Most of you know the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park are beautiful in the summer and fall, but how many of you have experienced the enveloping peace of our favorite mountain trails when they are blanketed in snow? I often tell my children that I feel like the richest woman in the world when I'm standing in fresh snow with the sun shining - it's like I'm standing on millions of diamonds! It's moments like this - breathing the crisp air, experiencing the world in such a pure way that I feel most alive.
For the past 16 years, Estes Park has hosted the annual Winter Trails Day. This year, Winter Trails Day is on January 15 from 11 am to 3 pm. With sponsors like REI and the National Winter Trails Organization, participants will have the opportunity to learn all the ins and outs of snowshoeing. They'll have free snowshoe demonstrations, guided hikes and snow acitivites, outdoor gear displays, free giveaways, and once they feel sure footed they can head into Rocky Mountain National Park to explore the magnificent winter beauty!
Winter Trails Day also coincides with the Winter Festival in Estes Park(Jan. 14-17), an event-packed weekend that celebrates everything winter in Estes Park. From wine tastings and chili cook-offs to an interactive ice castle and carriage rides, there is something for every age. So if you want make the most of the long weekend (Martin Luther King weekend), consider staying in Estes Park - head outside, enjoy the festivities, and unwind! Visit www.Estes-Park.com to find out about our winter specials and snowshoe packages.
Today's Guest Blogger is Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood Guiding.
Here in Rocky Mountain National Park, December is the Big Horn Sheep's mating season. Bog Horns spend most of the year in small bands of females and lambs, with the males in seperate bands of mixed ages. Most of the time females just want to eat grass (generally on a southern facing slope). But for as little as 48 hours a year, the ladies are in estrus and looking for the right guy. During these extremely brief mating periods, females attract males through scent and may attract more than a handful of suitors. Females select males on a basis of body size, horn size, and fitness. They attract a few males and then run, much like a scene from a schoolyard where the boys chase the girls. During the pursuit, the lead male will often turn on the males behind him and clash. The sounds of the two rams crashing their heads together can be heard from over a mile away. In the end, the female selects a male to mate with and will very likely not interact with him again. So be sure to scan the rocky southern facing cliffs around Estes Park during the first two weeks of December. For Big Horn Sheep, love really is on the rocks.