January 30, 2024 3 min read

Colorado winters are famous for a reason. From world-renowned ski resorts to quiet hiking trails in your local park, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the state’s gorgeous snowy meadows and mountainsides.

While many Colorado locals and visitors get their wintry fix through skiing, that’s not the only way to enjoy the season. Snowshoeing is a popular and accessible winter activity that anyone can try. If you can hike, you can snowshoe—you just need a few tips to help you get started. Explore the winter wonderland of Colorado’s parks and preserves with our quick guide to Colorado snowshoeing.

Start With the Right Gear

From wearing the right layers so you can brave the Rocky Mountain cold to knowing your way around proper snowshoe sizing, learning about snowshoe gear is essential. Snowshoes are your first priority.

Choosing the right snowshoe size depends on your weight and the snow conditions. For instance, softer or deeper snow requires a larger shoe. Keep in mind, though, that many snowshoers—especially beginners—are going to be on well-established trails with plenty of dense, packed snow. Additionally, don’t forget to factor in the weight of your gear along with your own weight. Here is a general breakdown of snowshoe sizes and their recommended weight:

  • 20- to 22-inch snowshoes for 100 to 150 pounds
  • 25- to 26-inch snowshoes for 140 to 200 pounds
  • 30-inch snowshoes for 200 to 230 pounds
  • 35- to 36-inch snowshoes for 230 pounds or more

In addition to finding the right snowshoes, it’s also important to dress in warm and comfortable layers, including a moisture-wicking base layer and a wind- and water-resistant outer layer. You also need sunscreen and sunglasses or goggles to protect yourself from the bright winter sunshine. Finally, bring along any typical hiking gear you would want, including snacks and water, a first-aid kit, and trekking poles to help you make your way through the winding, snow-covered trails.

Follow Proper Trail Etiquette

As with any outdoor activity that puts you on public trails, it’s crucial to follow proper trail etiquette. Always respect other snowshoers and anyone else who’s out on the trail with you. Don’t disturb the peace by shouting or playing music out loud. Leave room for others and be kind to people you come across. Pay attention to cross-country skiers, too, as they often use the same trails as snowshoers. Watch out for ski tracks and do your best to avoid them so you don’t mess up their trails.

Respect the Environment

No guide to Colorado snowshoeing would be complete without a reminder to respect the environments you pass through. As with any park, preserve, or other wilderness area, it’s crucial to take care of the trails you venture through. Follow the leave no trace rule and clean up after yourself, avoid littering or leaving food behind, and take care not to disturb the natural environment around you. Keep a respectful and safe distance from all wildlife. Finally, always stick to the trails and don’t wander off, as walking too far off the path can damage the terrain and harm the environment surrounding the trail.

Get ready for your winter adventures at YoColorado, your favorite Colorado clothing store. Stay cozy out on the trail with sweatshirts, jackets, beanies, and so much more when you shop with us today.

Brad Miller
Brad Miller

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