Just because you don’t ski doesn’t mean you can’t have a little bit of fun in the powder. Yes, it’s cold. Yes, sometimes goggles, hand warmers, and down are needed. But, that’s the thing about winter. You have to get out and experience it to appreciate it. You have to get out to get through it. And why not?- There is a lot of fun to be had in winter, especially in Telluride.
If you’ve never tried snowshoeing, you should consider. It’s kind of like hiking in the snow. Only, you wear snowshoes, use poles, and other winter gear. They don’t look like tennis rackets anymore. They are engineered for ease and mobility, with cutting edge materials and make experiencing remote areas possible. It’s simple: The snowshoes keep you from sinking down into all of that snow. Telluride has some incredible snowshoe spots, and tourists, as well as locals, enjoy experiencing some of the majestic terrains in the thick of winter.
Snowshoes can be rented and also purchased at various locations in Telluride, including Telluride Sports, Jagged Edge, and also Boot Doctors. Rental fees are usually way cheaper than renting skis, but if you are a second-time homeowner or think you might actually get some use out of them, buying your own is beneficial. The same is true for poles; they can be rented or purchased along with snowshoes. Trained specialists at the outdoor sporting companies can assist with sizing.
Finding snowshoe paths is easy in a place like Telluride. The Bear Creek Trail is a popular one, not too steep and offers sweeping views of the canyon as well as some impressive peaks. Watch out for skiers though, as you can’t always see them coming around those turns. The Valley Floor is a perfect place for Telluride snowshoeing. Parking is available just off the road. You can enter the Valley Floor through openings in the fence. Here, you’re bound to see the elk and maybe a coyote. Stay off the groomed track though. That’s for the skate skiers and Nordic skiers. You can easily walk around their trail and experience the frozen river, views of Ajax, and walk all the way over to the base of the mountain.
For “extreme” snowshoeing, try driving up to Lizard Head Pass. In just thirty minutes or less, depending on conditions, you can experience some of the highest elevations around. Parking is easily accessed off of Highway 145, and some trails exist here also. Again, it’s best to leave the skiers’ trails alone, but you can follow theirs around to snowshoe through incredible pines, over hills, and enjoy views of Lizard Head and Sheep Mountain.
For all snowshoeing experiences, stay hydrated. The heart gets a workout walking through all that snow, and oxygen levels are decreased at elevation. Hydration packs are recommended and can be worn like a backpack for convenience and freedom of hands. Don’t forget a camera. Photo opportunities abound in the Telluride area. Snacks are also suggested, depending on how long you plan to be out. Energy bars and trail mix are available at Clark’s Market and Village Market in Telluride. While you’re there, pick up some hot cocoa. You just might want to sip a cup by the fire after your great snowshoeing adventures in Telluride. Happy Trails!
For a map of Mountain Village snowshoeing trails, click here.