The days are getting longer, the sun is out and there's no better way to get some exercise than a snowshoe trek. Below are some of our favorite snowshoe hikes.
McCoy Park in Beaver Creek is one of the best places to go snowshoeing as it gives you the opportunity to enjoy the peace of the mountains, away from the noises of the busy resort, while enjoying a beginners trail.
McCoy Park is accessed via The Strawberry Park Lift - Chair 12, and it features 32-plus kilometers of groomed and rustic trails for Cross Country skiing and Snowshoeing. Nestled between Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch villages, the area offers spectacular views of 3 mountain ranges. If you don’t own snowshoes you can rent a pair and anything else you might need for your adventure from the Beaver Creek Nordic Center, located across from the covered bridge in the Strawberry Park building and next to chair 12 the Strawberry Park express lift. They also offer daily scheduled and private lessons and tours, ticket sales, as well as retail and snacks.
Vail Nordic Center located in East Vail is another great option for snowshoeing as it offers 10 kilometers of scenic trail for all abilities. The center is open daily from 9am to 5pm and if you work up an appetite after your snowboarding adventure the Grill on the Gore restaurant is open Mon-Thu from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Fri-Sat from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Nordic Center also serves as a one-stop shop for all your backcountry needs including clothing, backpacks and snowshoes.
Walking Mountains Science Center offers a variety of guided snowshoe hikes. Whether you are in the mood for a quick hour-long hike or a half-day adventure the naturalist from Walking Mountains will make sure you have a great time enjoying the outdoors while learning about the local ecosystems. The hour-long snowshoe hikes happen daily from 2pm to 3pm until the end of March and are free for anybody age 10 or up. The evening hikes on Vail Mountain are also free and available Tuesday to Saturday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Meet the amazing natural characters of Vail Mountain that become more perceptible after the skiers leave. Travel by snowshoe as you learn about the habits of nocturnal animals in the serene evening forest. If you want to join an instructor trained as a Certified Interpretive Guide on one of the half-day snowshoe outings you can do that every Tuesday and Thursday through March. The tours start at 9am till 1pm and takes you out on one of 8 great trails in White River National Forest. The hikes are not scheduled for specific trails ahead of time, to allow your snowshoe guide flexibility in choosing the trail with the best conditions that day. The trails include locals favorite like Meadow Mountains, Buck Creek, Maloit Park and some less traveled areas such as Martin Creek and Sweetwater.
The North Trail system is a popular with snowshoers in the winter, and backcountry skiers and snowboarders will use the trail for access to south facing slopes during big snow years.The trail system, from end to end, runs from the Davos Road area in West Vail to the Spraddle Creek area in middle Vail and back. If traveling the whole thing, you'll need to go off trail and on to pavement for a section between Piney Road and the Sandstone Trailhead on Red Sandstone Road. In addition to the Davos, Sandstone and Spraddle Creek trailheads, there's also a trailhead at Buffehr Creek and several southbound spur trails allowing for an early exit. Along the way you'll also encounter north-bound trails like Son of Middle Creek between Spraddle Creek and Piney Road, and the Buffehr Creek trail between Sandstone and Buffehr Creek. The trail is closed from April 15 to June 15 for wildlife migration.