Estes Park Snowshoeing: Snowshoe Trails, Rentals, Tours

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Snowshoeing


Estes Park Snowshoeing is one of Colorado’s greatest winter sports. Seek solitude. Enjoy the snow! Venture into Rocky Mountain National Park to explore its winter glory.

  • Estes Park snowshoeing is a great winter sport on the Rocky Mountain National Park trails 
  • Park rangers guide snowshoe tours that are informative, safe, and fun! 
  • The west half of the park is known for its fluffy white snow. The east side is dryer with patchier coverage.

Where can I go snowshoeing?

Estes Park snowshoeing is a popular sport on Rocky Mountain National Park trails!

While the east side doesn’t receive much snow, the west side of the park is a wintertime heaven. The best months for snowfall are Jan-March.

Great routes for snowshoeing are around Bear Lake, on the east edge of the park, and in the Grand Lake area.

Ranger-led snowshoe tours are also available, so give them a call! (970) 586-1206.

If you don’t go out with a guide, be sure to call and ask about current snow conditions and avalanche dangers.

Bierstadt Lake
This hike is a great place to start your snowshoe adventures. The forest engulfs the trail, so your exploration is through a winter wonderland.
Put on your wool socks, hat, gloves, and goggles, and enjoy the snow! 

  • Distance: 5 miles round trip 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 3 hours 
  • Elevation: 556 foot climb 
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate 
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back 
  • Trailhead: Bear Lake Trailhead. You’ll be able to spot which trail to take. In the winter, it’s marked with bright fluorescent squares because it’s a popular cross-country ski trail.

Emerald Lake
On this wonderful hike you’ll snowshoe past Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, and finally Emerald Lake. Remember to take in the views: Flattop Mountain, Hallet Peak, and Longs Peak. 

  • Distance: 3.6 miles round trip 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 2.5 hours 
  • Elevation: 605 foot climb 
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • Trail Type: Out-and-back 
  • Trailhead: Bear Lake Trailhead. Nymph Lake approaches fast. Continue around the lake’s edge. The trail enters forest. Continue on and you’ll find the following frozen waters.

Onahu Creek Trail
This climb is for a serious snowshoer! 

  • Distance: 7.6 miles 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 6-7 hours 
  • Elevation: 1110 foot climb 
  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Trail Type: Loop 
  • Trailhead: Onahu Trailhead. Go left at the trailhead and climb the first 4 miles. Descend to Big Meadows. After Big Meadows, head west on Green Mountain Trail, which completes your loop.

Sun Valley Loop
This loop is on the west side of the park, where the snow is known to be in great condition. There’s a larger loop if you continue north on the trail, making your adventure 4.6 miles long. 

  • Distance: 2.4 miles 
  • Average Time of Hiking: 1 hour for the smaller loop, 2 hours for the large loop 
  • Elevation: 50 foot climb 
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Trail Type: Loop 
  • Trailhead: 1 mile north of Kawuneech Trailhead, at the Harbison Picnic Area parking

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