Your Colorado Winter Vacation Checklist

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Traveling to a state with a weather pattern you’re not used to can be quite intimidating, especially in the winter. As a native Texan myself, I know it definitely took me a while to figure out what exactly I needed to bring with me when visiting states like Colorado that actually experience cold winters. With the colder season approaching, it can be helpful to know what to expect and know what items you will find most useful on your winter vacation in the beautiful state of Colorado. Below is a list of quite a few items you’ll find handy when visiting and Colorado destination in the winter.  

man wearing warm layers in the snow

Winter Clothing 

First and foremost, your clothing choice is very important when it comes to packing for your winter vacation in Colorado. So what should you wear while in the cold Rocky Mountains? It’s always recommended to start out wearing multiple layers that you can remove if you get too hot. Wool socks, thermal undergarments, and some nicely insulated base layers will work wonders for you, especially while partaking in outdoor winter activities like snow shoeing and skiing – Colorado favorites. You’ll also want to invest in some waterproof winter boots, a winter hat, gloves, and a good scarf. Last but not least, when it comes to personal necessities, sunglasses are essential. When hitting the slopes, the sun can be brutal. Trust me, you’ll regret leaving your sunglasses at home when visiting the Rockies in the winter. 

Peak 1 Express shuttle in the snow on boreas pass

Colorado Mountain Transportation 

If you plan on driving yourself, you’re going to need to ensure your car is ready for the journey, especially if it’s used to hotter climates. Don’t forget a great set of snow chains for your tires. You’re also going to need a good ice scraper for your windows, I promise you my credit card didn’t do nearly as good on my vehicle windows in Colorado like it did in my home state of Texas. Be sure to buy a durable window scraper, it will be worth it in the long run. Be sure to also leave some extra water and snacks in your vehicle, just in case an emergency arises. It’s also a great idea to always have some portable hand warmers on you. It’s one thing getting stuck in your car when the weather is moderate, which is entirely possible depending on I-70 road conditions, but you want to be prepared for all scenarios in the frigid wintertime. If you don’t want to deal with driving at all, and with good reason, look into some transportation companies that can save you money and help you get from point A to point B. There are many companies who specialize in Colorado transportation and know how to get around in the winter and holiday conditions, such as Peak 1 Express. 

woman smiling wearing winter clothes and shades

Miscellaneous Winter Necessities  

Last but not least, the items that you’ll definitely want but most people tend to overlook. Lip balm or Chapstick is a major one. With such cold temperatures it’s very easy to wind up with horribly chapped lips. I recommend staying moisturized to avoid the problem altogether. You’ll also want to bring sunscreen, being high up in the mountains means you’re closer to the sun, just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you won’t wind up looking like you just got back from a week long beach vacation. Be sure to apply this to all exposed areas while out, I promise you won’t regret it. Make sure to drink plenty of water while in Colorado. Altitude sickness is preventable by staying hydrated and taking your time when going up into higher elevations. 


All in all, packing for a winter vacation in Colorado can be pretty intimidating. Just remember to bring layers and proper waterproof outer layers. As long as you do a bit of research, and make sure you have everything you need, you’ll be good to go. Don’t forget your skis or snowboards and have an amazing winter vacation! It truly is a magical thing to be in the beautiful state of Colorado during the winter.  


About the author

Allison M.

Allison is a contributing member of our sales and marketing team. She was originally from Texas and moved to Colorado to look for gold in remote rivers and streams.