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December is a fun and festive time of year in Fourteener Country! Ski Cooper and Monarch Mountain are open for the season! In addition to boasting some of the softest snow in Colorado, as neither mountain makes any artificial snow, both are family friendly ski areas that really are fun for the whole family. Soaking in one of the several beautiful and relaxing area Hot Springs, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are other fun activities this time of year.
Here are a few of the things happening this December.
Christmas Opening in Buena Vista
Celebrate the beginning of the Christmas Season with the Chocolate Walk, Santa, The Equine Parade, carolers, Parade of Lights, Festival of Trees, shopping at local stores and our famous Christmas Card Lane. This annual event draws people from across the county and there are event spread out through the day.
When: December 5th
Where: Downtown Buena Vista
Monarch Ski Area Torchlight Parade and Fireworks
The Torchlite Parade at Monarch Mountain is a sight not to be missed. This annual event starts at dark. Ski all day, have a bite to eat, then step outside for the show. About 150 skiers and snowboarders come zig-zagging down the mountain carrying torches. When they arrive at the base the Fireworks display will start. Enjoy games inside and on the snow; festivities from 4 p.m. to dark, parade starts at dusk.
When: December 31st
Where: Monarch Mountain
Leadville's Mineral Belt Trail
The Mineral Belt Trail is a 12-mile all-season trail that loops around the city of Leadville. It travels through aspen groves, forest and offers grand views of Leadville, Mt. Massive and the surrounding mountains. Dedicated in 2000, it travels through parts of the Leadville historic mining district, including California Gulch, the site of a former bustling mining area. Many signs on the trail provide information about Leadville’s settlement era, its mining history and other interesting facts.
This trail is closed to motorized vehicles. In the winter, snow is groomed to serve as a recreation area for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. It has an average of a 3% grade and throughout is a 12-foot-wide paved path with an adjacent 3-foot resting and “recovery zone”.
Snowshoeing is one of the lowest impact, least expensive, and easiest to learn winter sport. Shoeshoeing is a great way to enjoy the beautiful Colorado winter landscape at your own pace. If you can walk you can snowshoe, and there is a trail suitable for everyone. Get your family together outside this holiday season.
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