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Snow Shoeing Colorado: Family Friendly Trails

Snow Shoeing Colorado: Family Friendly Trails


two people snowshoeing

Colorado has winter trails for the entire family to fall in love with snowshoeing

If you’re looking for ways to keep the family active throughout winter, consider giving snowshoeing a go. It’s a fun activity without much of a learning curve, and it’s proof that you don’t have to stay off the trails once they’re covered in snow.   If you are snowshoeing on trails that are also cross-country ski trails, bear in mind that trail etiquette requires snowshoers to travel to the side of pre-established cross-country skiing tracks.   Rent or buy some snowshoes, and get on the trails!

Northern Colorado Snowshoe Trails for the Whole Family

Bear Lake Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park

Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park during the winter is a stark contrast to visiting during the summer high season. The crowds will be nearly nonexistent, making it the perfect place for the family to snowshoe. Plus, this particular trail is short and easy, so it’s great for kids and beginners. Rent snowshoes in Estes Park and bring them along. It’s easy to reach Bear Lake from the park’s entrance. If you’re interested in exploring further, you can also ask the rangers for advice on their favorite winter trails.

Sourdough Trail, Nederland

Sourdough Trail varies from easy to more difficult. The path is generally wide, making it an excellent spot for a snowshoe outing. From the Red Rock Trailhead to the Beaver Reservoir Road Trailhead is a 6-mile journey, but make things easier on the group by snowshoeing for however long feels comfortable. There are steep sections, but much of the trail is fairly level and pleasant. The trail is often serene in the warmer months, and it’s even more peaceful during the winter.

Peru Creek Trail, Summit County

Located near the Montezuma area of Keystone, Peru Creek is a perfect winter trail for beginners and families, although it can be long if you do the whole trail. The elevation gain is fairly gradual and the round trip distance can range from 6 to 8 miles depending on how far you go. You’ll cross through expansive open valleys and will be treated to some phenomenal views. Plus, you won’t have to purchase a ski pass to enjoy the beauty of Summit County in the wintertime.

Rabbit Ears Pass Trails, Steamboat Springs

Rabbit Ears Pass has a variety of trails for all levels. Located close to Steamboat Springs, there’s something for everyone out here. A good family-friendly and moderate trail is the 3.7 mile-long 1A West Summit Loop A. To access the trail head and parking area, drive 13 miles east past Steamboat Springs. Pick up the trail on the north side of the road. Snowshoeing the loop clockwise will be easiest.  

Southern and Western Colorado Family-Friendly Snowshoe Trails

Griffith Lake Trail, Grand Mesa

Western Colorado’s Grand Mesa is a snowshoer’s dream. There are countless quiet, scenic lakes to explore, and the crowds are entirely manageable. When most of the other roads deeper into Grand Mesa are closed, accessing Griffith Lake remains easy. Griffith Lake is a good place to start, but you should also plan a stop at the Grand Mesa National Forest Visitors Center. The rangers there are full of useful information and can direct you toward the best of the Mesa. There are over 300 lakes in the area, so there’s plenty to explore!

Ice Park Trail, Ouray

This round-trip snowshoe trail is a mere 2 miles, and the elevation gain is an easy 250 feet. The beginning is a bit steep but the wide trail soon levels out. There will be fantastic views of the gorge and surrounding mountains. Keep an eye out for ice climbers, and watch as they test their skills.

West Fork Nordic Trails, Pagosa Springs

You can easily access the West Fork Trails off of Highway 160. The trails are flat and offer great views, making them perfect for beginners and families. The Forest Service Road in particular is flat and easy to navigate. Review some maps before heading out to choose the round-trip length that suits the level of your family. You’ll find groomed trails, natural trails, and plenty of fun.