Hike of the Week: Planning a snowshoeing trip? Check out Walking Mountains guided hikes through Vail backcountry | VailDaily.com

Hike of the Week: Planning a snowshoeing trip? Check out Walking Mountains guided hikes through Vail backcountry

Nathan Boyer-Rechlin
Hike of the Week
Walking Mountains guided snowshoe tours run from December to March.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

Walking Mountains Science Center is excited to kick off another season of backcountry snowshoeing in the White River National Forest. Perfect for those seeking a tranquil winter experience far from the ski slopes, these hikes offer an excellent introduction to winter backcountry exploration.

This season, Walking Mountains is offering four distinct backcountry experiences — half day hikes to some of the most beautiful winter destinations and viewpoints in our valley, snow science exploration hikes, wildlife tracking snowshoe excursions and full moon hikes. Whether you are up for a half-day of hiking to some of the best vistas in the Vail area or prefer to enjoy a slower-paced backcountry experience exploring the secrets of Colorado’s wildlife and snowpack, Walking Mountains hopes everyone leaves with special experiences. Learn more and sign up at walkingmountains.org/programs/guided-backcountry-snowshoe-hikes.

Here’s the schedule for this winter season:

Snow Science Explorations

Every other Thursday, January through March, $35, snowshoes included

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On this program, join a Walking Mountains naturalist guide for a 2-mile backcountry snowshoe hike on scenic trails in the White River National forest. Dive deep into the science of the climate, weather and snow that shape our landscapes and communities. Learn which critters live under the snowpack, why Colorado’s snow is the gold standard for skiers, and dig (literally) into the science of avalanches—all amidst the backdrop of winter vistas and mountain views.

Tracks, Signs & Snowshoes

Every other Thursday, January through March, $35, snowshoes included

Did you know that humans aren’t the only mammals that utilize snowshoes to navigate a winter landscape? Learn to identify the snowshoe-like tracks of Colorado’s iconic snowshoe hare, its stealthy predator the lynx and other winter wildlife. This backcountry snowshoe hike will focus on interpreting the tracks and signs of wildlife along the trail. Hikes take place on rolling trails in the White River National Forest, but be prepared to leave the beaten path and follow the footprints of Colorado’s predators as the opportunity arises.

Half Day Snowshoe Hikes

Tuesdays and some Thursdays, December through March, $35, snowshoes included

Walking Mountains’ half-day hikes are the perfect introduction to winter backcountry exploration and feature some of our favorite winter trails. They will take you the furthest of all the winter snowshoe explorations. Enjoy hiking through the quiet winter forests to viewpoints with vistas of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Your guide will be sure to take advantage of rest breaks to share some of the secrets of Colorado’s winter landscape and ecology.

Full Moon Hikes

January 10, February 9, March 8

This is the perfect date night. Attendees will enjoy drinks and moonlight by the warmth of a fire at Walking Mountains Science Center’s campus in Avon before embarking on a guided snowshoe hike up Buck Creek. Your guide will keep you comfortable with hot drinks on the trail, while sharing stories of the night sky. Stay tuned for more details on this new program.

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