As many of you know, snowshoeing is my go-to winter activity when I am feeling stir-crazy stuck inside. For me it’s an opportunity to enjoy the beauty winter has to offer in the mountains while still having the peaceful experience hiking gives. So if you live in Colorado and are wondering where to get started, this one’s for you!
1. Rocky Mountain National Park
Talk about snowshoe heaven️ there are sooo many trails to explore within this park. I recommend starting at Glacier Gorge trailhead or Bear Lake trailhead. There is a plethora of trail options of varying distances depending on what you’re up for that stem from those two trailheads. My personal favorites are Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, Emerald Lake, The Loch, and Sky Pond.
2. Hoosier Pass
About 1.5 hours from Denver, this pass has absolutely breathtaking views. The loop is short + sweet since it’s only 3 miles, but it’s close to Breckenridge so you can easily head into town for some food after.
Georgetown is a quick 1-hour drive from Denver which makes this a great choice if you just want an easy half-day adventure! You will need to wind up the pass for several miles until you find the trailhead. It’s a bit more steep than some others but it’s a beautiful mix of woods and open views. You can go for miles depending on how long of a hike you’re wanting. Make a day of it by snowshoeing in a ways and having a bonfire!
This area is about 1.5 hours from Denver but offers many many different trail options depending on how far you want to go. I recommend Lost Lake (about 5 miles total), Long Lake (8 miles total) or Brainard Lake (6 miles total). Keep in mind that snowshoeing takes longer than hiking so give yourself plenty of time for any of these! For Lost Lake, you’ll park at the 4th of July Trailhead and for the other two, you’ll park at the Brainard Lake Trailhead (if you continue past Brainard Lake you’ll reach Long Lake).
Located in Boulder, you’ll start on the Chautauqua Trail (large parking area) and follow the signs for the Royal Arch. This hike is awesome because you feel like you’re in Utah when you arrive at the arch! It’s about 4 miles total out-and-back and can be done on snowshoes because it’s not as steep as climbing the Flatirons there. Plus you’ll be super close to the heart of Boulder! Check out Pearl Street after for a warm beverage or some healthy food (cause it’s Boulder- duh).
Another tip for snowshoeing: if there’s a trail you love hiking in the summer and you’re wondering if it is also a snowshoeing trail, check the app https://www.alltrails.com/. Once you look up the trail you have in mind, see if the key word “snowshoe” comes up in the description (pictured here as an example). You can also check recent reviews to see what people are saying about trail conditions!