Responsible Winter Recreation in and around Carbondale

Glistening snow during a sunny (or blistery) Colorado day sets the foundation for action-packed winter adventure. Carbondale’s fortunate location within the Roaring Fork Valley makes it the perfect base for cold-weather fun, and we invite guests from all around Colorado and beyond to tighten their ski boots, wrap up their scarves, cramp on their crampons, and Take It Easy this winter during their visit.

Winter Driving

Driving in and around Carbondale during snowy months can be slippery and dangerous. Before venturing out, check COtrip to see current road conditions throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and Glenwood Canyon. Be sure your vehicle is equipped with chains, snow tires, (or all-weather tires) and basic essentials like food and water in case you get stranded. If you are renting a car/truck, ensure that the vehicle is equipped with four-wheel or all-wheel drive. If you are inexperienced driving in the snow, don’t be bashful about staying in town and enjoying Carbondale’s Main Street. Trust us, a good book and a cup of coffee at Bonfire Coffee while the snow falls is as good for the soul as a day of skiing!

Backcountry and avalanche preparedness

Snow and conditions are unpredictable in Colorado’s backcountry, especially in the Elk Mountains. Ski touring brings with it added inherent risk in the backcountry, and as such should only be attempted by experienced backcountry skiers and snowboarders. Be sure to check snow conditions on the Colorado Avalanche Information Center website before venturing out into the White River National Forest and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area.

Moose encounters

Wildlife takes advantage of the quiet and pristine setting of public lands around Carbondale. When encountering any wildlife, and namely moose, keep your distance, don’t panic, and for goodness’ sake don’t try and feed them. Make your voice heard and slowly back away from the direction in which you came. If a moose charges you, run and take cover behind a solid object (like a tree), or try and get into the nearest car or building.

Snowmobile etiquette

Knowledge is power for snowmobilers passing through Carbondale in route to their backcountry adventure. Check snow conditions prior to firing up those snow machines, and remain cognizant of noise pollution and tractor parking in town. Remember, it is illegal to drive snowmobiles on town and city streets.

Winter hiking

Weather can turn at the drop of a snowflake around Carbondale’s many hiking trails. Pack layers, bring ample food and water, stay-on-trail and pack out dog poop during your winter hike around Carbondale.

Hot springs

Few activities are as poetic as a soak in a Colorado hot spring during a snowy winters day. When venturing out to one of the many hot springs surrounding Carbondale, be sure to stay hydrated and be careful of slippery surfaces.


River Valley Ranch Golf Course -This family-friendly winter activity comes with fewer rules and lesser risk. You might even get lucky and find hot chocolate and smores waiting for you after a fresh snow dump. Still, be sure to check local restrictions and dress in layers.


Cross-country skiing on the Spring Gulch Nordic Trails, soaking in Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs, and ski-touring around Marble make Carbondale the perfect hub for winter recreation in Colorado. No matter the activity, be sure to do research and understand the proper safety precautions. And as always, Take It Easy.

Take it all in.

Explore arts & culture

Cruise on a scenic drive

Where to chill out

Events & Activities

Sep 20
>2023 Annual Business Confluence
2023 Annual Business Confluence

The Confluence will be hosted at Thunder River Theatre Company in Carbondale from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. This year’s theme, ...

Click to Learn More
Sep 23
>Clay Center’s Annual Fundraiser – Settings: The Potter’s Table
Clay Center’s Annual Fundraiser – Settings: The Potter’s Table


Tickets include dinner prepared by Pan & Fork...

Click to Learn More
Sep 24
>Mexican Rodeo
Mexican Rodeo

Gus Darien Rodeo


Click to Learn More
Oct 6
>First Friday
First Friday


Click to Learn More
Oct 6
>Bonedale Flashmob October First Friday
Bonedale Flashmob October First Friday


Click to Learn More
Oct 6
>Potato Day Community Contra Dance
Potato Day Community Contra Dance


Click to Learn More