In our exclusive series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.
With Thanksgiving now behind us and the holidays in full swing, you may be searching for ideas for family and friends coming into town for a visit.
Here's a look at part two of my favorite winter adventures.
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
Let's begin our recap with one of the most surreal experiences that I've had yet, a visit to the Wolf and Wildlife Center.
Located in Divide, this place is dedicated to the rescue and education of wolves and wolf-hybrids.
The sanctuary offers a variety of tours and one-of-a-kind experiences, including meet-and-greet encounters.
The most unforgettable part of this adventure was spending time with Kekoa, the wolf.
Nicknamed the ladies' man, he's known at the sanctuary as a sweet, handsome, and lovable guy.
On top of getting to pet him, Kekoa also gives me some sloppy kisses, his way of saying hello.
After that experience, it's safe to say that I'll always share a special bond with my new wolf friend.
Skiing and tubing Monarch Mountain
Located in the scenic Sawatch Ranch, Monarch Mountain is one of Southern Colorado's closest places to ski.
The mountain offers stunning views and plenty of terrain for all skill levels.
For advanced skiers, there's Mirkwood Basin, Monarch's hike-to-only extreme terrain.
For any adventure seekers not into downhill skiing or snowboarding, Monarch also has snow tubing.
The tubing hill is great for families and is a perfect complement to Monarch's line-up.
Snowshoeing in Summit County with Colorado Adventures Guides
Speaking of family-friendly, snowshoeing in the Rocky Mountains is a great way to enjoy the mountains, but on a slightly less extreme and more peaceful level.
Being my first time, we connected with Colorado Adventure Guides in Silverthorne.
Founder and owner Abe Pacharz set us up with Tanner Thompson, who serves as our guide on a stunning two-hour tour on the nearby Salt Lick Trail.
It's actually located right outside their offices, and it gives us a nice preview of the sport.
After getting used to the equipment, my takeaway is that snowshoeing on firmly packed snow really isn't that much different than hiking.
But venture into the deeper snow, and it becomes much more physically demanding.
Overall, I found this family-friendly activity to be a purely magical way to explore the Rocky Mountain wilderness.
Ice Fishing at the Antero Reservoir with Tumbling Trout
Located in Park County, the Antero Reservoir serves as ground zero for my first-time ice fishing.
It's one of the more popular ice-fishing destinations in the area. The lake also provides drinking water to the Denver metro region.
With temperatures in the 30s on the day of our visit, our guides from Tumbling Trout set up a large, insulated ice hut to keep us warm.
Not long after settling into position, we reel in our first fish of the day.
Over the next couple of hours, we watch and wait as at least a dozen fish come by to check out our bate.
For a beginner, I finish my day by catching two fish and making a lot of memories.
Snowboarding at Loveland Ski Area
Loveland, as it's often referred to by locals, offers 1,800 acres of skiing and riding.
Located at the eastern portal to the Eisenhower Tunnel, the ski area's sprawling layout can be seen from both I-70 and the Loveland Pass.
It's here that we pair up with our snowboard instructor Brian Dixon.
Before we even strap into our board, Dixon goes over some basic instructions.
After all, it's been more than 20 years since I've been on a snowboard, but thanks to muscle memory, I manage to stay upright most of the time.
Balance is key, and I'll admit, snowboarding feels way different than skiing, but I walk away feeling accomplished.
My main goal was to link my turns, and with Dixon's help, I regained that skill before our lesson wrapped up.
Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.