One of my favorite things about living in Boulder is that the end of summer and warm temperatures doesn’t mean the end of outdoor exploration and fun. While skiing and snowboarding are popular winter-time activities for the masses, snowshoeing is an affordable, low-maintenance alternative that you can do right in our very own backyard. Check out these tips for snowshoeing, where to go nearby, and where to get your gear.
Tips for Snowshoeing in Boulder
Conditions are best within 24 hours of a big snowfall, according to Boulder County Open Space & Recreation, so shoot to start your trek at that time.
Always check the condition of your trail before heading out. It’s worth the couple seconds now, opposed to getting all the way out there to find a closed trail. You can do this by visiting Boulder County’s Trail Conditions page. Also, you can search on Twitter for “#boco_trails” and “#BoCoSnow” to see what other trail users are saying about the condition of nearby trails as well. And if you want to report something yourself, use that same hashtag on Twitter or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org to give them a heads up.
As with any hike or outdoor adventure, check the weather forecast before you go. It makes for a much more fun time to hike when the weather is nice rather than treacherous.
Wear the right gear. It’s not just about those stellar snowshoes. You’ll want to dress in comfortable, warm layers so you can always remove something if you get too warm. Pending weather, opt for durable, waterproof clothing including pants, jacket, gloves, heavy duty socks, waterproof boots, and a hat that protects your ears. It wouldn’t hurt to have a face mask and ski goggles, too, if it’s windy or cold. If you’re not doing goggles, at least grab your sunglasses since sunlight on the snow is quite intense. Ditch the cotton, as it is useless once wet.
Pack smart. You probably aren’t reaching for your sunscreen on your winter excursion, but it’s definitely a must-have even in the cooler temperatures. Bring along plenty of water to stay hydrated, snacks to boost your energy, and extra clothing to keep your skin dry.
When snowshoeing, yield to cross-county skiers.
Just like with any hike, it’s always a good idea to let someone know where you’re headed and when you’ll likely be back.
Where to Snowshoe in Boulder
No need to brave the mountain roads to snowshoe. When we get a snow locally, head out to these nearby areas that are great for snowshoeing. Check out the links for trail maps and rules and regulations. Always check trail conditions in advance.
Where to Rent Snowshoes in Boulder
Snowshoes can cost upwards of $300, so if you’re new to the sport, you might want to consider renting them first (or borrowing from a friend if you can). This way, if it’s not your thing, you’ve only paid a small rental fee. Since it’s that time of year, make sure to call in advance to be sure there is gear available to rent.