It seems winter has come early in Denver, so I thought it would be appropriate to post some great snowshoe trails near Ski Resorts close to Denver.
Snowshoe Trails Near Winter Park
Jim Creek Trail
Jim Creek Trail is a 5.3 mile trail that ascends about 1,000 feet. The trailhead is located at Bonfils Station Outdoor Center in Winter Park. The trail winds through an evergreen forest before it climbs via switchbacks to a high alpine meadow for a view of surrounding snow-capped mountains.
Second Creek Trail
Second Creek Trail is the winter access point to Broome Hut. The trail begins at 10,600 feet and climbs 750 feet over one mile to the hut located at tree line. The steep, yet short hike makes for an easy snowshoe. We actually followed the trail by moonlight to the hut for an over night stay, but the hut also has a day use area. Beware, this is an avalanche area.
Shadow Mountain Trail and Ranger Meadow Trail
On a blistery, cold day, just walking from the parking lot across the dam to the trailhead might feel daunting with a strong wind stingy your face, but once following the trail through the lodge pole pine forest, the weather isn’t a terrible factor. The 3-4 mile loop is relatively flat and offers limited, yet beautiful views of the lake as well as other open meadows. For more details, click here.
Snowshoe Trails Near Breckenridge/Copper Mountain
Mayflower Gulch Trail
Mayflower Gulch Trail is a wonderful, wide trail that travels through the forest to an amphitheater. About a mile into the trail, is Boston Mile. I was so mesmerized by all the ruins, I didn’t make it any further. For the roundtrip, however, the hike is 5.6 miles and the elevation change is a moderate 1,500 feet.
Wheeler Lake Trail
This trailhead is oddly located near I-70 and the parking is across the highway from the trail. After crossing the bridge, follow Wheeler Lake Trail which parallels the highway for a little bit before climbing switch backs through the forest. At first, the trail is noisy and it may not even have snow depending on the season. Don’t let this fool you like it did us! As this 6.7 mile trail climbs through the trees to open meadows and the alpine lake, the snow accumulates! Watch for moose along the way.
Sallie Barber Mine Trail
The Sallie Barber Mine is 5.6 miles roundtrip along an old service road. While the trail is a little uneventful, the mine and surrounding views about half way up the road are spectacular on a sunny day. The trail begins above 10,000 feet and climbs about 400 feet over 1.5 miles to the mine.
Lily Pad Lake Trail
This short 2.8 mile (roundtrip) trail climbs through a lodge pole pine and aspen forest to a lovely alpine lake. Much of the forest has suffered from beetle kill, but it is pretty with snow on the fallen trees. The Lily Pad Lake Trail begins around 9,800 feet and only climbs only 100 feet or so which makes for an easy snowshoe.