Best Winter Hiking In Colorado

Best Winter Hiking In Colorado – Home to some of the best ski resorts in the country, come winter, it’s easy to forget that Colorado is still a great place to visit.

Despite the big mountains, snow and cold air, winter is the best time to get out and explore the country. The landscape and scenery change rapidly between summer and winter and you will be amazed by the beauty of the blanket of snow that covers the land.

Best Winter Hiking In Colorado

One of the biggest dangers for winter hikers in Colorado is not being prepared. Winter brings problems that you don’t have to worry about in summer, including snow, slippery terrain and hypothermia. Make sure you understand the terrain you’re going through and how to navigate (and avoid) avalanche situations. Taking an avalanche awareness class can help.

Winter Hiking???? The Best!

For most winter hikes in Colorado, you’ll be fine with microspikes. But after a heavy snowfall, you might appreciate a pair of snowshoes. However, some of the hikes below should only be attempted with proper equipment (such as crampons and ice axes) and knowledge of their use. Bring plenty of warm clothes, food and water on your trip. Remember that you burn calories faster in the cold, so you’ll need more food to adjust to the weather.

The list below provides a variety of Colorado winter hikes to give you a taste of what the state has to offer, but is by no means an exhaustive list. Always remember not to leave a mark when you walk – because the rules don’t change in winter.

Why you should go: The colorful rocks of the Paint Mine add an unexpected dimension to a beautiful hike.

With most of the mountains west of Denver, you might not expect the area to be as cool as the east. But Paint Mines Interpretive Park is where you want something different.

Best Hikes In Colorado For 2023

Named after the colorful clay used by Native Americans to make paint, a trip through Hoodoo is a fun and colorful experience. You can connect to several different routes in the park for a very colorful day – literally – and there are several places that explain the geology, history and history of the area.

Although it’s a dream to visit in the summer, the Rocky Mountains are also an amazing place to visit in Colorado during the winter. It’s easy to go out on your own to explore the trails, but you can also go on winter walks guided by park rangers.

Emerald Lake is a nice introductory hike from the Bear Lake Trailhead. The trail passes Bear Lake, Nymph Lake and Dream Lake and ends at Emerald Lake. The forest area and the views of the upper rock walls near the road are amazing and you can do it on foot or with snowshoes depending on the recent snowfall.

For a more strenuous option, pack your crampons and ice and hike the 8.2 miles to Chasm Lake. It is long and rugged, with a gain of 2,800 feet. This is best done with a friend so you can watch each other cross the snow field. That said, standing at the frozen Chasm Lake and looking at the Longs Peak Diamonds is a very rewarding experience.

Top 10 Winter Hikes Near Denver

St. John’s Ice Tour Mary’s A relatively easy and well-traveled trail from Lake St. Mary’s to ice. You might want to take your microspikes to visit him.

When the trail is full, it can be slippery, and if it isn’t, you’ll still want to tackle the steep parts of the trail. It’s a quick trip, but you’ll want to take some time to admire the vista when you get there.

If you’re lucky, you might even see skiers and snowboarders enjoying the slopes of the snowfield known for its back flips.

Why you should go: Easy hiking along the Front Range with stunning views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Tips To Prepare You For Winter Hiking

This area is very popular with locals because of the easy access from the Front Range to the park (not to mention the scenery). This allows flatlands to travel safely in some winter areas. The park’s main roads and campgrounds are closed during the winter, but there is free parking below.

Brainerd Lake Recreation Area has many hiking options at various elevations, so bring your snowshoes. You will probably meet many skiing and hiking enthusiasts. Make sure you stick to hiking trails or dirt roads as some trails are for skiing only.

A popular option is to take the Brainerd Lake Snowshoe Trail to the lake, returning the same way or on the highway. It’s often covered in snow all winter, so make sure you bring snowshoes if you plan.

If you’re looking for a steep and challenging hike in Colorado, Quandary Peak outside of Breckenridge is an excellent choice. There are dangers to this ascent, of course, but as far as the 14-year winter peak, the relatively low avalanche danger for this route makes it more manageable.

Best Adventures This Time Of The Year In Grand Junction, Colorado

The easy access and 3.2-mile hike to the summit make it seem like an easy hike, but remember that you’ll still gain over 3,000 feet of elevation gain per 14,180 feet. above sea level. Most winter days are windy above the tree line, so you can expect windy conditions, cold temperatures, and snow. Bring a pack and consider wearing goggles if you don’t have large safety glasses.

Like Breckenridge, Frisco sits high in the mountains, making it a great jumping-off point for high-altitude Colorado winter hikes. Although the city can be bitterly cold, windy and snowy in the winter, that doesn’t stop residents from getting out and enjoying the many nearby trails. But you need to be prepared and know the terrain you are crossing to avoid avalanche danger. Fortunately, Frisco has several options that are safe to explore in the winter.

Another such excursion on the outskirts of the city is Mount Royal. The trail must be steep and icy, so you’ll definitely want traction equipment, but the views are worth the effort. This summit overlooks the town and Lake Dillon, but you can return to the summit and get great views weaving through the valley.

This hike is great if it’s too windy to get to the top of the tree, as the trees provide protection from the westerly winds.

Top 5 Winter Hikes In Boulder, Colorado

What could be better than a long soak in a hot spring after a winter hike in the snow? Strawberry Park Hot Springs offers a remote and romantic setting in the woods above the town of Steamboat Springs.

Most people who visit these hot springs in Steamboat Springs either drive or take a shuttle. However, if you want to have fun, consider hiking a trail in the hot spring. The trail is usually easy and manageable (although traction devices are sometimes helpful). There is a short, rocky section in the middle, but hey, it’s a winter hike in Colorado – nothing.

Once you get to the hot springs, pay the entrance fee and treat yourself to a long soak in the pools. It’s always magical in the winter, but it’s even more beautiful if you’re surrounded by sparkling snow.

Colorado’s Western Slope is a great place to be outside in the winter. Generally, a little drier and sometimes a little warmer than the mountains or the Front Range, Colorado is a great place to hike in the winter, especially if you have hikers who are comfortable climbing. mountains.

The Best National Parks To Visit In Winter

Colorado National Monument is open year-round (although Rim Rock Road will be closed in bad weather), making it a reliable place to enjoy the snow and wilderness. There is a great hike from the Canyon Rim Trail to Window Rock, and it’s great for families because it’s relatively short and doesn’t involve much riding.

Trails run along the canyon walls with panoramic views of the canyon and key highlights. The snow on the red sand adds depth to this area, so you can plan your trip for the day after the new flakes.

Why you should go: A great road trip in the Colorado desert to see the great outdoors outside of Utah.

West of Grand Junction is the McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area, a large area managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Home to N.C.A’s extensive network of trails, cultural sites and natural resources.

Best Short + Easy Day Hikes Near Winter Park, Colorado

The western slope can be very hot in the summer, but cool (and often snowless) in the winter. And the N.C.A. Home to two of Colorado’s best winter hikes.

The first is the Rattlesnake Canyon Arches Trail, a great lollipop trail. Loop

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