WINTER WANDERING | Snowshoeing in Grand County

Snowshoe trails at the Grand Lake Nordic Center snake through the East Troublesome Fire burn scar, showing some of the destruction from Colorado’s second largest fire.
McKenna Harford / Sky-Hi News

While it can be hard to compete with the exhilaration of skiing, slowing down and lingering in the magic of the snow covered conifers, hushed landscapes and fresh frigid air comes with its own perks.

The best way to enjoy Grand County’s snow covered trails is on snowshoes and luckily, there is no shortage of places across Grand that offer snowshoeing trails, rentals and guided tours. Check the calendar at to see when and where upcoming group tours are happening.

Anyone not needing to rent equipment or looking to venture out of resorts and Nordic centers, can also hit some of Grand County’s public lands. Most of the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park and many areas of the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forests are snowshoe friendly. Check trails on the COTrex app for information about uses and closures.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch

With around 12.5 miles of marked snowshoe trails spread out across the 6,500 acre property, Devil’s Thumb Ranch offers snowshoers views of the Continental Divide and Byers Peak as they romp through woods and meadows.

Guests can utilize the trails with an annual pass, day pass or punch cards with five or 10 use options. Rentals cost $30 for adults and $20 for seniors and kids as non-lodging guests. Guided group tours are offered for $45 per person for non-lodging guests and private guided tours are $55.

Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch’s East Mountain Nordic trails include a few snowshoers options starting near the Quick Draw Express.

For a longer trek around the East Mountain, check out the 4.6 km Nature’s Way trail. Branching off of Nature’s Way, snowshoers can explore the 1.45 km Pirouette Trail.

Granby Ranch does require snowshoers to have a valid season pass or lift pass. This year, the resort is offering lift passes in packs of two or three, as well as a three-pack midweek pass, starting at $139 for juniors and $219 for adults.

Check the resort’s calendar for guided tours throughout the winter for deals.

Grand Lake Nordic snowshoe trails are also dog-friendly, as well as the trails at Snow Mountain Ranch and in the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forests.
McKenna Harford / Sky-Hi News

Grand Lake Nordic Center

Bordering Rocky Mountain National Park and the Colorado River, about three miles of ungroomed, marked snowshoe trails crisscross the Grand Lake Nordic Center property. Following the East Troublesome Fire in October 2020, many of the trails wind through the burn scar offering an intimate look at the destruction and regrowth.

Trail day passes and snowshoe rentals are $12 each. Another perk besides the low cost is that the snowshoe trails are open to leashed pups.

Snow Mountain Ranch

Granby’s Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center is another one-stop hub for snowshoe trails, rentals and guided tours. The YMCA offers free weekly public guided hikes, as well as private guided hikes for $40 per guide for up to 15 people.

Like the Grand Lake Nordic Center, Snow Mountain Ranch snowshoe trails are dog-friendly so long as the dogs are leashed.

Winter Park Resort

A variety of guided snowshoe experiences are available at Winter Park Resort, which are a great option for anyone wanting to learn the history of the Fraser Valley. The tours cost $54 or $64 per person depending on the option, but the cost includes equipment rentals.

Focus on the flora and fauna of the woods on a Nature Snowshoe Tour around the Gemini Lift or enjoy the dusk hours with a Sunset Snowshoe Tour from the Gondola. Looking for even higher views? Try the Summit Snowshoe Tour, which traverses some of the resort’s highest-alpine terrain.

A couple snowshoes through Rocky Mountain National Park, which can be done on most park trails. Local guides offer educational hikes through the park or explore on your own.
Sky-Hi News file photo

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