Making the Most of Mud Season in Colorado

Embracing the offseason in the mountain towns is easier than you might think!

When the winter ski crowds clear out and the summer hikers have yet to arrive, Colorado’s mountain towns enter a unique transition period known as “mud season.” 

Sure, the term doesn’t exactly sound appealing, but for those willing to visit during these months of April and May, it can be an ideal time to experience an authentic slice of mountain life.

As the winter snowpack melts away, the dirt trails become muddy and slushy, giving this shoulder season its unmistakable name. But don’t let Mud Season’s reputation fool you – it’s a chance to beat the crowds, take advantage of discounted lodging, and enjoy a wide array of recreational activities.

From hiking and biking to skiing, fishing, and just soaking up the low-key mountain scene, mud season provides the opportunity to embrace the quieter rhythms of Colorado’s high country before the summer rush arrives. And at The Sports Buffet, we’ve got you covered with our top tips for staying active during the Colorado mud season!

Skiing and Snowboarding

Even as the snowpack starts melting at lower elevations, Colorado’s high alpine stays blanketed in snow through late spring. That means resort skiing can continue well into May and sometimes even June at select areas like Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge. With the winter crowds long gone, scoring freshly groomed runs and nonexistent lift lines become the norm rather than a rarity.

Late season also brings a whole different vibe to the ski areas, as they host hilarious pond skimming contests and enjoy the emergence of a sunnier, warmer snowpack known as “corn snow.” These are some of the most ideal spring skiing conditions, and longer daylight hours mean more time on the slopes.

Hiking and Biking

As the snow melts out, muddy trails start to emerge from their winter slumber, which makes for great hiking and mountain biking opportunities.

The paved rec paths found in many of the local mountain towns also tend to dry out faster than dirt singletrack, allowing cyclists to get out on two wheels while still having snowy peaks in view.

An early-season hike offers the bonus of solitude compared to summer months when trails get packed. However, be sure to check local conditions first, as trails can remain an impassable muddy mess well into May or June, depending on the winter’s snowpack. When in doubt, stick to south-facing trails that see more direct sun exposure.

Other Outdoor Activities

Those looking to make a splash can take advantage of the snow runoff by booking a rafting trip on Colorado’s whitewater, like the Arkansas River or Blue River. The Class III-IV rapids swell with energy from the melting snowpack. For a more relaxing mountain experience, mud season is prime for casting a line in gold medal trout streams that stay cool from the trapped snowmelt.

Plenty Of Colorado Towns To Explore

Of course, you don’t have to be outdoors the entire time to enjoy mud season in Colorado’s charming mountain towns. With the summer crowds not yet in town, this is an ideal window for a more relaxed dining experience without the crazy waits.

It’s also a great opportunity to explore the local shops, galleries, and boutiques without the mobs of tourists. Owners have time to chat, and you may discover sales and offseason deals. Check the local event calendars, too, for anything from comedy shows to live music concerts where you can mingle with mountain locals.

Beyond the lack of crowds, mud season is simply a neat time to visit and experience the rhythm of life in these Rocky Mountain communities as the snow melts away. You’ll see locals emerging from their yearly hibernation to work on home projects, catch up with friends on patios, and eagerly await the summer pursuits just around the corner.

The Unexpected Benefits of Mud Season

One of the biggest perks of visiting during mud season is taking advantage of discounted lodging rates before peak summer pricing kicks in. Many hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals offer enticing deals to attract guests during this slower period. You can potentially score luxury accommodations for a fraction of the cost during winter or summer.

More than anything, mud season allows you to skip the crowds and experience an authentic side of Colorado’s Rockies before the summer frenzy arrives. The pace slows down as winter tour operators take a breather and summer businesses prepare to launch services. Locals are out embracing the emerging warmth and longer days.

You’ll find specials at restaurants catering more to residents than visitors. Festivals and events have a distinctly local flavor. The vibe is quieter, more relaxed – the ideal chance to tune into the natural rhythms of small mountain living.

Work On Your Game During Mud Season at The Sports Buffet

When spring rain and snow showers have you stuck inside, The Sports Buffet in Silverthorne is the perfect rainy-day solution. This unique indoor sports simulator facility lets you play virtual rounds at world-famous golf courses, take batting practice, tee off at the driving range, or even go on a digital hunting safari—all from private bays at their cutting-edge simulators.

With lush HD graphics and realistic ball-tracking analytics, we offer the best immersive sports experience around. Play virtual rounds at iconic courses like Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, and more. Or change it up with other sports like baseball, hockey, football, soccer, archery, bowling and even carnival games!

During mud season, we’re making it easy to have fun with discounted “Slow Season Rates” starting at just $60 per hour. And with “Half-Price Hump Days” on Wednesdays, you’ll have even more reasons to stop by.

Whether you’re visiting from out-of-town or a local looking to stay active, don’t let the mud season showers ruin your plans. Head to The Sports Buffet for a one-of-a-kind experience combining sports, technology, food, and drinks in one awesome indoor venue.

Come to the sports buffet


Join us at in Silverthorne in the Outlets to experience a fun, one-of-a-kind experience. You can play golf, baseball, football, hockey and more on our sports simulators!


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