering a variety of other choices on our menu to…

Activity
Storm King Distilling Co.

The love we have for premium spirits and desire to showcase the true essence of the raw materials we use comes through in our approach to…

Lodging
GreenTree Inn

Choose the GreenTree Inn Montrose hotel the next time you seek adventure! Whether you are our guest for just one night or an extended stay, we…

Day
3
Insider's Tip
On the Road Again

Make the 45-minute drive from Montrose to Ouray.

Breakfast
Camp Bell's Cajun Cuisine
Beignets, anduille omelets, red beans and rice, red gravy with home fries and eggs...So many seasonal delights to start the day off right.
Insider's Tip
Dessert for Breakfast

Camp-Bell’s is an unassuming spot that serves up some of the best breakfast in Ouray. Be sure to try their cinnamon-roll French toast topped with bananas Foster to sweeten your day.

Activity
Ouray Ice Park

The Ouray Ice Park is an outdoor park featuring ice climbing, viewing, all for free! Several local outfitters offer lessons and guided climbs.

Lunch
Red Mountain Brewing

With indoor and outdoor seating options, RMB has the space to suit your preferred dining experience. Enjoy a beer or cocktail from our bar, (which…

Activity
Ouray Hot Springs Swimming Pool

Nearly one million gallons of clear hot springs water, without the sulfur smell common in many hot springs. There are 3 pools ranging from 80 to…

Insider's Tip
All the Relaxation, None of the Smell

Ouray County’s hot springs are free of sulfur, the element that’s responsible for that “rotten egg” smell that you may encounter at other hot springs. The area has its water mineral content and local geology to thank for this phenomenon.

Dinner
Brickhouse 737
BrickHouse737 is a gathering place that focuses on community, farm fresh ingredients, hospitality & travel inspired dishes.
Activity
Book a Relaxing Massage at Orvis Hot Springs

At Orvis Hot Springs, all massages are performed in elegant yurts, which are modern adaptations of the ancient shelter used by Central Asian nomads for centuries.

Insider's Tip
Somethin' Sweet

Stop by Mouse’s Chocolate and Coffee after dinner to give your taste buds a little lovin’ with their one-of-a-kind coffee toffee.

Lodging
Chipeta Solar Springs Resort

Chipeta Solar Springs Resort and Spa - Where relaxation meets adventure. Enjoy the solitude and beautiful San Juan Gateway views from your…

Day
4
Breakfast
Provisions at the Barbershop

A European-style cafe specializing in simple, delicious food made with fresh ingredients sourced from local farmers when possible and distributors…

Activity
Learn to Cross-Country Ski in Grand Mesa National Forest

The Grand Mesa is the largest flattop mountain in the world, encompassing more than 500 square miles and standing over 10,000 feet above sea level — offering one of the world's most unique ski experiences. Make sure to book a guide if this is your first time in the backcountry. The Grand Mesa Nordic Council offers lessons and clinics to get you on your way!

Insider's Tip
On the Road ... Again!

Head north for an hour and a half from Ridgway to Grand Junction.

Lunch
TacoParty

Contemporary Colorado cuisine. All of our dishes are designed to showcase the products that are available here in the grand valley from our…

Activity
Redlands Mesa Golf Course

Ocotillo now offers an Upscale Casual Dining experience with the beautiful views we have always enjoyed at Redlands Mesa. Two additional fire pits…

Insider's Tip
Winter Don't Mean a Thing

Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you can’t tee off. Redlands Mesa has breathtaking views of the Colorado National Monument accompanied by rolling terrain and fresh mountain air.

Dinner
Bin 707 Foodbar

Seasonal American Food in a casual full service setting from Local, Colorado and domestic sources. Open for Brunch, Lunch and Dinner 7 days a week…

Insider's Tip
Come on in, the food’s great!

Josh Niernberg, chef and owner of Bin707 Foodbar, was a 2020 James Beard Award semifinalist. Don’t know what that is? It’s basically the Oscars for restaurants and culinary visionaries.

Activity
Two Rivers Winery & Chateau

Nestled between the gateways of the Colorado National Monument is a family-operated winery. Experience wine making, luxury accommodations and…

Lodging
Hotel Maverick
Grand Junction's premier destination for travelers who seek an upscale, boutique — and at the same time uniquely down-to-earth — "New West"…
Day
5
Breakfast
Cafe Sol
At Cafe Sol our goal is to serve fresh, wholesome foods to customers who are searching for something unique.
Activity
Take the Scenic Route on Grand Mesa Byway

The Grand Mesa byway leads through old-growth forests, aspens, meadows and so many lakes you'll lose track. Plus, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world waits for you to discover its intricacies.

Insider's Tip
Bundle Up!

Before you head out of town, be sure to stop by the Loki Outdoor Shop to complete your holiday shopping. This Colorado-grown business has a wide range of all-in-one outdoor apparel that’ll keep you and your loved ones warm this season.

Lunch
Lost Mesa Grill
A small-town restaurant with big-time flavor serving lunch, dinner and weekend breakfast. Dishes include everything from upscale tater tots, enticing…
Activity
Snowshoe at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Take in the incredible views of the snowy canyon that the Oak Flat Loop and Rim Rock trails offer. Snowshoeing is also encouraged in any part of the canyon's rim; however, going into the inner canyon is not recommended.

Dinner
Pat's Bar & Grill

Pat's Bar and Grill is located in the town of Hotchkiss in the beautiful North Fork Valley.  In fact it was previously called the North Fork…

Activity
Big B's Delicious Orchards Tasting Room & Farm Market

Delicious Orchards is the home of Big B's Juices & Hard Ciders. We have a cider tasting room and cafe. Our orchard store offers a wide range of…

Insider's Tip
Taste the Apple-y Magic

There are plenty of ciders across Big B’s product line that have won awards, but their Bourbon Barrel Aged Pommeau is the true winner in our eyes. Their spiced cider, the Saison Grand Cru also comes as a close second.

Lodging
Wisehart Springs Inn
Wisehart Springs Inn is a family-owned bed and breakfast and event space. It is located on 40 acres in the North Fork Valley in Paonia, Colorado. Our…
Day
6
Breakfast
Root and Vine Market
Root and Vine Market is a local coffee shop and cafe that serves locally roasted coffee from Rubicon Roasting. Root and Vine Market is also the…
Insider's Tip
Back on the Road

Head east for the 3-hour drive from Paonia to Salida.

Activity
Monarch Dog Sled Rides

We offer thrilling dog sled rides through the beautiful San Isabel National Forest. Tours can last from 1.25 hours to 3 hours. Come learn about…

Lunch
Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub

A community center need only serve great pizza. We take pride in the freshness of our dough and veggies. Our dough was made today. It wasn't made…

Activity
Tim Brown Photography Salida Tintype

Each tintype is hand crafted using the same equipment and techniques as in the 1800's. The rare and vintage lenses capture a timeless beauty that…

Dinner
The Fritz
Gastro-Pub? Americana Bistro? Global Cafe? Call it what you want, we call it delicious, and hopefully you will too. Sandwiches by day, Small and…
Activity
Comanche Drive In Theatre

The Comanche was built in 1966 by John and Pearl Groy, and had its first full season in 1967.  It has remained a family business since that time…

Insider's Tip
Night Cap

The Biker and the Baker is one of Salida’s culinary gems. Walk in and you’ll receive a big mountain welcome and an intimate table. Here, the wine flows as freely as conversation and the desserts are a must-have, with cake flavors such as rocky road and whiskey-almond-soaked vanilla on rotation. 

Lodging
Amigo Motor Lodge

A newly renovated boutique motel with 60-year-old bones. Modern furnishings meet minimalist design to create a space that is friendly, casual and…

Day
7
Breakfast
Mo Burrito
Burritos, bowls, tacos, salads, nachos, quesadillas and much more, with tasty extras like spice-ranch pickled onions, handmade salsa and more.
Activity
Drive the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway

Colorado's Collegiate Peaks byway could be called "the Avenue of Fourteeners." Along its entire length, the Collegiate Peaks continuously rise above the 14,000-foot mark and include such summits as Mount Princeton, Mount Yale and Mount Harvard. In fact, it’s the highest concentration of 14,000-plus-foot peaks in the United States.

Insider's Tip
Head to the City

Make the drive into Denver for your second-to-last stop of the trip.

Lunch
Denver Milk Market
Denver Milk Market is an all-local mix of takeaway and dine-in restaurants and bars run by Colorado chef Frank Bonanno.
Activity
Denver Christkindl Market

This annual event brings authentic German and European holiday traditions to Denver!

Insider's Tip
Traveling with a Bunch?

The Denver Milk Market has something for everyone. From salads to sushi and fried chicken to pasta, this hall has it all.

Dinner
El Five Tapas de Gibraltar

Nestled high above LoHi on the fifth floor of 2930 Umatilla, El Five boasts spectacular, unobstructed city views of the downtown Denver skyline,…

Activity
Night Lights Denver

Night Lights Denver is a permanent way for The Denver Theatre District to support innovative artists with an experimental platform while attracting people downtown to experience a free, unique experience.

Lodging
The Crawford Hotel
The Crawford Hotel in Denver Colorado is the newest Union Station Denver Hotel, located just steps away from all the best Denver has to offer!
Day
8
Breakfast
American Elm
A hospitality focused, neighborhood bar and eatery serving elevated fare in an honest and inviting atmosphere.
Activity
Warm up with a Tea Party at the Brown Palace

Sip tea topped with Devonshire cream, shipped directly from England while listening to the soft sounds of the grand piano float through our eight-story atrium.

Insider's Tip
In the Homestretch

The last leg of the journey takes you east from Denver to Burlington.

Lunch
The Post Bar and Grill

We refuse to compromise on quality in our restaurant. That's why we source our fresh breakfast ingredients from local suppliers.

Activity
Old Town Museum Complex - Burlington

6 1/2 acre historic museum complex featuring: 21 fully restored buildings furnished with authentic turn-of-the-century artifacts, children's hands…

Dinner
The Dish Room

Bringing casual upscale dining in a modern atmosphere, The Dish Room features our take on Southwest, Italian, and New American dishes.

Lodging
Claremont Winery & Inn
Let the everyday stress and worries melt away as you enter the enchanted experience of our Colorado Country Mansion. From the moment you walk in, the…
Insider's Tip
One-Stop Shop

From cooking classes to paint and wine nights, the Claremont Inn has everything you might need to celebrate your last night on this holiday tour.