Snowshoe Rocky Mountain National Park
(Good For: outdoors, affordable winter activity, active outing in the Rockies)
One of the perks to living in Colorado, is the plethora of outdoor activities available year-round. Even if you do not ski or snowboard, there are still plenty of things to do outdoors – snowshoeing being just one of them.
Instead of confining yourself to the boundaries of your home this winter, make the most of your weekend and snowshoe Rocky Mountain National Park (RMN).
Make the Most of RMN This Winter
The winter months present an entirely different experience to the Rocky outdoors. Whether you are a first-timer, or an experienced vet, everyone should venture out and take advantage of the colors, sounds and scenery of winter in Colorado. Snowshoeing to Emerald Lake in RMN is one of the best ways to do so.
What Makes Snowshoeing RMN a Unique Experience?
Snowshoeing to Emerald Lake is a true Colorado experience. Photography options are abundant as the whites, blues, and greens of the snow-capped peaks are scattered throughout the trail. Somewhere in the distance a woodpecker can be heard tapping away at the pines as a light breeze blows through the park on a bluebird day. Sounds pretty rad right? - we got a little carried away there with that description.
So where to start say you?
How to Snowshoe Rocky Mountain National Park – Emerald Lake
First, you are going to need to rent a pair of snowshoes (assuming you do not have a set of your own). We rented our shoes from Estes Park Mountain Shop – a quick detour from your journey to RMN. Mountain Shop opens at 8:00am and rentals cost about $6 per person. Once you have your shoes, continue to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Upon entering the park, you will continue driving until you reach Bear Lake Lots (you can ask the ranger for directions). Park here, drain your bladder, and begin the hike at Bear Lake Trailhead.
- You will reach Nymph lake first at 0.5 miles.
- Dream Lake is 0.6 further.
- Emerald Lake is another 0.7 miles from Dream lake.
All in all, this is an easy-moderate trail to snowshoe in Rocky Mountain National Park. It will take you about 2-3 hours to complete and is a great trail to snowshoe without killing yourself in the process.
Tips, Info & Resources - What You Need to Know
Price: Make sure to have $25 handy at entry. Credit card is fine.
Important Info: Get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds - the lot will be full by 10:30am. If possible, visit during the week and avoid the weekend crowds altogether.
Tip: If you want seclusion, this may not be your best option as it is quite popular on the weekends; however, the views are amazing and it is less difficult than others - hence the popularity. If that is what you are looking for, than this trail is perfect.
Resources: One of my favorite resources is Denver Day Hikes. Their website can be found here. They provide you with information regarding this trail, and other trails in the area. For even more available snowshoe trails, you can visit the RMN Site here.
Live it up Colorado
If you are looking for something to do this weekend but do not want to spend a fortune skiing, consider heading to Rocky Mountain National Park and snowshoeing to Emerald Lake. It is the perfect outdoor activity during the winter months in Colorado.
Just think, you could be laying at home, or you can snowshoe RMN and submerse yourself in the Rocky outdoors.
You are going to need to drop your snowshoes off at Mountain Shop after your hike is complete. Just up the street is a bad ass local distillery: Elkins Whiskey Distilling Co. A flight of whiskey to warm the bones is the perfect capper to a solid day - you deserve it.