Lodge: An intermediate ranger-led snowshoe hike in RMNP
It’s one of the those things that you know about, say you want to do, know it will be fun, but you never get around to doing. As a local there are so many outdoor options and I have to admit I tend to do activities that are closer to home on the weekends: a hike, ski or run out my door versus driving 30-40 minutes to do these activities.
On Sunday, Jan. 3 I committed to a guided snowshoe tour in Rocky Mountain National Park. I called to make a reservation, invited my friend Mark to join me, and threw the snowshoes in the car.
Luckily, there was space available for us.
I was happy to see that Barb King, a RMNP ranger was leading the hike. If you’ve spent any time in the park you know her smiling face and braids. She is full of energy and knows EVERYTHING about the park.
The group of 20 started our snowshoe hike at the Timber Lake Trailhead about 10 miles east of the Kawuneeche Visitor Center.
This intermediate snowshoe hike gained about 700 feet. As we climbed King said if there are questions we can stop and take a break. Many of us asked questions to take a break during some of the steeper ascents to catch our breath. A special thanks to King’s husband Steve, a RMNP volunteer, who broke trail a few days before the hike so we had a good firm path.
Coming down was the best part. We were able to float over the fluffy snow a bit off the packed trail for some whooo-hoing and laughter. On one steep section, after watching everyone fall on their butts, one woman decided to just slide down; very fun to watch.
The intermediate guided tours at RMNP continue through the winter – every Sunday until March 6; and every week is a different trail.
This is a must-do, free activity in Grand County even if you are an expert snowshoer. The requirement to sign up is an ability to maintain a good pace over uneven terrain at high altitude. You must bring your own snowshoes and ski poles with large baskets.
Slowing down, taking a guided snowshoe hike in a place you’ve never been is the perfect way to explore Grand County in winter. #ExploreGrand
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