4 Challenging Snowshoeing Trails in RMNP

11/27/2021 | by Lyles Armour | Local Activities Outdoor Activities

ouzel falls hike Challenging Snowshoeing Trails in RMNP

Do you love outdoor adventures? Even during the winter months, there’s plenty to do in and around Estes Park. Get ready for snow-filled fun during your getaway. Explore these challenging snowshoeing trails in RMNP (Rocky Mountain National Park) this winter.

Sky Pond Trail

This trail is 8.4 miles, out and back, with an elevation gain of 1,683 ft. A bit strenuous, this trail offers trekkers some of the best views in Rocky Mountain National Park. It starts from the Glacier Gorge trailhead and takes daring snowshoers through a picturesque landscape. Bring your camera for pictures of everything from waterfalls to alpine lakes, glaciers, and views of Taylor Powell Peaks in the distance. The scenic vistas alone make it worth the difficult snowshoe trail.

Black Lake Trail

The 9.6-mile roundtrip hike to Black Lake begins at Glacier Gorge Trailhead. The beginning of the trail will follow the same path that you do to head to Sky Pond. Once you get to the trail split, you’ll head right to continue onto Black Lake. The mountain ascent to Black Lake offers fantastic scenic views. Hikers pass several alpine lakes and waterfalls as they make their way up the mountain. During the winter, seeing the alpine lakes glazed over with a layer of ice and snow is a breathtaking sight.

Chasm Lake Trail

The 8.8-mile Chasm Lake trail is a must for every winter adventurer. Start at the trailhead at Longs Peak Ranger Station. Make your way through 2 miles of steadily elevating forests. The tree line starts to get less dense as you get closer to Chasm Junction. Bring your camera and snap extraordinary pictures of Peacock Pool, a frozen lake viewable from the trail at Chasm Junction. After the junction, you’ll reach Chasm Crossing. While relatively small, this portion is susceptible to avalanches, so it’s best to check conditions beforehand. After the crossing, the land levels out until you reach the sign for Chasm Lake. Continue you on and finish at a pristine alpine lake that sits right below the “Diamond” on Longs Peak.

Ouzel Lake Trail

Many snowshoers love taking the trail to Ouzel Lake during the winter months. There’s plenty of beautiful winter scenery to take in along the way, including three water features. It’s a must-see for nature lovers. Start at the Wild Basin Trailhead and make your way on the narrow path. After a short time, you encounter your first waterfall, Copeland Falls. Continue on the trail, and after a mile, you’ll reach the frozen rocky channel of Calypso Cascades. From a rustic wooden bridge, watch the icy formations glitter in the sunlight. Continue to Ouzel Falls, which is arguably the most impressive along the trail. On warmer days, you can see the water rushing underneath the icy top layer. About two more miles further on, peaceful Ouzel Lake awaits. Lush evergreens and gorgeous mountain views surround the alpine lake.

Tips for Snowshoeing in RMNP

Before you decide to take on one of these awesome and challenging snowshoeing trails in RMNP, be sure to do your due diligence and prepare appropriately. Winter is prone to snowstorms and settling snow. That means there is always a chance of an avalanche as you head into the steep mountains. Check the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and weather forecast.

Start early to make the most of daylight and ensure you don’t end up in the dark on your way out. Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunglasses, and dress in warm layers making sure you’re covering your extremities. Ice picks, microspikes, poles, and snowshoes are all a must when trekking through the snow-covered mountain terrain.

Stay at Rocky Mountain Resorts

image of fawn valley inn room

After your day of adventure at these challenging snowshoeing trails in RMNP, come back to your cabin at Rocky Mountain Resorts. Our property has a wide variety of accommodations to choose from, perfect for a solo traveler or group getaway. With lodging options conveniently located to RMNP and Estes Park, you can stay in the best location for your mountain retreat!

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