Rocky Mountain National Park Snowshoe – December
December 4 - 7, 2020
(4 days, 3 nights; Fri - Mon)Alternate Tour Dates
Includes all lodging, meals, van shuttles, park entrance fees, snowshoe rental, leaders, trail maps and narratives.
Timberline van shuttle is included between Denver and Estes Park prior to and following tour.
Not included: Airline service to Denver International Airport; Guide Gratuity.
Hotel 8:00 am
“I really appreciate the passion, diligence and expertise brought to my 1st Timberline program and will try to spread the word!” Jill B.
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of America’s most popular National Parks, but in the winter time there is a completely different feel. With far fewer visitors and more active wildlife you can get immersed in a truly wilderness experience. The majestic high peaks are engulfed in snow, the trees sparkle in the sunlight and sounds of animals echo off the distant cliffs as you enjoy a leisurely walk up the valleys and around the frozen lakes.
No experience is necessary on our Rocky Mountain Snowshoe tour, and snowshoes will be provided. Don’t be fooled by the lower mileage as progress is a bit slower than regular hiking and you will surely earn your dinner. Our guides are completely familiar with the Rocky Mountain terrain in winter. They are trained in avalanche awareness and wilderness first aid and will be able to instruct you on the proper techniques of snowshoe use. They will probably even carry the thermos of hot cocoa for you!
On Day 1, after the DIA airport pick up, we’ll shuttle to Estes Park, gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ll try out our snowshoes on the mild Chasm Falls Trail for a stunning destination hike. (5 miles) After our fun in the snow we will retire to the cozy Silver Moon Inn for hot cocoa and a relaxing dinner.
On Day 2 we will head to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead for a trek to Mills Lake and beyond. The beauty of winter hikes in the area is that off trail routes forbidden in the summer are available to us. With the knowledge of our expert guides there are many options of loops we can choose. (~8 miles).
We’ll hike on Day 3 from the Bear Lake Trailhead, wrapping around Bear Lake and ascending towards treeline and the continental divide. Our destination is Lake Helene where we will likely encounter untracked snow and stunning vistas of the high peaks. (9 miles).
Day 4, our final day, we’ll choose a lower elevation lake to circumnavigate. After climbing over the Bierstadt Moraine you’ll encounter a pleasant forest walk before reaching the subalpine Bierstadt Lake where you’ll have stunning panoramic views of the mountains along the Continental Divide. The area is more sheltered and you are likely to see signs of deer, elk, rabbits, beaver and fox, if not the animals themselves. (5 miles). Following a late lunch in Estes Park, we’ll return to Denver for an early evening arrival.
|Day 1||Van shuttle from DIA to Estes Park - snowshoe lesson to Chasm Falls||5|
|Day 2||Glacier Gorge Trailhead - Mills Lake Loop||8|
|Day 3||Bear Lake Trailhead - Lake Helene||9|
|Day 4||Bierstadt Lake Trailhead - Loop around Bierstadt Lake, lunch in Estes Park, return to Denver||5|