Considering a trip to Colorado in February and need some help? You’re in the right place!
February in Colorado is peak ski season at all the major resorts. Skiing is the main draw this month since the snow conditions are at their absolute best. While snowfall may vary from year to year, February is almost always guaranteed to have the best powder and snow pack for all resorts across the Centennial State.
While most vacationers will be traveling to Colorado for the great Winter weather on the ski slopes, there are plenty other Winter activities to enjoy, as well.
Whether you’re skiing, snowboarding, or simply trying to plan the best winter vacation possible, this guide will cover everything you need to know about February travel in the Centennial State.
This article is part of Roundtript’s series of expert Colorado travel guides for every month of the year.
Spring in Colorado
Summer in Colorado
Fall in Colorado
Winter in Colorado
For a summary of each Colorado month & season all in one place, check out our big guide to the Best Times of the Year to Visit Colorado.
Colorado Weather in February
Colorado weather in February is beautifully Winter-like, and one of the last months for a true Winter feel before Spring temperatures and weather begins to make a shift in late March. Snow covers every mountain, tree and meadow across the state. The air is cool and dry and there is a good balance between cloudy days and sunnier days.
The average February daily highs will be around the mid 40’s°F (7°C) in most parts of Colorado and average lows will in the high teens, about 17°F (-8°C). However, it’s not unlikely that you’ll see a few colder days slip in depending on the weather that year. Some days, especially in higher altitude regions, will see lows closer to 0°F (-18°C).
No matter the time of year, altitude will always be a factor when traveling to Colorado. Some towns like Alma have an elevation of 10,300′ and others like Wray have an elevation of over 3,000′. As a matter of fact, altitude sickness affects nearly 10% of all visitors. You can prepare your body by eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, sleeping well, resting frequently and avoiding alcohol.
Colorado Snow & Skiing in February
Colorado snow in February is some of the best you’ll see all year – most years. It varies greatly depending on the snowfall each season, but generally you’ll see the best fresh powder on top of packed in snow at this point in the year. That’s why February is usually the start of peak ski season, running through early March in most areas.
The snow quality is such that most mountains rarely need to blow in snow. However, if it is necessary, all the major runs have the capability of doing so. Colorado is well-known for it’s champagne-like powder that’s easy for all types of skiers and February is notoriously good for the deeper powder and less run-off throughout the day as multiple skiers shred the runs.
Some of the best resorts that skiers can attend in February have the north-facing mountains which hold their snow better and longer as Spring approaches. They also receive close to or more than 300 inches of snow in the season. Below, we’ve listed the best resorts with not only great amenities, but also great snow conditions for your ski trip.
Colorado Affordability & Crowds in February
February crowds in Colorado are fairly even in most parts, although traveling to the state may be a bit busy on airlines and with booking hotels. While the ski resorts may be bustling at this time with young and old enjoying what the slopes have to offer, most of the other destinations around the state are not nearly as crowded.
Driving around town and along the main highways in Colorado won’t be an issue, but the ski slopes may be packed with longer lines for the lifts and gondolas. Since Colorado is such a great ski destination, you’ll see the majority of the tourists on the mountain and in the mountain villages, as opposed to the road and in other communities around Colorado.
Hotel rates will vary by city, with most ski towns having some of their highest rates of the year, small towns being the cheapest and the capitol city of Denver averaging around $170 – $280 per night for the best hotels. Making plans and booking hotels, restaurant reservations, excursions and tours well in advance (at least three months to a year out) is most ideal for the month of February.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts in February
Aspen is a picture perfect ski destination in February, though crowds will be quite heavy this month. It’s 5,300 acres of skiable terrain with an elevation of 12,510′. The skiing acres span between several mountains, including Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands, giving all abilities many slope choices.
Aspen Mountain is the ideal location for experts, offering black diamond runs just above the resort. Families with young kids and novice skiers will want to stick to Snowmass for easier terrain. All these different skiing experiences are included under one lift pass. Visitors love it’s impeccable nightlife atmosphere after a full day skiing, as well as the varied accommodations at two high-class resorts.
Condé Nast Traveler readers ranked Telluride the No. 1 Ski Resort in North America. And that’s no surprise, given the excellent snow conditions — and the fact there are rarely crowded slopes, with lift lines virtually unheard of. Even in the busy month of February, you can spread out over more than 2,000 skiable acres, with a vast terrain that features a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced areas. The summit at Telluride reaches 13,150′ elevation.
Telluride is just what you’d expect from a famous ski destination in the Rockies – with bowls, chutes, cliffs, and glades. The resort is well known for its varied expert terrain, from double blacks to chutes – and if you want “hike-to terrains”, they are accessed by metal stairs and rails. Don’t miss out on apres ski at one of their on-mountain restaurants.
Vail is the top spot in Colorado and esteemed as the classiest, most upscale ski resort in the state. February is going to be slammed, but you can spread out over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain and up to a 11,250′ summit.
Vail has a little something for everyone, so even if you come with non-skiers, the nightlife, shopping and dining alone are a great reason to go. Luxury resort accommodations make the living easy in Vail, while picturesque villages and a plethora of activities will keep you busy all week.
P.S. – If bustling resorts are your thing, take a look at our in-depth comparison of Vail vs Breckenridge.
Winter Park Ski Resort is a great Coloradan secret spot and considered one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in the state. It’s known for being a haven for locals, but visitors will enjoy the remote and intimate setting just as much as the residents. Winter Park has over 3,000 skiable acres with a summit elevation of 12,060′.
All ability levels can go on multiple areas, including tree runs, moguls and obstacles, alpine bowls and an extensive trail system. The Winter Park town itself is quite secluded and very casual, making it a great spot for adventurous families with a budget in mind. The resort not only offers world-class downhill skiing, but also has tubing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Beaver Creek is Vail’s sister resort and another of the most luxurious ski mountains. It’s built for vacationers who love to ski but who also want to enjoy loads of entertainment, dining experiences and other excursions throughout their trip. February is a great time to go for great ski conditions, as well as bustling crowds and attractions.
It’s got 1,815 skiable acres with a summit elevation of 11,440′. There are also plenty of ski-in/ski-out homes and base camp hotels to choose from. Beaver Creek Ski Resort is equipped with four different village areas with their own lodging, restaurants and shopping districts, giving visitors lots of options for a stellar ski vacation.
Copper Mountain is a little off the radar for most travelers, but it’s no secret to Olympians. It’s got a lot of naturally divided terrain that allows skiers of all ability levels to feel comfortable on the mountain with many designated runs for each type. It’s equipped with 2,500 acres of skiable terrain with a summit elevation of 12,315′.
Aside from skiing, Copper Mountain also has great outdoor activities with guided tours. One of the best is their snowshoeing program which is free to the public during the ski season. The multiple base areas also have many different types of accommodations, making a ski vacation on a budget very possible with this resort. Plus, it’s only 1.5 hours away from Denver.
Wolf Creek Ski Resort is recommended for expert skiers who want pure skiing fun. It’s located between Pagosa Springs and South Fork, CO and has some of the highest snowfall stats in the state on an annual basis.
It comes with 1,600 acres of skiable terrain and a summit elevation of 11,904′. Wolf Creek has multiple runs with varying terrain, including steep and rocky glades, and a limited access set of runs for experts only.
Steamboat Resort is another family-friendly town with loads of things to do. February may be busy, but you can expect some great snowpack and daily snowfall on nearly 3,000 acres of skiable terrain. Everyone of all levels can enjoy the smooth terrain, while experts can take off on the moguls, jumps and steep runs throughout the resort.
Crested Butte is fairly chill and best for avid skiers who don’t want the fuss. The main town is three miles from the ski resort and has some fun activities and great recreation in February. It’s a great location to consider for a quick trip or casual vacation where skiing is the main goal.
The mountain features rocky cliffs, steep terrain, bowls and glades. Crested Butte will also hold freestyle championships and expert skiers will get their thrills on North America’s most advanced inbound terrain.
Best Things to Do in Colorado in February
Below are some of the best places to visit in the month of February. In addition to these places, other Winter activities available this time of year include cross-country skiing, dogsledding, horseback riding, ice climbing, ice fishing, ice skating, sledding, sleigh rides, sight-seeing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, spa retreats and tubing.
Telluride is one of the most iconic and idyllic destinations that Colorado has to offer, beautifully situated in the San Juan Mountains. Aside from excellent downhill skiing, other winter activities available this time of year include backcountry skiing, nordic skiing and HeliSkiing. The area also has a number of great ice climbing location like Bridal Veil Falls, Bear Creek and Cornet Creek Falls.
Telluride’s famous gondola is a must-do activity no matter the time of year. It’s free to the public and typical operating hours are 7am to midnight. This 8-mile, 13-minute ride has an incredible 365-degree view of the San Juan Mountains and stops at several on-mountain restaurants, perfect for an apres ski at the end of the day.
The old mining town is a great place for scenic walks and shopping, as well as learning about its history. Check out the Telluride Historical Museum, or explore the National Historic Landmark District. The district is home to attractions like the Old Town Jail, the Rio Grande Southern Railway Depot and the Appaloosa Trading Company, which is the site where notorious outlaw Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank in 1889. Not only does Main Street have these historic locations, it’s also got a few shopping areas featuring local boutiques and ski brand goods.
Climb at Ouray Ice Park
There are several ice climbing destinations for enthusiasts around the state. Some of the most notable include those mentioned above at Telluride, as well as Clear Creek Canyon, multiple falls in Durango, Hidden Falls in Boulder and Loch Vale Gorge. But climbers will tell you that Ouray Ice Park is the best that Colorado has to offer and February is a perfect time to go.
Coming off of the Ouray Ice Fest in January, the Ice Park is open to novices and experts in February who want to test the limits of this man-made wonder. The Ice Park is comprised of 11 climbing sections with 150 different climbs you can take. There is not rental facility for the park, so you’ll want to come equipped with your own climbing gear. Whether you’re new to the sport or you’ve done it multiple times, you can select a guide to help you scale Ouray’s amazing sheets of ice. Best of all- the park is free to climb.
The town of Ouray is a great destination for those looking to have a relaxing and enjoyable time in Colorado outside of skiing. Ouray is considered a quintessential mountain town hidden in the Rockies and referred as the “Switzerland in America”. Set foot in the town for the first time and you’ll see what they mean. The town is loaded with Winter charm, full of quaint lodging options, Victorian-era storefronts and delicious restaurants lining the main thoroughfare.
Vail is one of the most popular and well-known ski destinations in North America and for good reason. This beautiful resort is home to thousands of skiable acres, high-class accommodations and many amenities and restaurants to enjoy during your stay. Vail is regarded as one of the finest resorts for your ski trip and is perfectly ideal for skiers looking for vast terrain on the mountain with a bustling village at the base.
Vail is part of the Epic Pass, so skiers not only get to take advantage of the amazing options on Vail Mountain, they also have access to nearby Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte. The former two mentioned are fairly comparable to Vail in all its amenities, while the latter are more casual and good for a quick trip.
February is the ideal time to visit Vail as the sun is beginning to shine on its epic terrain and deep snow pack. Even the most avid skiers will likely not be able to explore all of the vast acreage and runs that Vail has to offer in just one week of skiing. The resort is great for intermediate to expert skiers who will love the seven back bowls, the Blue Sky Basin and back country glades.
Vail is also famous for apres ski, so take advantage of the multiple bars and restaurants offering an upscale experience after your day on the slopes. Visitors will enjoy the historic look and feel of the villages with modern amenities and accommodations, or they can choose to stay at on of Vail’s gorgeous on-mountain chalets. No matter what style of lodging you choose, Vail is sure to make the experience feel exquisite and unique.
Tour Attractions for Free
There are several places in Colorado that offer free tours year-round, and February just might be the best time to take advantage of this offer. Since February is one of the busier months of the year, there will be crowds at the most popular destinations, but the ones we’ve listed below are considered hidden gems in the state.
Loveland Museum is a great place to spend an afternoon if others in your traveling party are skiing the surrounding terrain. Tours are completely free and guests will get to see over 30,000 objects on display. Many of the displays include artwork from local creators and are designed to feature the history of Loveland.
There are multiple free brewery, winery and distillery tours around the state. These include MillerCoors Brewery located in Golden, CO, the Anheuser-Busch Brewery (often featuring their famous clydesdale horses) and the New Belgium Brewing Company, both located in Fort Collins, CO.
Wineries with free tours include Balisteri Vineyards in Denver, Carlson Vineyards located in Palisade, CO, and Two Rivers Winery located in Grand Junction at the base of the Colorado National Monument. Two Rivers is definitely worth visiting as Grand Junction is the epicenter for access to Grand Mesa, Fruita and the National Monument and considered wine country in Colorado.
The distilleries offering free tours include Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey in Denver, which highly recommends online reservations and Peach Street Distillers in Palisade, CO. Palisade is well-known for it’s exquisite fruit-growing capabilities and a thriving wine industry. Peach Street Distillers makes not only small batch whiskey, but also vodka, brandy and gin.
Hidee Gold Mine does not offer tours for free, but some say you get your money back at the end of the journey. That is, you get to keep the real gold you mine yourself. Visitors are encouraged to experience the labor miners went through to retrieve the gold. There is an exposed vein of gold that tourists can mine and each person can keep any real gold they chip away from the rock.
Visit Beaver Creek
February is a great time to be in Beaver Creek. While it is peak ski season, raising hotel rates, it’s one of the best times for optimal conditions on the mountain. February has it’s fair share of snowfall, but it’s also got already set in powder and more sunny days than you’d see in January. It’s that great in-between time where you have sunny days but not the warmth and snowmelt you’ll get in March.
Beaver Creek is another ideal destination for the upscale ski experience, similar to what you’d find in Vail. It’s also connected to the Epic Pass, so you could essentially try both resorts in your weeklong stay or come multiple times throughout the season. It seems that each year Beaver Creek is Vail’s quieter younger brother, so visitors won’t be fighting the crowd quite as much as you would down the street.
One of the most interesting things about Beaver Creek is that it’s not the typical Colorado mining town. As a matter of fact, it was built specifically to be a ski resort and the sheer amount of things you can do on a ski vacation is evident of that. The beautiful resort has a host of exquisite lodging options, plenty of food and drink choices for your meal times and an ample shopping area for skiers and non-skiers alike.
Skiing is definitely the main draw, especially in February, and families will be pleased with the varied runs and ski areas for everyone in the family. Kids will love the Haymeadow Park and ski classes available to them for starting out and intermediate and expert skiers will enjoy the world-class terrain from bowls and gulches to smooth trails and tree runs.
February Events in Colorado
There are many events to experience in Colorado all throughout the year. February may have fewer events going on, but almost all will be centered around the abundance of snow for the Winter. Below we’ve listed the biggest and most popular long term events that appeal to most travelers.
Steamboat Winter Carnival
Steamboat Springs is well-known for its Winter Carnival happening in the first week of February. The carnival has some of the most intriguing events like snow shovel races, kid skiers pulled by horses and nighttime ski competitions. The festivities are concluded with fireworks, oftentimes carried by the designated Lighted Man; illuminated by rope lights and Roman Candles ablaze in his backpack as he shoots down the mountain. They don’t call this “Ski Town, U.S.A” for nothing.
Snowdown is another kind of winter carnival going on in Durango, CO, that features over 160 snow-themed events for families to enjoy together. Events include everything from kid competitions and light parades to fashion shows and stand-up comedy. The theme of the festival may change from year to year but the celebration always revolves around the fresh snowfall of the winter season.
Cripple Creek Ice Fest
Cripple Creek is a small town near Pike’s Peak holds an annual Ice Fest in celebration of the winter season. The entire event is marked by enormous and artistically created ice sculptures by experts from around the country. Sculptors create masterpieces for guests to enjoy and event play on, in the case of the kid’s ice palace and maze. Kids will also love the plethora of games and food available, while adults will appreciate the fine wines and small plates.
Denver Restaurant Week
The Mile High City hosts one enormous 10-day restaurant event in February for visitors from all over the country to enjoy. The week’s festivities are presented by local restaurants and chefs in Denver who select exclusive meals and food and wine pairings for attendees to indulge in. Restaurants around Denver serve up their delicious creations and local news outlets hold a voting for the best menu items.
Colorado in February: Week by Week
The first week in February is seeing some great weather coming in, making way for the beautiful snowpack that Colorado winters are famous for. Fresh powder, mostly great weather and cold days are here to stay.
Ski season is coming into its prime and there are lots of great opportunities for finding nice glades and bowls filled with fresh snow. There will also start to be a lot more people heading to the mountain at this point.
The Steamboat Winter Carnival is going on this week with lots of fun activities for parents and children to participate in. There are also several fun community events to watch like the “Lighted Man” – more on that later.
The same great weather you experienced in the first week is also present for the second week of February, generally speaking. Expect for regular snow, cold days with cloudy or bright, clear skies.
Ski season is coming into full swing and you’ll notice the crowds are starting to get heavier. The slopes might be a bit more crowded at this time and the lift lines will begin to get longer, as well. Signing up for ski lessons may also become challenging.
Snowdown is happening in Durango, CO this week and offers fun events for families to enjoy together. You can participate in everything from kid competitions and light parades to fashion shows and stand-up comedy.
February weather will not have changed much at this point in the month, so expect for the same great snow, cloud coverage and some sun to shine through on most days. Colorado will be filling up fast with lots of groups coming in to enjoy the great weather.
Ski slopes will be pretty packed at this point, as lots of people are coming in for vacation specifically to enjoy Colorado’s legendary powder and snow pack. Prices tend to skyrocket for everything from hotel rates to lift tickets.
Cripple Creek Ice Fest is going on this week, held annually near Pike’s Peak. Dazzle at expert-built ice sculptures by artists from around the country. Kids will also love all the games and food stands, while adults can nosh on the fine wines and small plates.
Spring temperatures are just around the corner, but this last week of February will still feel like all-out winter. Blue bird days will start to peek through the cloudy skies around this time, though temperatures won’t usually begin to shift until mid-March.
Ski season is well under way, raising prices and crowding the slopes around this time. If you’re a beginner, it’s probably best to try coming early or late in the season to avoid full ski lessons and high prices – but experts will love the snow pack on the hard terrain at this point.
Denver Restaurant Week is being held in the capital city. This 10-day event is presented by local restaurants and chefs who select exclusive food and wine pairings for attendees to indulge in. Participants get to vote for the dishes they like best.
Most everyone traveling to Colorado in February will be coming to take part in the great snow conditions for their ski trip. This is definitely the best month for guaranteed great Winter weather, with a nice blanket of fresh powder atop deep snow pack on the mountains. Families and individuals alike will love this aspect of mid-Winter, along with the many other activities available this time of year.
Whether you choose to go to Colorado for the great skiing, Winter snow events or even to try your hand at ice climbing, every traveler will enjoy the beautiful weather and snow this time of year.