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Snowshoeing Winter Park

Snowshoe Winter Park Colorado
Snowshoeing Winter Park

Snowshoeing Winter Park

One of the most relaxing ways to explore our incredible natural surroundings is to travel off the beaten path and snowshoe. A celebrated pastime among adventurers of all ages, snowshoeing is a great way to spend time with friends and family and reflect away from the hustle and bustle of the slopes. Snowshoeing allows winter travelers the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the environment and observe all aspects of nature at a smooth comfortable pace. Taking in picturesque views in more remote wilderness while trekking across the majestic mountain landscape is one of the most peaceful things to do in Winter Park, CO.

For those adventurers that may be new to snowshoeing, it may be easier to learn in a group setting with an experienced guide. The Winter Park Resort offers guide group tours daily at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm that run through the forests surrounding the ski area. You can find information regarding reservations for both individual and private group reservations and seasonal rates here.

Those experienced with snowshoeing can find a number of scenic trails in the area to explore on their own suitable for all ages and skill levels. You can find snowshoeing equipment available for daily rent here. There is a plethora of trails within the Fraser Valley area, each offering its own special view of local waterways and natural landmarks. Some notable trails in the backcountry include Little Vasquez Creek Trail, James Peak Trail, and Granby Ranch. An interactive map found here can help you find your ideal trail to explore.

Snowshoeing is a pastime that’s fun for all ages, and breeds, of winter adventurers. Many trails in the area permit dogs so long as they are kept on a leash.  We offer plenty of Winter Park, CO pet-friendly lodging options that can provide you and every member of your family with a comfortable stay. Many of our premium Winter Park vacation rentals are located within a 15-minute drive of surrounding snowshoeing trails, allowing you a convenient place to relax after a day on the trail. Take a look at a list of our rentals available alongside a convenient map here to help you plan your next trip. The map allows you to identify properties near a specific landmark or trail, and each property description will let you know if your furry friend is welcome to stay.

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Snowshoeing Winter Park and the Fraser Valley

Snowshoeing in Winter Park, Colorado

Snowshoeing might not be the most popular sport in Winter Park but it can be one of the most relaxing sports. You don’t get to slide around like cross-country or downhill but at the same time maybe that’s why people like it.  Snowshoeing brings a sort of self-discovery and provides peace and quiet to the soul.

Snowshoeing is known to have been around for over 6,000 years and got its start in Asia. From what I’ve read, Ancestors to the Inuits and Native Americans migrated to North America bringing a prehistoric version of snowshoes with them.

Before snowshoeing turned into a recreational sport, snowshoes were used for survival and were made of wood and rawhide or animal gut that was used to tie the wood frame together and create the webbing that keeps you aloft on the snow. Many of these antiques are now hung in vacation rentals as decor. The wood frames did not have the best bindings to keep your foot secure and sometimes a snowshoer would have a lack of traction on traverses. Fatigue was also found in the hips of snowshoers due to how wide the wood frames were made.

It wasn’t until the evolution of the aluminum framed beavertail snowshoe that snowshoeing became a sport and even a boom in snowshoe racing as athletics were turned onto this unique winter sport.

If you are considering trying out this zen-like sport there are some safety concerns to be aware of:

1) When getting ready in the parking lot be aware of conduction heat loss, sitting in the snow and touching the cold aluminum frames without gloves. It is best to already have several layers on before strapping into your snowshoes and use gloves to strap in on a cold day.

2) Keep yourself hydrated, starting out on a trail might feel great but towards the middle of your journey you should stop and hydrate. You can get pretty far on a trail before you realize it, make sure someone knows where you’re headed!

3) Wear proper clothing, a synthetic sock and a wool blend sock is best. A nice hiking boot should work but there are boots made for snowshoes as well. Try the sport out first to see if you like it!  Since you’re moving you don’t have to wear as many layers as you would expect. Starting out with a base layer (top and bottom) along with a waterproof outer shell (including gloves of course) is perfect. It is a good idea to take extra layers in a backpack as the weather can change fast at any time.

Additional items; polls, sunglasses or goggles, water, snacks, first-aid kit and a camera (cell phone) for taking plenty of beautiful forest photos.


Places to rent snowshoes in the Fraser Valley

Not ready to invest in a pair of snowshoes yet? No problem there are plenty of places to rent snowshoes and below are a couple options:

Icebox Mountain Sports located in Fraser next to Ace Hardware. I recommend them because they are one of the best stocked rental shops for snowshoes and cross-country skis. I stopped by one morning and I was greeted right away and the entire staff was friendly, knowledgeable and ready to get me started in the sport.

YMCA of the Rockies offers snowshoe rentals and you can use their miles of snowshoeing trails. While visiting their Nordic Center, their rental shop was hopping with people of all ages with staff busy helping customers. Even though they had signage up on the deck for rentals below, I found the entrance to the rental shop to be a bit confusing. If you’ve never been, make sure go to the back of the building and enter on the first floor.

If you really want to find your own “space” I would recommend heading out to St. Louis Creek in the morning.

It’s very quiet out there and not a lot of people around in the mornings. It can get busy towards late morning to mid-afternoon so if you can handle the colder mornings I would recommend it!

Make sure you stay on the trails that people have packed down already, the rest of the forest does not need to be stomped on. Also, the untouched glittery snow has a calming effect on your senses.


Have some pointers about snowshoeing? We would love to hear your comments below!