COUNTRY MAGAZINE: SNOWSHOEING, THE QUIET SPORT

New feature article in Country magazine
New Feature Article:

Explore Snowshoe Trails With Beautiful Scenery

Scenic Snowshoe Trails Across America

I’m out on the snowshoe trails in the Mount Evans Wilderness, about an hour west of Denver, Colorado. Canada jays flit swiftly through the pines, and I hear the occasional muffled thump of snow as it falls off branches in the morning sun. My metal snowshoes crunch softly as they sink into the fluffy powder with each step. I hear my breaths, which come frequently now at nearly 2 miles above sea level. Otherwise, total silence surrounds me. It was so easy—no lift tickets, lines or crowds.

You can snowshoe nearly anywhere you find snow, making it an exceedingly accessible and affordable sport, but a few spots in the country stand head and shoulders above the rest. Here is a small sampling of snowshoe trails to kick-start your own adventure, plus some helpful beginners’ tips. Looking for a little motivation?

Colorado Snowshoe Trails

The sky’s the limit in the Rockies, literally, especially when you can drive to a trailhead at 10,000 feet above sea level. Echo Lake, on the road to the summit of Mount Evans, is a stunning, thin-air spot where you can strap on some shoes and work up a winter sweat. This is a steep, hard-breathing, thigh-burning out-and-back trail to Summit Lake that totals 12 miles, sometimes through very deep snow. Of course, you can do any portion of it you’d like or just stay near the lake.

The REI flagship store in Denver offers introductory classes (and gear) on trails at Echo Lake and a few spots near Rocky Mountain National Park. For other guided options in the Centennial State, Estes Park Mountain Shop and Kirks Mountain Adventures offer guided snowshoe trips in and around Rocky Mountain National Park, Pikes Peak Alpine School offers trips out of Colorado Springs, and Breckenridge Nordic Center offers guided snowshoe trips in Summit County.

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