Winter is a great time to get outside with kiddos and enjoy the snow, learn something new and explore Rocky Mountain National Park! Our friend, Sarin from the Rocky Mountain Conservancy gives us her Top 5 Tips for Snowshoeing with Kids to ensure a quality experience and foster a true love for the sport:
I work for the Rocky Mountain Nature Association and am always on snowshoes giving our family friendly Winter Ecology Snowshoe Trek or guiding activities during our Friday Kids Camp. To help snowshoers of all skill levels, I have come up with my top 5 tips for snowshoeing with kids so everyone can have a blast in this winter wonderland of Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park!
1. Explore - Winter is a whole different world. A blanket of snow allows mice to hide underneath, requires foxes to dive for their prey, provides cover for hibernating animals and camouflages snowshoe hares. So, get out there and explore to see what you find!
2. Keep it Short and Flat - With all this exploring and huge snowshoe's strapped to your feet; your adventure should not be very long in distance and the trail should be fairly flat. In the winter you don't have to go far to be off the beaten path.
3. Take Lots of Breaks - Snowshoeing uses twice as many calories as hiking so you're going to get tired faster. Breaks are a great time to drink water, eat snacks, and add or subtract layers. It is always more fun if you're full and warm!
4. Where to go? - There are many great snowshoeing hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park. Some of the flatter beginner areas near the Alluvial Fan, Sprague Lake, Bear Lake, Hidden Valley, Trail Ridge Road, and Wild Basin. If you're looking for an intermediate trail with some elevation gain then Alberta Falls or up to Nymph Lake from Bear Lake are two great options.
5. Have Fun!!! - Remember, you're out there to have fun so maybe you want to stop and use your snowshoes to build a snow cave to see what it would be like if you were a hibernating bear or had to spend a night outside in the winter.
With these tips you're ready to get some snowshoes and head out for a fun filled family day! Unless, you want to go with me and some other families on one of our Winter Ecology Snowshoe Trek's to brush up on your winter ecology and practice snowshoeing. For more information on any of these programs give us a call at 970-586-3262 or check out our website at www.rmconservancy.org and click on the seminars tab.
I hope to see you all out there this winter exploring and having fun in our winter wonderland!