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Thinking of popping the question this holiday season? Your timing is on point. “Engagement Season” (yes, that’s a thing) starts after Thanksgiving, peaks in December, and lasts until Valentine’s Day. Put a ring on it during a high-romance winter visit to one of these iconic locales, blanketed in winter white.
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On a Backcountry Hut Trip
Deep in Colorado’s backcountry hides an off-grid network of beautiful alpine huts. The 10th Mountain Division huts hold a dear place in the hearts of many adventurous Coloradans. They’re reachable only by skis or snowshoes, setting the scene for a secluded moment of romance. Book early—these super popular cabins are reserved far in advance each winter.
Red Rocks Amphitheater
The legendary amphitheater feels quiet and intimate during the winter off-season. Take a scenic walk around the space where you and your beloved have surely enjoyed many awesome concerts together. Views are best at sunset, when the bright lights of Denver start to twinkle. After asking the big question, celebrate the “yes” at The Fort in Morrison with a fancy wild game feast.
On Horseback at C Lazy U
For a fairytale proposal, arrange a private horseback ride at Colorado’s signature dude ranch, C Lazy U, only two hours outside of Denver. Dressed in winter white, the ranch brings storybooks to life with horses trotting through the snow and jingling sleigh rides. Tell the staff what you have in mind and they’ll arrange a very special, guided excursion for just the two of you. Once you’ve popped the question, you can literally ride off into the sunset together.
In a Hot Spring
With pockets of geothermal activity sprinkled throughout the state, Colorado has a wealth of natural hot spring hideaway resorts. Hot Sulphur Springs Resort and Spa in Grand County, The Springs Resort and Spa in Pagosa Springs, Cottonwood Hot Springs in Buena Vista, Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort in Nathrop, Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge and Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs, and Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs are just a few local favorites. For a very steamy moment, try Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgway—the lighting is low and clothing is optional after dark. (Just don’t drop the ring.)
Full Moon Snowshoeing
Boost the romance factor by strapping on snowshoes and taking a stroll under a big, bright Colorado moon. The sparkler in the tiny box will catch the moonlight, as will the shimmering snow. Suggestion: Lost Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area is well-marked and open at night.
Telluride, nestled deep in the San Juan Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, is only reachable by a winding alpine drive. Once there, climb into the town’s free transit gondola for some spectacular views. The 13-minute ride between Telluride and Mountain Village is long enough for declaring lifelong love and popping the question.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver urbanites can find romantic pockets of nature without leaving town. Take a stroll in the Denver Botanic Gardens and find a quiet corner to get down on one knee. During the holiday season, the twinkle and glow of the “Blossoms of Light” display set the perfect scene.
On Top of a Fourteener
Any couple that’s summited a Colorado fourteener together knows there’s something magical about beholding the Rockies from one of its highest points. Quandary Peak is a favorite for winter ascents. (We suggest you hire a guide or are well-versed in avalanche safety). And when she says yes, you can shout it from the mountaintop!
Georgetown Loop Railroad
How romantic is classic rail travel? Very. The Georgetown Loop Railroad circles through gorgeous mountain scenery—a perfect backdrop for big questions, shiny rings, and happy tears. Bring a blanket and grab a seat in the open-air car at the back of the train for great views and added romance. In December, try Santa’s Lighted Forest Train, during which a lights show and music accompanies the winding ride through snow-covered peaks.
Snowshoe to Diamond Lake
Let’s face it: diamonds are expensive. If you’re the kind of couple that doesn’t care much for bling, this hike could be the perfect play-on-words substitute. Or bring the bling to Diamond Lake and find out which is more dazzling. The 5.3-mile trail in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area near Nederland also takes you past frozen waterfalls. It’s natural beauty (and your words of adoration) will take your significant other’s breath away.