Located in the Midwest, Colorado is abundant with natural landscapes. Hiking and other outdoor activities are nothing new for state natives. As the state that houses the Rocky Mountain national park, Colorado can claim to be an all-year-long holiday destination regardless of the season. In the winter, the colorful summer panorama turns into a monochromatic wonderland as the snow layers the whole landscape. And in doing so, summer trails turn into snowshoeing trails for the winter.
There are hundreds of trails in Colorado that you can try, as they often intersect with each other. Here are ten trails in Colorado with various difficulty levels. You may have heard of some of them, but if you haven’t then you probably should plan to hike it soon.
- Bear Lake Trail, Rocky Mountain
This is probably the most popular trail of all. The Bear Lake Trail is perfect if you are a first-timer. It is a short loop less than a mile long. With flat terrain and hundreds of people in the trail so you won’t feel alone. A quieter alternative is the Sprague Lake trail. It’s also a short trek with flat terrain.
- Ironton Park, Ouray
Located in southern Colorado, Ironton Park offers a unique snowshoeing experience. They offer several loops with the Townsite loop being the most popular since it is only 2 miles long. You will also go through a ghost town on this hike. Ironton is also popular for cross country skiing. So you need to be careful and pay attention not to run through the ski path.
- Alberta Falls Trail
Another easy to medium trek since it involves a higher elevation. This trail includes a waterfall that you can visit, as well as paths to lakes in the area like Mills Lake and Black Lake. It’s also a family-friendly trail where you can use it to introduce your children to nature.
- Chasm Lake Trail
One of the treks that is considered hard. It’s an over 9 miles long hike. However, the view is very rewarding and worth the effort. Due to the wind and terrain conditions, you need your trekking poles ready.
- Emerald Lake Trail
To get here, you need to go to the Bear Lake Trail first. Then you can find the path to Emerald Lake, passing through Dream Lake and Nymph Lake. Feast your eyes on the snowy tops and frozen lakes that you will pass.
- Brainard Lake
Having a winter-closure gate, people often mistook Brainard Lake as a summer-only destination. But the truth is, you still can go there and enjoy the view during winter. The gate is only two miles away from the lake, so you can start snowshoeing there. You also can prolong the trek by creating your path. Or go further to Mount Audubon. The trek is relatively easy and flat but it can be quite windy, so better be prepared.
- Rabbit Ears Pass
It’s near Steamboat Springs, so if you have done several winter activities like a snowmobile and even snowshoeing, you might like this pass. However, due to treacherous weather in the winter, you have to call first to check the condition and whether the pass is open for trekking or not.
- Quandary Peak
Despite its popularity, this trail is quite difficult as you will hike almost to the top. That’s over three thousand feet elevation gained. You have to be very fit to complete this trek. Also, be well prepared for the ice and winds. However, the hard work paid off with the gorgeous view as you reached the 14 thousand feet summit.
- St. Mary’s Glacier
It is another popular trail that great for a family outing. Short, only less than 2 miles long and also very popular so you won’t be the only one in the area. The trek itself is pretty steep, but you can walk across the water when it’s frozen solid. In case you want to challenge yourself, pack your ski gear and ski your way down.
- Rampart Reservoir Trail
In central Colorado, there is Rampart Reservoir trail near Woodland Park. It features a 13 miles loop trek circling the reservoir. The trek is popular for mountain biking during summer, and snowshoeing in winter. Due to the lack of elevation gain, you can use this trek to get yourself used to snowshoe or have a family outing.
You can do snowshoeing in almost all parts of Colorado. But keep in mind that there are other popular winter activities taking place in the same area. So you have to be ready and watch your path crossing with skiers and snowboarders. Always keep yourself updated with the weather and make sure your gear is in top condition before you start snowshoeing.