It’s time to start planning–Halloween is approaching which means the stores have Christmas decorations out already (we kid, we kid)–and we’re on the hunt for some epic snow hikes. If you haven’t met our awesome new Ambassador crew, you should. Here is a list of favorite winter spots from the people who know it best. Follow us, and tag us @tubbssnowshoes, on social media to showcase your favorite snow hikes.
The Vermont State Parks offer First Day Hikes, guided hikes/snowshoe outings at various locations throughout the state, at all levels of challenge, on January 1st of each year. This is a great way to start the new year, and an opportunity to explore new trails and meet fellow winter enthusiasts! The specific hike locations vary each year ( we have led the Smugglers Notch hike in the past). Updates will be on the vermont state parks website www.vtstateparks.com in Early December) Here is a link that describes the event. http://fpr.vermont.gov/node/1618
If you have never explored your favorite trails in the winter, I really recommend it. Don’t let the cold, winter snows keep you from getting outdoors. Instead of sitting indoors waiting for the winter to end, try doing something different this year. I challenge you to get outdoors, explore, and embrace the winter.
The most spectacular views are saved for those intrepid few who are willing to step into a pair of Tubbs snowshoes and venture deep into the winter wilderness.
Ollalie Butte here we come! I packed my shorts expecting a warm trek once we got started. Time to warm up those snow legs…. 1.5 hours east of Estacada Oregon and 7000 mile elevation we hit Snow!! Days like these are a wonderful preseason surprise for what is yet to come…. Time to get my Tubbs snowshoes ready for winter fun…,and check out their new gear on line
I’ve been working on the Adirondack Winter Fire Tower Challenge for the past two seasons. While the tower views are pretty amazing in any conditions, I’m hoping for lots of snow this season to make the hikes extra fun! There are 30 hikes in the challenge, you need to climb 23 between December 21 and March 21 to earn your Winter Fire Tower Challenge patch. Mileage for the challenge hikes ranges from 0.4 to 18 miles, so there are great hikes for all ages and ability levels. Many of the towers turned 100 years old in 2017 and none have been used for fire observation since 1990. You can learn more about the challenge here. Let it SNOW!
Rocky Mountain National Park is a magical winter wonderland! Fresh powder, stunning views, and miles of untouched terrain!
One of my favorite snow/hike destinations near Kelowna, is Postill Lake. There is a lodge so the winter roads are well maintained. It’s a couple of hours snowshoe around the lake or you can pick from plenty of other trails up behind the lodge. The snow is plentiful from early season to the very end, being a higher elevation location. It’s a quiet, scenic area, good for family outings or just taking the dog out for some exercise.
Excitement for winter begins differently for different people. For me, the time to pack up my snowshoe gear starts about the time I hear of the first high mountain pass road closing. Here in Colorado, there are several road closings that while they cause headaches for the drivers who have to travel (longer) alternate routes, have me doing my happy snow dance! Snow-covered mountain pass roads make for excellent snowshoeing!
Some of my favorites are Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Boreas Pass (near Breckenridge), and Independence Pass (between Twin Lakes and Aspen). And though it isn’t a “pass”, Mount Evans’ (Denver) road closure is one I wait for as well.
Depending on weather conditions, most of these roads are closed well before, but definitely by, early November. As I write this (October 16), I know that Mount Evans is partially closed and Trail Ridge Road is closed as well already. Yay! There is not really enough snow for snowshoeing quite yet, but there will be soon and I’ll be watching webcams and weather reports from here on out.
Trail Ridge Road from the east entrance from Estes Park in RMNP is very popular in the winter and parking is limited so an early start or better, yet, a weekday early start, is advisable. From the west entrance near Grand Lake, the crowds are a lot sparser. Both offer great views, are uphill going in/downhill going back and can be any length since the road is almost 48 miles. From Grand Lake, it’s more heavily treed, but it’s worth the trek for the possibility of spotting a moose or two!
Boreas Pass just south and east of Breckenridge is a wonderfully picturesque snowshoe and has the added attraction of several buildings from the 1860s to explore. This pass used to be a stagecoach and then railway route from Como, Colorado to Breckenridge. Once at the height of the pass, there are lots of side trails as well.
Independence Pass from each seasonal gate closure is 32 miles long, so no shortage of trail there! On the west side of the pass about 10 miles from the winter gate is the ghost town of Independence which is a cool place to explore and especially in the wintertime with all that snow, makes me appreciate modern shelter!
Lastly, Mount Evans is close to Denver proper and has great city views, so can be very busy even during the winter months. There is plenty of parking though so we’ve never had a problem with space. Depending on the time of year, either the top 5 miles or 9 miles of the road are closed and can be traversed on foot. I’ve only been there after late December and there is plenty of snow then.
Can’t wait to get out there this winter and enjoy snowshoeing with my Tubbs’ snowshoes including my new backcountry Mountaineering shoes. See you on the Pass!