I, Zeb the Duck, wanted to show my cousin, Eider Duck, our Colorado Mountains in the winter. Eider lived in North Pole, Alaska, near Fairbanks, until recently, so Eider knows about winter snow. But our Colorado winters are different. We have so many days with bright sunshine, so our snow melts much faster. We drove west on I-70 from Denver. Our first stop was Dillon Reservoir.
Dillon Reservoir, frozen
We drove through the Eisenhower Tunnel, under the Continental Divide. But, the tunnel is still more than 11,000 feet above sea level. This reservoir has many sailboats in the summer. This is also a source of water for Denver. In the winter, this frozen reservoir is beautiful and serene. Continuing west on I-70, we stopped to watch humans skiing on the groomed snow slopes of Copper Mountain.
Copper Mountain ski area
We went into Copper Mountain resort, but from I-70 you can see many trails with skiers. Copper Mountain resort consists of three villages, each with hotels, restaurants, ski lifts and several trails. This is looking through the entrance to Center Village.
Entrance to Center Village, Copper Mountain, Colorado
Thousands of skiers are here at any time, so many services are needed. And this is just one of several ski areas in Colorado, along I-70. Colorado, because of the Rocky Mountains, has many more ski areas further from the interstate highway. A little further west on I-70 we stopped at this rest area on Vail Pass. From inside a building at the rest area, the view through the window shows snow to the windows and ice on the top of the window.
Through window of rest area at Vail Pass
There is a designated recreation area here at the rest area also. Humans enjoy exploring on snow machines.
Snow machines at Vail Pass
Looking back east toward the Continental Divide, from Vail Pass, we like this view.
Continental Divide from Vail Pass
We are still less than 100 miles from our home near Denver, Colorado. But mom says we need to head back home. About 20 miles from Denver there is a buffalo herd that lives near I-70, at Genesee Park. A tunnel beneath the highway allows the herd to move from one side of the highway to the other. Today they were in the area best for viewing. We pulled off the highway and admired these buffalo.
Buffalo herd near Denver, Colorado
There is a fence since buffalo are huge and they are wild animals. We just want to admire these magnificent animals. They are fun to see, don’t you agree? Near Rocky Mountain National Park, we often visit Estes Park. In the summer Lake Estes is a great water recreation area. In the fall, we often see elk herds in the adjoining picnic area and sometimes drinking from the lake. But this winter day the lake is partly frozen, the boaters are gone and the elk have moved to their winter areas.
Lake Estes in the winter
Today, another serene scene for us to enjoy. Today our Colorado sky is a vivid blue. Peacefulness of winter. Another favorite winter trip is 20-25 minutes from our house. Coal Creek Canyon follows the South Boulder Creek. We often follow this creek and road to the town of Pinecliffe. Let’s travel into this canyon today.
Entering Coal Creek Canyon
Close to Denver there is not much snow today. The intense Colorado sun has melted most of last week’s snow fall. We ducks love sitting by the creek, listening to the water. Further into the canyon, another stop is appreciated as we admire the snow capped mountains.
View snow capped mountains from Coal Creek Canyon
Our blue skies are beautiful and we like watching the white clouds moving in. In Pinecliffe, Colorado, we view the frozen South Boulder Creek.
Frozen South Boulder Creek in Pinecliffe, Colorado
Again, we must head home. One last view of the sun streaming through the trees as Zeb and Eider relax on a fallen pine tree.
Sun filtering through trees in Coal Creek Canyon
Hard to see in this photo, but our pine tree perch had many tiny pine cones. We love pine trees, pine cones and the fresh smell of pine. Winter in the mountains is beautiful and peaceful. But at times falling snow, wind and avalanches are treacherous. Please, when visiting mountains in the winter, be prepared (carry water and warm clothing) and be careful. Check weather conditions before you go and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Precautions can keep you safe and let you enjoy the beauty, serenity and enjoyment of winter in the mountains. Have fun!