Written by: Bri Golden, Outdoor Educator and BVMA Guide
As the aspens change colors and the school year gets into full swing, mountain towns across Colorado are preparing for one thing: winter! The team of skilled guides and educators at Buena Vista Mountain Adventures(BVMA) are no exception. Located in Buena Vista, Colorado, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Buena Vista Mountain Adventures recognizes that finding experiences that are fun and accessible for the whole family is just as important in winter as in the warmer seasons. From snowshoeing to cross-country skiing, Buena Vista Mountain Adventures creates guided winter adventures for family members of all ages and abilities.
Owned and operated by Chris Nicewarner and Tommy Gram in the Arkansas River Valley, BVMA prioritizes professionalism, safety, and fun with every experience. BVMA believes that the Colorado winter backcountry has something for everyone to enjoy. Their local guides customize each trip to the needs and goals of the group, choosing the perfect trail and personalizing the adventure so that guests can experience the uniqueness of a snowy winter day. Before the trip, guests receive clothing and travel recommendations, and BVMA’s partnership with The Trailhead, the local Buena Vista outdoor gear store, means that when guests show up the day of their trip, their guide is ready and waiting with any gear they’ll need to start their adventure.
Picture a day of guided snowshoeing, for example. If your family can go for a walk or a hike, you can go snowshoeing. After fitting the whole family for the right snowshoe size, you follow your guide to the snow-covered trail they have selected. BVMA’s skilled guides will teach you how to put on your snowshoes and offer instruction on the best strategies for using them on different terrain and depths of snow. Then, it’s time to explore. Watch the sun catch the glittering snow on the mountain peaks, or look for fox and rabbit tracks in the snow with your kids. Regardless of age, the Sawatch Mountain range has endless sights and beauty to discover. Challenge yourself and your loved ones to hike and explore until you’ve soaked it all up, and know that your guide will worry about the rest – even down to the backup sled for when the little ones get tuckered out.
Or imagine donning long skinny skis and giving cross-country skiing a try – snowshoeing is not the only way to see the winter mountains between Buena Vista and the Continental Divide. If you’d like to try something more technical but still accessible for the family, learning to cross-country ski is a fun and attainable skill. Completely different from downhill skiing, everyone from teenagers to grandparents can glide across the snow on flat and low-angle trails at a pace that feels just right. Take your time and chat with your guide about local flora and fauna, or find your speed on that beautiful open stretch. With all the fun parts of skiing but none of the lift lines or steep slopes, cross-country skiing enables you and your loved ones to experience winter in Colorado in a whole new way.
Then, when the family is happily tired and cheeks are glowing from the fresh mountain air, the BVMA team has a host of recommendations for re-fueling and relaxing around town. After heading down the mountain, grab a nutritious meal at Sorelle, the local delicatessen, or a filling pasta or burger at the Simple Eatery, and head over to the Mount Princeton Hot Springs to soak in the water and reflect on your adventures. However you plan your visit, Buena Vista provides a variety of good eats and great places to sleep, such as the Mount Princeton Resort itself or the Surf Hotel, to make your visit complete.
Make the most of your mountain vacation and explore winter trails in Colorado by snowshoeing or cross country skiing with the team at BVMA. As highly skilled professionals who love the Colorado Rocky Mountains, they look forward to sharing the best of the winter mountain magic with you and your loved ones. Visit the Buena Vista Mountain Adventures website to learn more about our guided trips, AIARE courses, and to book your next family adventure.