Map of Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Immerse yourself in the winter stillness of the Rocky Mountains

Strap on snowshoes and join your expert guide for a small group hiking tour with a difference in the Rocky Mountains. On this four-day adventure, you’ll immerse yourself in the beauty of unspoiled wilderness and traverse gentle terrain beneath the high peaks near the Continental Divide, walking alongside frozen lakes and explore mountain meadows where elk, lynx and even rare wolverines may be seen. At this time of year, there are fewer tourists and local wildlife is more active, making this the perfect holiday for animal lovers. Absorb the magic of the winter stillness and solitude of the National Park by day, and enjoy cosy lodging and tasty meals with your group each evening.


Start
Estes Park, United States
Finish
Estes Park, United States
Destinations
Style
Original
Theme
Walking & Trekking, Winter Active
Code
SKXWR
Physical rating
Ages
Min 12
Group size
Min 2, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Experience the beauty of winter in the Rocky Mountains when the landscape is draped in a blanket of snow and the silence of this famous national park wraps you in its peaceful embrace.

  • During winter, there are less tourists in the Rocky Mountains and local wildlife is more active, making this the perfect holiday for animal lovers.

  • Keep your eyes open along the trail for the chance to spot elk, moose, deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, bears, coyotes, cougars, lynx, wolverines and more.

  • Snowshoe past Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascades, which will be frozen into crystalline ice flows and sparkling like jewels among the spruce trees and drifts of snow.

  • Tuck into freshly prepared, delicious meals prepared by your multi-talented leader who is also a Rocky Mountains expert and certified Colorado snowshoeing guide.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’. 

  • Rocky Mountain National Park is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. On winter trips, snow is a possibility so you must be fully prepared and follow the recommended clothing list closely.

  • Winter weather can be unpredictable in Rocky Mountain National Park so we may need to make itinerary changes to keep the group safe and well at all times. If this occurs, we will do our best to find comparable activities and experiences.

  • There are times when unseasonable weather conditions turn snowshoeing into a hike - we highly recommend bringing good hiking boots in case of this eventuality.

Itinerary

Meet your guide and group in Estes Park, Colorado at 8.30am and start your adventure with a trek into the valley of the Big Thompson River in Moraine Park, an easy walk that begins at a relatively low altitude. You’ll see waterfalls, large boulders left behind as the ice receded and mountain lakes carved into granite bowls. The valley is also well-known for abundant wildlife so keep a lookout for animals. See the Windy Gulch Cascades high above the canyon floor, and pass through Arch Rocks, massive boulders left along the path by ancient rivers and ice. After lunch at the pool, you’ll circle south toward Cub Lake where you’ll see water framed by the mountains of Glacier Gorge. From here, it’s a short trek back to the trailhead and on to your lodge for dinner and a relaxing evening.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Big Thompson River Valley Hike
  • Snowshoes, trekking poles & daypack
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Colorado snowshoeing guide
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 20 minutes and the hiking distance is approximately 8.5 kilometres (6 miles) with 300 metres (900 feet) of elevation gain and loss.
After breakfast, you’ll travel into the high country near the Continental Divide and gear up for the Bear Lake trailhead and Bear Lake Trail. After circling around the lake’s eastern edge, you’ll gain altitude and begin your traverse through a beautiful subalpine forest. Take in the scenery as you descend through the forest, past alpine lakes and into the rich high meadow of Hollowell Park. You’ll have plenty of time to take in the spectacular views of the high peaks and enjoy lunch. After a meal and a rest, you’ll descend from the ridge into Hollowell Park where wildlife sightings are common. After a full day at altitude, it’s back to Estes for a hot meal and a relaxing evening at the lodge.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bear Lake Trail Snowshoeing/Hiking
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 30 minutes and the hiking distance is approximately 9 kilometres (5.7 miles) with 315 metres (940 feet) of elevation gain and loss.
After breakfast, you’ll take the shuttle to the quiet, lush environs of Wild Basin, a less-travelled region of the park, with a stop to look at the old Enos Mills homesite and dramatic east face of Longs Peak along the way. Snowshoe along the snowy creek-side access road to the Wild Basin trailhead and follow the creek past Copeland Falls and Calypso Cascades, which will be frozen into crystalline ice flows and sparkling like jewels among the spruce trees and drifts of snow. After a rest, the trail steepens as the distant mountains come into view. Take in the frozen sculpture that is Ouzel Falls as you enjoy lunch and views of the Continental Divide to the west. Following lunch, make your way back down trail to the shuttle which returns to the lodge via the Tahosa Valley where a hot shower and delicious dinner awaits.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wild Basin Snowshoeing/Hiking
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 1 hour and the hiking distance is approximately 11.5 kilometres (7.2 miles) with 265 metres (870 feet) of elevation gain and loss.
After breakfast, enjoy a final trek into the canyon of Fall River and stretch your legs with a beautiful snowshoe to Chasm Falls. Take in the view as you enjoy an early lunch at the falls which will be encased in ice as water rushes through a narrow granite slot in the gorge. Gaze up at the high massif of Trail Ridge which looms overhead as you make your way up the trail, enjoying the view along the way. After spending time taking in the beauty of this special place, you’ll return to the shuttle and back to Estes where your Rocky Mountains adventure will come to an end around 5pm.
Included Activities
  • Fall River/Chasm Falls Snowshoeing/Hiking
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 30 minutes and the hiking distance is approximately 9 kilometres (5.7 miles) with 130 metres (400 feet) of elevation gain and loss.

Meals

3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Lodge (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Big Thompson River Valley Hike
  • Snowshoes, trekking poles & daypack
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Colorado snowshoeing guide
  • Bear Lake Trail Snowshoeing/Hiking
  • Wild Basin Snowshoeing/Hiking
  • Fall River/Chasm Falls Snowshoeing/Hiking

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. A completed registration form is required to join these trips. You will not be confirmed for the trip until your form has been received and reviewed. We may ask for a medical release signed by your physician for medical conditions or circumstances which could possibly compromise your safety or the safety of others on this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
2. Travellers on this particular trip are not required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
3. A signed disclaimer (Acknowledgement of Risks Form) is required at the time of booking for this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
4. To help ensure this trip is right for you, this trip is subject to additional ‘Essential Eligibility Requirements’ – see the ‘Itinerary Disclaimer’ section of the Essential Trip Information for further details.
5.This trip is operated and run by Wildland Trekking, an Intrepid company. You will be travelling with a mixture of both Wildland Trekking customers and Intrepid customers.
6. Please note, pre-trip orientation meeting will take place at 5:00 PM day before trip starts via conference call. Your Tour Leader will contact you approximately 2 weeks before your trip to share necessary details.
7. You will meet your guide and group in Estes Park, Colorado at 8:30 AM the first day of the trip. We recommend you book a pre tour night in the town. On the last day of your trip, we will drop you off in Estes Park, no later than 5pm.
8. A single supplement is available. The single supplement applies to all nights of the trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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