Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful mountain ranges and landscapes in America. But which area is actually the coldest place in Colorado? Located high in the Rocky Mountains at an altitude of 11,900 ft lies Climax Molybdenum Mine.
With an average temperature of -1°F and temperatures that often drop as low as -20°F, this is the coldest part of the state and perhaps one of the coldest places on earth!
Climax was established during World War 1 when molybdenite ore was discovered near Leadville, CO. After years of mining. Climax Mine eventually reached a depth of over 7,000 feet below ground level making it one of the deepest mines in Colorado.
In addition to its unique level of seclusion and frigid temperatures within its walls, it also has quite a diverse wildlife population residing within its borders- including marmots, pikas, and even wild horses!
The extreme cold found in Climax has given rise to many interesting activities that can be done should you be brave enough to do so.
From snowmobiling along its ever-changing terrain to dog sledding through deep snowdrifts- there’s no shortage of winter activities you can fill your days with!
Of course, it’s not all fun and games; skiing and snowboarding have become incredibly popular among Sunday River enthusiasts longing for something more challenging than what they’ve come used to.
So whether you’re looking for a truly wild experience or just trying to get away from the everyday hustle & bustle life comes with, Climax Molybdenum Mine offers something extraordinary few other places can boast about: perhaps being crowned as Colorado’s Coldest Spot.
The Coldest Location in the State of Colorado
Beneath the crisp blue skies of Colorado lies Fraser, the coldest city resting in its western Rocky Mountains.
Boulder is only an hour and a half away, yet temperatures are a full ten degrees cooler due to Fraser’s elevation – 34.8°F, to be exact. It doesn’t experience the Eastern Great Plains’ warmth or the western Colorado Plateau’s cold, dry winters- just plenty of snow, windy blizzards, and all-around chilliness that rivals the rest of the state.
The winter temperatures in Fraser may not be ideal for some, but they provide a unique challenge to those who brave it- as well as a reminder that innovation often springs from uncomfortable circumstances.
With determination and courage, nothing’s impossible, even when we find ourselves exactly where we’d least expect it: freezing in the middle of nowhere.
The Lowest Temperature Ever Recorded in the State
Feeling the chill? According to Colorado State University, the coldest temperature ever recorded in the Centennial State is a wicked -61 degrees F! That record was set in Maybell in 1985. Other towns and cities, such as Fraser, have also recorded freezing temperatures through the years.
But even on a ‘normal’ winter’s day, average minimum temperatures hover around 16 degrees F. To combat the frigid air, top up your Vitamin D levels from July to August, when summer has its turn and temperatures regularly exceed 70 degrees F.
Indeed, for those who worry about what if’s and buts- bring your warmest coat and gloves when visiting Colorado during the winter months!
Fraser, Colorado: A look into the Town’s History
Historically, Native Americans had lived and hunted in what is now Fraser for thousands of years. George Eastom laid the foundation in 1871, naming it Eastom before the McQueary family established the 4 Bar 4 Ranch in 1895.
This ranch was an important stop along the Georgetown Stagecoach Line. As a result, a railroad station and a sawmill were built here early in the twentieth century, making Fraser home to approximately 1,500 people now.
Though called “The Icebox of the Nation” by its citizens for many years, it hasn’t been officially named as such since another Minnesota town took on this title. A latecomer to incorporation, Fraser was only established as its own town in 1953.
Fraser is located 8,000 feet above sea level between Sheep Mountain, Mount Epworth, and Mount Jasper; the area is surrounded by forests from the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests.
Hosting different species of animals like raccoons, chipmunks, porcupines, and bats; birds such as ravens, crows, and robins; as well as larger mammals like mule deer or elk – depending on the season – there is no shortage of wildlife surrounding Fraser.
Not just limited to exploration outside within nature but also back in time thanks to Cozens Ranch Museum giving insight into the lifestyle of travelers and ranchers centuries ago.
Alternatively, you can create your own adventure, be it deep powder skiing at Winter Park Resort nearby or hot air ballooning above breathtaking scenery with Grand Adventure Balloon Tours right in Fraser or taking a scenic drive through Rocky Mountain National Park – options are plenty!