One of the highlights of my trip to Winter Park, Colorado was snowmobiling up to the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide (or also known as the Great Divide) follows a line of high peaks along the Rocky Mountains here in the States. Rain and snow that falls to the west of the Divide drains into the Pacific Ocean. Rain and snow that falls to the east of the Divide drains into the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. I booked a two hour Continental Divide guided tour through Grand Adventures. They also offer unguided tours by the hour for anyone that is interested, but since I have never driven a snowmobile before I opted for the guided tour.
You have to arrive 45 minutes before your start time and good thing I was early because Grand Adventures has numerous locations around Winter Park and I went to the wrong location first. On the plus side, I got a pretty cool shot of some rustic buildings with the sun and mountains in the background while at that location. Once I got to the correct location, they broke us into groups of 5-6. Each group got two tour guides, one rides in the front of the line and the other rides in the back. Let me just say that driving a snowmobile is way harder than it looks. I thought it would be like driving a jet ski but for someone petite like myself, a snowmobile is pretty tough to steer. My arms were so sore after the two hours! I had to tell Aiden to lean into my our turns (he was riding behind me) to make it a little easier for me to maneuver.
But everything was worth it after we all got up to the Continental Divide. We stopped our snowmobiles at about 11,500 feet up (the Divide is at about elevation 12,000 feet) and the views were breathtaking. We could see for miles and miles and behind us was the Continental Divide, not too shabby. Our guides said we got lucky cause it was pretty calm once we got up there. They said usually it is so windy and cold up there that they can’t stop for long.
On the way down, our guides must have thought we did an amazing job going up cause they said they wanted to take us down some 1-way trails through the woods. We were going through trails that were barely wide enough to fit the snowmobiles and pretty dang steep too. I was riding my brakes most of the way down… I wasn’t in the market for a snowmobile and didn’t feel like having to pay for one on our tour! But I do have to admit, the trails were super picturesque.
After spending the morning riding snowmobiles, it was time to go snow-tubing! Probably my favorite activity of the weekend! I went to Fraser Tubing Hill after a recommendation from my co-worker. Supposedly there are two tubing hills right next to each but Fraser Tubing Hill (the left at the fork in the road if you go) is the original so all the locals go to that one. Holy crap, I had no clue how fast you can go down on snow/ice. People were clocking it at 30 mph easy down the hill! The good thing about Fraser Tubing Hill is they have a lift for your tube once you are down the hill. So no carrying your tube all the way back up, you let the lift take you and your tube to the top! My neighbors went to Pagosa Springs, Colorado to go skiing and when they went tubing, they had to carry their tubes up every time and the mom said it was horrible… I can only imagine cause a. those things are not light, and b. the hill is pretty steep and long (and icy).
Don’t forget to follow along on social media!