Northern Colorado Ice Sports

Mike Berg


By Michael Berg


Here in Northern Colorado,  NoCo, when the temperature drops our high mountain lakes freeze over. This phenomena is too fun not to take advantage of if you ask me. As a born and raised local of Fort Collins, I can personally give you insight on the best nearby activities, and many of them cost little to nothing. If you are looking for a good time in the outdoors right now, then try out one of these outdoor activities to spice up your winter routine.

Fort Collins Pond Hockey League (FCPHL):  If you have little to no experience on ice, or have been playing ice hockey your whole life, there is fun to be had with this group of individuals. They host annual tournaments and weekend events near the town of Red Feather Lakes which is home to many lakes that freeze over in the winter. Red Feather is only about an hour drive away from CSU, and provides its own “Colorado small town charm” where the outdoors is the main entertainment. This is a great way to explore new parts of Colorado that are close by and meet new people. If this sounds remotely interesting, I would encourage anyone to visit their website at: Cheers!

Andy Nelson, CSU Outdoor Program Coordinator, ascends up an ice chute in the Front Range. (Photo courtesy of Andy Nelson)

Ice Climbing: Andy Nelson, the CSU Outdoor Program Coordinator, has been ice climbing in Colorado for a while now and has some words of wisdom for anyone interested in the sport. First off, basic climbing knowledge is a must, and intro courses are highly recommended for those looking to get into ice climbing or climbing in general. Once you have basic training, Nelson recommends finding a AMGA Certified Ice Climbing Guide to lead your trips. Rocky Mountain National Park offers good fall and early winter ice climbing, and Ouray Ice Park is highly recommended mid-winter through early March. For more information and advice, pay the Outdoor Program a visit at the CSU Rec Center.  

Georgetown Ice Racing (Photo courtesy of


Ice Racing on Georgetown Lake (Vehicles): Although the 2018 season was forced to be canceled for the first time in 42 years, give their website a look over and see if this is something of interest. “If you’d like to join us, all you need is a 4WD or AWD vehicle, a valid Driver’s License and a small registration fee. We have classes for all levels of drivers. Ice racing is fun, safe and a great way to enjoy your 4×4 during the winter months. If you’d rather watch, remember that spectators are always free! Our racing is unique and our one-of-a-kind style shouldn’t be missed. Either way our site is filled with information, so check us out!”

Michael Berg, RamPage Lead Editor, ice fishing at Red Feather Lakes, CO. (Photo by Drayton Browning)

Local Ice Fishing: Contrary to popular belief around here, when the water freezes over, that doesn’t mean that you have to stop fishing! You can genuinely have a blast ice fishing if you have the proper gear, knowledge, and group of friends. Here are some local recommended places for ice fishing: Red Feather Lakes, CO | Walden, CO | Laramie, WY | Cameron Pass, CO. I would highly recommend checking out ice fishing basics on Google and Youtube, and stop by a local outdoors store of your choice for further information. The more research you put into ice fishing, the better the chances are that you will hook into fish.

Ice Skating/Broom Ball: If you are looking for something closer and “less outdoorsy”, I would recommend checking out local outdoor ice rinks such as the ones located in Old Town Fort Collins and Centera Mall out of Loveland, CO. Looking for an indoor venue? I can personally recommend EPIC in Fort Collins. These places make for great date ideas and group activities.

When the high mountain lakes freeze over, instead of staying indoors, I encourage you to break out of habit and explore the beautiful winter landscape Colorado has given us. If enjoyed properly, these activities listed above provide adventures that you will not forget soon and will open your eyes to the local way of outdoors life in the winter. As always, remember to stay safe, leave no trace, and enjoy your next outdoor pursuit.

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