Colorado snowshoeing is a great way to transition into the world of winter sports for beginners and an even better way to switch things up if you are sick of the ski slopes and need a break. Everyone can go snowshoeing- it's that easy to learn, and there are plenty of trails near Durango to take advantage of when snow is on the ground.
What Is Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is really simple- it is walking through snow! Think of it like hiking with specialized footwear to make your trek easier. Snowshoes help to distribute your weight evenly over the snow-covered ground and make it easy to walk without sinking into deep sections of snow. Colorado snowshoeing is a great way to exercise in the winter months while enjoying the beauty of Durango.
A convenient option for snowshoe rentals is the Ski Barn located in downtown Durango. No matter where in the area you are headed, they are a quick and easy stop to make before you drive out to your destination. Other area outfitters also carry rental options, so it's worth calling around to see who can help you out on your trip. Outfitters should also be able to help you find the right size and type for your trek.
Where To Go
Once you've rented your snowshoes, it's time to head out to the trails. Need some inspiration on where to go? Check out our favorite spots below.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is a great destination for winter recreation near Durango. Beginning December 1 or following the first snowfall, Cliff Palace Loop Road closes to motor vehicles and makes the perfect trail for snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
The Vallecito Reservoir is groomed and maintained by volunteers throughout the winter months. There is a designated snowshoe trail that begins below Old Timers campground at the trailhead. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails, so you'll be able to trek in complete peace. You can purchase a day pass, memberships & permits on the Vallecito Nordic Club website.
Molas Pass is a great place to break out the snowshoes. Many visitors also enjoy visiting the Andrews Lake day use area. Here, you'll follow the Crater Lake Trail and stumble upon beautiful mountain views, snow-covered trees and incredible Colorado scenery. While you're snowshoeing this area, make sure you choose to loop Andrews Lake rather than continuing to Crater Lake, or you may end up on a longer journey than intended
Falls Creek Trail
Falls Creek Trail is sometimes referred to as the Hidden Valley, and actually has several trailheads to choose from when you depart for your snowshoeing excursion. All of these trails offer great views, including sightings of sandstone cliffs. The trails are each a different distance, starting approximately 4 miles for the shortest loop.
Hermosa Creek Trail
Hermosa Creek Trail is one of your longer out and back snowshoeing options coming in at 20 miles. If you're looking for something shorter, there is no harm in turning back and enjoying just part of the trail! Hermosa Creek brings you into the San Juan Mountains and has a maximum elevation of 8,880 feet at the upper trailhead.
Always remember to pack extra water for your winter recreation trips- it's easy to get dehydrated even when it is cold outside! Check out some of these trails on your next trip to Durango and tag us in all of your Colorado snowshoeing photos on Instagram at @durangocom.