After the last leaf falls and the first flakes begin to drift down, many hikers hang up their boots and stoke the fire, ready to wait out the winter months. Although sitting by the fire with your family offers a distinct sense of peace and tranquility unparalleled in relaxation, the snow doesn’t mean you’re unable to hit the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. There is a popular maxim that states, “If you can walk, you can snowshoe,” and Estes Park offers some of the most beautiful trails in the world to do it. With lighter shoes and more advanced equipment, snowshoeing is rapidly becoming one of the most popular winter activities, and for good reason. Surround yourself by the stunning nature, strap on some snowshoes and explore these five trails right in Rams Horn Village Resort’s backyard.
Deer Mountain is a six-mile round trip hike. Although it is not one of the higher peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park, it offers some of the best panoramic views of the area that one can hope to find. Once you reach the summit you’ll have a clear view of Longs Peak, Moraine Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, as well as Estes Park. The hike is considered moderate, but does consists of a couple slightly steep areas. Witnessing the area blanketed in snow is unlike anything you can imagine.
A great option for beginners, Chasm Falls is an easy five-mile round trip hike. By snowshoeing along the Old Fall River Road, you’ll have stunning views of Horseshoe Park on your way up. After a bit, you will reach the Chasm Falls Trail Head, a short but steep trail that leads you to the observation deck. From here, take in the site of water rushing down the granite through the ice and snow covered waterfall. Chasm Falls is considered one of the prettiest waterfalls in all of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Just under four miles, Gem Lake is one of the top winter hikes in the Estes surroundings. On this hike you will see the famous Continental Divide. There are also other geological wonders along the trip including a 1.8 billion year old granite formation known as Lumpy Ridge, and a giant pile of boulders named Paul Bunyan’s Boot. Close to two miles from the trailhead, Gem Lake will appear. With water levels low, the surrounding ridge looks even more spectacular. Although the trip is short, it does include some steep terrain so the hike is considered moderate.
Cub Lake and The Pool
About a six-mile round trip, the Cub Lake and The Pool loop begins alongside the Big Thompson River and continues on through pine and aspen trees. As you hike past the different landscapes of the area including cliffs, frozen streams and ponds, you’ll then connect to The Pool trail. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to walk by the Arch Rocks, a giant boulder that was believed to have broken off the nearby cliff and split in two once it landed in the valley. The two towering pieces of rock hover over the trail, treating snowshoers to a remarkable site. After that, you will reach The Pool, a merging of the Fern and Spruce Creeks with the Big Thompson River. You will also witness some of the destruction caused by a forest fire in 2012. This hike is considered easy to moderate, and is one of the more popular trails due to its beauty and the geological sites along the way.
Upper Beaver Meadows
There are two routes at Upper Beaver Meadows, one is an easy walk along the north side of Beaver Creek, the other crosses the stream and follows the south side of the meadow. It is a three-mile round trip, and perfect for beginners or to take the kids along. Also, stay observant since this is a popular hangout for elk.
Although there are countless trails found in Rocky Mountain National Park, these five are a great start for anyone interested in snowshoeing. Before you get out into the wilderness, make sure that you’re prepared for the adventure. Although beautiful, the weather can change abruptly, so be sure to bundle up. It is also crucial to pack enough water and food.
Only a mile from the main entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, Rams Horn Village Resort is the perfect choice for any snowshoe enthusiast. Spend the night in one of our luxurious cabins, and the day in our incomparable outdoors. Call us today or book online.