Don’t feel like skiing or snowboarding, but still want to get outdoors this winter? Try snowshoeing, which makes snow-covered hiking trails accessible all year long. Winter Park, Colorado is a great snowshoeing destination, with miles of trails to explore and many Nordic centers that make this winter activity accessible for all. Here are some Winter Park snowshoe trails, Nordic centers and more to help get you out on the snow!
The Nordic Center at Snow Mountain Ranch features more than 75 miles of terrain for snowshoeing along with other activities such as cross country skiing and fat biking. There are trails for all ages and skill levels specifically designated for snowshoeing. Snowshoe rentals are available for adults and children. After a day on the trails, stop by the Skinny Ski Café above the Nordic Center for a hot meal.
Take a two-hour guided snowshoe tour at Winter Park Resort and learn about the local history and ecology of the Fraser Valley. As you explore the ski resort by snowshoe, experience views of the Continental Divide and surrounding areas. Or follow your own path on nearby trail routes by renting snowshoes at the Balcony House located at the base of Winter Park Resort. Consider the Serenity Trail, which doubles as a popular hiking and mountain biking trail in the summer. This moderate hike features a few small hills and meanders through snow-covered forest for a peaceful snowshoeing experience.
Explore the 6,000 acres at Devil’s Thumb Ranch by snowshoe. Pass through meadows or forests on marked snowshoe trails throughout the resort. Trails can also be used for fat biking or Nordic skiing. Snowshoe rentals are available, and a day pass includes use of the ice rink as well. Devil’s Thumb Ranch offers many amenities from spa services to dining to create a full-day experience.
For a more adventurous snowshoeing experience, consider visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. Winter can be one of the best times to visit with thinner crowds and sparkling snow-covered landscapes. Don’t let snow stop you from using the trails as most routes are accessible with snowshoes. Rent your gear before visiting the park and then explore the vastness of the Rocky Mountains. The west side entrance of the park is less than an hour’s drive from Winter Park.
For an easy and leisurely snowshoeing experience near Winter Park, consider the 1.2-mile Discovery Challenger Trail. This mainly flat trail is great for beginners and kids, or those just wanting to get in a quick winter hike.
The Jim Creek Trail is a moderately rated hike accessible year-round and is popular for snowshoeing. The 6.9-mile trail has a gradual incline and an 1,100-foot elevation gain through pine forest. Explore the James Peak Protection Area as you follow the scenic trail along Jim Creek.
For a more difficult snowshoeing trail, Heart Lake is a nine-mile trail that has more than 2,000 feet in elevation gain. The trail passes through forest until you get above tree line, offering beautiful views and a lake to enjoy.
Snowshoes are great for winter hiking because they prevent you from sinking in deep snow. Larger snowshoes are used when the snow is powdery while smaller snowshoes are used when the snow is more compact. No experience is necessary to snowshoe, just strap them on over some waterproof boots and get going. Besides snowshoes, minimal gear is required for this winter activity. Consider using poles to help with balance and navigate the trail better. Waterproof pants along with the appropriate layers will also help keep you warm and dry. If you’re planning on a more adventurous snowshoeing experience, check out these additional snowshoeing tips.
Now that you know hiking in Winter Park is an all-season activity, start planning your trip now. With various Winter Park snowshoeing trails and Nordic centers, beginners and experts alike can enjoy the beauty of the snow-covered mountains and forests. With Stay Winter Park, you can find your ideal vacation rental for a couple’s weekend, family outing or group getaway. The Antlers at Lakota 406 is one of many properties ideal for groups and favorably located across from Winter Park Resort. The private townhome features three floors, a private hot tub, three bedrooms and more for your next trip to Winter Park.