Wintertime in the Colorado Rockies can be long and miserable. Because of our endless winter, Coloradoans have long been known for their ability to play in the snow. We love our skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. But not all Coloradoans are created equal. I don’t ski or snowboard. Sacrilege!! I know, I know! I don’t snowmobile, either.
So how does one survive the Colorado winters without strapping boards to the bottoms of their feet and heading downhill at high rates of speed? They strap snowshoes on, that’s how. I love snowshoeing. It’s quiet. The equipment is minimal and inexpensive. There are no lift lines or expensive tickets to buy. You can create your own trail if you want to. It’s great exercise and virtually anyone can do it. You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy.
Our favorite trail takes us up to Marvine Campground which is located in the White River National Forest on the edge of the Flat Tops Wilderness in northwest Colorado. It’s a 45 minute drive from our home in Meeker. You park your vehicle at the trailhead, strap on your snowshoes and head on down the groomed portion of the county road that is not maintained during the winter. Easy peasy!
It’s a beautiful hike ~ about a 5 mile round trip through amazing country. The hike is a gradual uphill climb to the campground. Along the way you might see rabbits, deer, elk and if you’re really lucky, a moose or two. Very rarely do we run into other skiers or snowshoers. If we do, they are friends we know from town as we live in an isolated area and know everyone who plays in these parts.
The reward for your efforts is the way cool yurt at the end of the trail ~ Roy Wedding, his friends, and the White River Nordic Council set the yurt up every year. It’s a great place to snowshoe or ski into. Inside, there is a wood burning stove, chopped wood, propane gas burners, pots, chairs and tables. My family has enjoyed numerous excursions to the yurt ~ we have played cards, had lunches and have just plain hung out. Every now a then, the Nordic Council offers a moonlight ski/snowshoe to the yurt ~ we will have to make a point to enjoy that adventure next!