Serenity Now

The 4 Best Snowshoe Trails to Wander This Winter

Strap in and set out with a map in hand or on a guided experience.

By Allison Pattillo February 16, 2017 Published in the Midwinter/Spring 2017 issue of Aspen Sojourner

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The beauty of snowshoeing comes partly from its simplicity—just strap in and go. The other part comes from the ability to tread lightly through the snow and experience the serenity of the woods in winter. Rent snowshoes at the Ute Mountaineer in Aspen, the Aspen Recreation Center, or Bristlecone Mountain Sports in Basalt. Then set out on one of our favorite trails (with a map in hand, please) or guided experiences. 

Richmond Ridge

Erik Skarvan of Sun Dog Athletics touts this ridgeline extending south from Aspen Mountain’s summit for its spectacular views, rolling terrain, and light powder. Ride the gondola (a foot pass is $32) and explore on your own or book a custom tour through Skarvan.

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Gear Pick: The suspension system in Atlas’s Treeline snowshoe ($240) enables a natural stride on rolling terrain; a heel lifter and rear cleats provide comfort and grip on steeper hills.

Government Trail

This ski area to ski area route feels miles away from civilization and is a favorite of Madeline Fones of Aspen Alpine Guides (AAG). DIY it from Snowmass with a gondola ride ($32) and car shuttle or go with AAG and let someone else handle the logistics (from $295 for two people).

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies Tours

Deepen your appreciation of the wild world on these naturalist-guided tours, offered twice daily atop Snowmass and Aspen mountains, and daily at Ashcroft. The latter includes lunch at the Pine Creek Cookhouse, a perfect balance of outdoor activity and indulgence.

Difficult Creek Trail

Don’t let the name scare you—multiple switchbacks make the climb easier. Your sweat equity will be rewarded with deep snow and plenty of peace and quiet (e.g., no cell service). Start from Difficult Campground, 5 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82.


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