Winter brings deep snows to Rocky Mountain National Park west of the Continental Divide, so you’ll find great snowmobiling and cross country skiing near Grand Lake. But the lighter snowfall on the east (Estes Park) side of the park often leaves low elevation trails open for hiking. Trails below 8,700 feet (2,700 m) make great winter hikes, sometimes without the aid of skis or snow shoes.
One of the questions visitors often ask is "What is there to do in Estes Park in the winter?" I love this question! Honestly, if you dress appropriately (which almost always means dressing in LAYERS), you can enjoy just about all the activities you would during the other seasons.
Hey, did you know that April 16th-24th is National Park Week? "What's that?" you say - well it's a week when all of our great nation's 394 natural playgrounds throw open their gates for FREE! So bring your family, bring your friends, tell your book club, "SPRING IS HERE and let's get outside to play!"
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!
With the fall colors in full swing and this Indian summer hanging on, I decided a day on the trails was just what I needed! With the company of a good friend, I picked a few classic destinations on a loop that would take us through some of the parks most spectacular terrain. We arrived at the Bear Lake parking lot at about 8:00am with a blue sky overhead and cool, crisp air greeting us as we walked toward the lake.