Colorado, The Rockies

4 Great Snowshoeing Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

Super Snowshoeing Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a wonderful place to visit anytime of year, but the ability to avoid the ski traffic on I-70 makes it a great place to snowshoe in the winter.  Below are three great snowshoeing trails.

Mills Lake Trail

This 5.3 mile trail in Rocky Mountain National Park is spectacular.  We had actually planned to hike farther than Mills Lake, but the sunny forecast was far from accurate.  Instead, a 40 mph sustained wind blew a stingy fresh snow into our face!  So much so, that when we laid eyes on the amazing lake and surrounding peaks, we were happy to stop at the lake and enjoy the scenery.

Fern Lake Trail

Fern Lake Trail is about an 8 mile trail in the Moraine Park Area of Rocky Mountain National Park that follows Big Thomson River.  It climbs through rock formations and forest, provides a wonderful of Fern Falls and eventually reaches Fern Lake.  We visited on a cold, windy day, so we found ourselves enjoying our lunch beneath a rock shelter rather than by the iced over lake.

Sandbeach Lake Trail

Sandbeach Lake Trail begins in the Wild Basin Area of Rocky Mountain National Park and steadily climbs almost 9 miles to a large lake.  While there was only a dusting of snow at the beginning of the trail, as we ascended we sooned strapped on our snowshoes.  I thought the 2,000 foot gain might prove difficult in the snow, but over the long distance, it wasn’t too difficult.  It was definitely windy at the lake…dress warmly!

Deer Mountain Trail

Deer Mountain Trail is a 6 mile hike to a peak that stands over a beautiful valley below.  I micro-spiked this trail, as there wasn’t enough fresh snow during last winter’s bad snow year.  Regardless, it would normally be a nice length and steepness for a snowshoe to a summit with rewarding views.

Bonus Trail: Chasm Falls via Old Fall River Road

I wanted to include Chasm Falls in the mix, eventhough we hiked to the falls in May via Old Fall River Road in the Northern part of the Park.  The road was wide with an easy grade and we made it to the falls quickly.  As such, we continued on the road which 10.5 miles one way.  We hiked until we came upon large snow drifts and post holed so deep that we ended up turning before reaching the lake.  I normally don’t like hiking roads, but snowshoeing this wide road would be beautiful.  I might be back this winter to try it out!

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