With all the snow that the Rocky Mountains have been getting this winter, a great idea for an outing with the kids is to take them snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park. Here are 7 great tips to get ready:
1) Make sure you have all the necessary clothing and equipment - hats, mittens, snowsuits and protective gear for the eyes (sunglasses or goggles), as well as waterproof hiking shoes or winter boots.
2) Prepare snacks and water so the kids can have nothing to complain about.
3) If you're renting snowshoes, go to Kirk's Mountain Shop or The Warming House in Estes Park. Be sure to have winter boots that are not too big for the snowshoes (some Sorel boots and other nice, big winter boots don't fit into the snowshoes).
4) Click on this link for a great list of winter hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. The easy hikes are all ones that kids can do. The list shows you what area of the park the hike is in and its difficulty level.
5) Check the weather report for RMNP and plan on going on a nice, sunny day. Pay attention to the level of wind, as well. If you're going on a day when there is lots of wind, be sure to pick a hike that's protected from the wind. For example, this past weekend my family picked the hike "The Pool in Winter" which begins at the Fern Lake Trailhead. It's nicely protected from the wind and quite easy for the kids.
6) If your kids are too small, bring along a sled and pull them behind you.
7) Bring a camera to take pictures of the gorgeous scenery and wildlife that you're sure to see.
Now that you're prepared for a great snowshoeing trip with the kids go have fun!!
For a restaurant with both great food and great music at the same time, head to The Rock Inn Mountain Tavern which also offers a fun atmosphere. It was built in 1937 as a dance hall for the Big Band Era and it continues to be a lively place hosting Open Bluegrass Jam sessions every Thursday, and most Fridays through Sundays local musicians are playing acoustic music.
After a fun winter days' outing in Rocky Mountain National Park, you can stop by for a drink or a meal and warm up by their two wood-burning stoves. They specialize in hand-made, hearty comfort food and feature Certified Angus Beef, All-Natural Colorado chicken, fresh salads, whole grains, organic teas and coffees, local beers, sustainably produced wines, and a full bar.
They don't accept reservations, but you can call ahead on your way to the restaurant and be put on the waiting list at (970) 586-4116. They are located out Highway 66 just past the turnoff to the Beaver Meadows entrance to the Park at 1675 Highway 66.