If you’re just getting into snowshoeing, renting gear is a great way to get started. The rental shop will set you up with snowshoes suitable to your weight and the conditions where you’ll be snowshoeing.
If you’re buying your first snowshoes, flat terrain snowshoes are a great first choice. These are entry-level models that also offer good value. They’re designed for easy walking on flat to rolling terrain and are ideal for beginners or families.
Make sure you check the maximum recommended load for your snowshoes (your weight plus the weight of your pack filled with gear should not exceed the recommended load) and take into consideration the type of snow you’ll be travelling on (powder snow requires snowshoes with a larger surface area to keep you floating on top of the snow).
While not quite as busy as the warmer months, winter and spring in Estes Park have their own allure.
Although the pace in Estes Park slows when the snow starts falling, adventures continue. Snowshoeing and winter hiking can be great fun. Anyone who hikes can master snowshoeing in a few minutes. Parents and grandparents alike find it a great family time with children as young as four years old. Children enjoy animal tracks in the snow and throwing snowballs along the way.
If you are a beginners or new to the area, you may wish to participate in guided snowshoe treks. Several outfitters in the area offer them. From time to time we get enough snow at lower elevations in Estes Park to warrant snowshoeing. Snowshoers could try trails near Lily Mountain or break their own across the open spaces.
Colder temperatures mean ice climbing and winter mountaineering. On the Estes Park side-the national park’s east side cross-country skiing is possible on various trails, as is backcountry skiing near the former Hidden Valley Ski Area. The lower reaches of this area appeal to families and others who arrive after a big storm with sleds and tubes in hand for a day of snow play.
It typically stays snowy through April since spring storms often dump ample amounts of thick flakes, which ultimately water wildflowers and melt into stunning waterfalls. Birds begin migrating in March and elk start calving in late April. There’s certainly plenty for wildlife watchers and birders to see. Slowly, the valleys green and color marches back up the mountainsides, turning the whole of Rocky into a postcard-perfect scene of snowcapped mountains framed by emerald meadows and azure skies.