As winter blankets the landscapes around Fruita in a serene layer of snow, the region transforms into a winter wonderland offering a myriad of outdoor activities. Whether you’re a snow enthusiast or someone seeking a tranquil winter escape, this corner of Colorado has something for everyone. Join us as we explore the enchanting winter activities that make Fruita and the surrounding area a must-visit destination during the colder months.
There is a lot to cover, so we recommend settling in for a few days to make sure you experience everything.
Day 1: Explore the Grand Mesa
The Grand Mesa, often referred to as the “Land of Lakes,” is the world’s largest flat-topped mountain and a haven for winter recreation. You can travel east on I-70 or down US 50 to reach the Mesa. A daring traveler can drive straight up the mountainside on US 50 to Lands End route, a gravel route with plenty of switchbacks. This path has a lot of breathtaking views. If you’re feeling less adventurous, head to Colbran via I-70 East and the Highway 65 exit. Here are some activities to indulge in:
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing: Traverse the trails that wind through the mesmerizing snowy landscapes of the Grand Mesa. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing provide an excellent way to explore the serene beauty of the winter wilderness.
Ice Fishing: Bundle up and head to one of the many frozen lakes scattered across the Grand Mesa for a day of ice fishing. The tranquility of the surroundings combined with the thrill of the catch makes for a unique winter experience.
Snowmobiling: For those seeking a more adrenaline-pumping adventure, snowmobiling is a popular choice on the Grand Mesa. Zoom through snow-covered trails and take in breathtaking panoramic views from the top.
Backcountry Skiing: Venture off the beaten path and into the pristine wilderness of the Grand Mesa for an exhilarating backcountry skiing experience. The vast expanses of untouched snow provide the perfect canvas for those seeking a more challenging and adventurous skiing endeavor.
Sledding: Unleash your inner child and embark on a sledding adventure amidst the snowy slopes of the Grand Mesa. With designated areas for sledding, the mesa becomes a playground of fun for families and thrill-seekers alike.
Remember to always be safe when venturing into wilderness with no cell service. Ensure someone knows where you are and when you should be back. Check the weather before you head up the mountain and keep track of winter advisories. Avenza is a great app to download maps you can use offline. The maps will even track you as you hike so you always know exactly where you are.
Day 2: Fruita’s Winter Wonderland
In Fruita, winter brings a different kind of charm to the picturesque town. Winter decorations and the crisp air all around makes the city a beautiful site that you have to enjoy. Here are some winter activities around Fruita:
Hiking in Colorado National Monument: While the snow may limit some of the trails, winter hiking in the Colorado National Monument offers a unique perspective of the iconic red rock formations dusted with snow. We recommend bringing a pair of crampons for extra traction in icy areas. Don’t forget your camera!
Biking: Fruita does not get snow that sticks around for a long time, so many trails around the city are clear and a ride through the cold air provides exhilaration and excitement. Even when there is snow, fat biking is still an option.
Local Festivals and Events: Embrace the winter spirit by participating in local events and festivals. From holiday markets to winter celebrations, Fruita comes alive with community spirit during the colder months.
The Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair is a yearly tradition that features local vendors selling holiday-themed art, food, jewelry, and so much more. You can find your friends and family gifts made from the heart and taste the holiday spirit in the food sold there.
Another annual event is the Fruita Parade of Lights. Every year, there is a unique theme such as “A Griswold Christmas” in 2022 and “Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas” in 2023. You don’t want to miss out on local organizations and businesses making their way downtown on creative floats, often passing out goodies.
Cookies and Claus is an event for the kids. At the Fruita Community Center, kids have a chance to meet Santa and sit down for some cookies and hot chocolate. This provides an unforgettable and magical experience that they will treasure forever.
Day 3: Relax and Unwind
Hot Springs Soak: After a day of outdoor adventures, relax your muscles in the nearby hot springs. Enjoy the warmth of the mineral-rich waters while surrounded by the winter beauty of the Colorado landscape. Snow won’t have the same bite when you’re sitting in heated waters.
Warm Drinks: Fruita offers some of the best coffee, tea, and hot chocolate you will ever have. Bestslope Coffee, Aspen Street Coffee, Camilla’s Kaffe, and Morning Mission are all wonderful choices for your morning and afternoon boosts. Check out their menus to find a drink that sounds too good to miss out on.
Lodging and Food
Cozy Retreats: Extend your stay and book a cozy residence in Fruita. Wake up to the tranquility of a winter morning, with the promise of another day filled with snowy escapades.
We recommend staying in one of the many unique properties in Fruita. Our Lady of Perpetual Motion offers the chance to stay in a transformed church that is over 100 years old. For a smaller residence, consider the Peach Street Cottage, a cozy two bedroom. If neither of those options fit your style, check out more properties at the Fruita Crash Pad or on VRBO.
Culinary Delights: Fruita’s vibrant food scene is a delightful complement to its picturesque surroundings, offering a diverse range of flavors that cater to every palate.
Copper Club is a haven for beer enthusiasts and food connoisseurs alike. Beyond its exceptional craft brews, the brewery features a menu that showcases thoughtfully crafted dishes. From mouthwatering appetizers to hearty entrees, Copper Club’s culinary offerings are designed to complement the robust flavors of their signature beers.
If you’re in the mood for comfort food that packs a punch, Mike’s Famous Chicken is the place to be. Renowned for their crispy and juicy fried chicken, this local gem serves up hearty portions of mouthwatering poultry perfection. With a menu featuring a variety of chicken options, sides, and flavorful sauces, Mike’s Famous Chicken has become a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike.
Hot Tomato is a Fruita staple, celebrated for its artisanal pizzas that marry traditional flavors with a creative twist. Housed in a historic downtown building, the pizzeria’s warm ambiance provides the perfect backdrop for enjoying their delectable pies. From the classic Margherita to inventive specialty pizzas, each dish is a testament to Hot Tomato’s commitment to quality ingredients and culinary innovation.
For a sophisticated dining experience that showcases the best of Fruita’s culinary scene, Strayhorn Grill is the epitome of excellence. Boasting a menu that highlights locally sourced ingredients, this eatery takes diners on a culinary journey marked by precision and flavor. The welcoming ambiance and attentive service create an atmosphere that invites guests to savor every moment, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a refined and memorable dining experience in Fruita.
Fruita and the surrounding areas offer a winter experience that combines the thrill of outdoor adventures with the serenity of winter landscapes. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping activities or a peaceful escape, this corner of Colorado has it all. Make your stay comfy and inviting by staying in one of the many properties and enjoying the incredible food scene. Embrace the magic of winter in Fruita and on the Grand Mesa, where every snowflake is an invitation to explore the wonders of the season.