Things To Do: Snowshoeing

February 27, 2018

You Will Never Run Out of Things to Do. 

Try as you might, it is almost impossible to tackle all the activities the Vail Valley has to offer in just one trip. We suggest studying up on all the fun experiences available and choosing a few to enjoy during each visit.

To help you decide, our Things to Do series will cover everything from local favorites to “touristy” treasures. If we’re being honest, those “touristy” activities are so much fun that the locals love them too!

This week, we are going to give you the rundown on snowshoeing. There is something special about slowly hiking through a snow field or huffing up a ski hill that helps you connect with nature. We even have brand-new Atlas snowshoes you can check out from the Gear Garage here at The Inn at Riverwalk.

Snowshoeing

We know, we know. You might be thinking that Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains are famous for their amazing downhill skiing. While this is true, there is so much more to enjoy in the way of on-mountain activities.

Snowshoeing is a popular way to slow down and enjoy the scenery while getting a great workout. Snowshoers are welcome on all ski trails and they can explore areas downhill skiers and snowboarders cannot. Beaver Creek Mountain boasts McCoy Park, a Nordic center exclusively open to snowshoers and cross-country skiers.

Our Favorite Snowshoe Spots

Arrowhead Mountain

This quiet portion of Beaver Creek Mountain contains tons of trails for every level snowshoer. Whether you want to do a quick walk with the kids or really work up a sweat through the trees, Arrowhead has it all.

  • Little Brave is a winding mixed-use trail open to skiers, snowshoers, and hikers. It starts at the bottom of Chair 17 Arrow Bahn Express, meanders up the hill, and ends at the top of the lift. You’ll gain about 1700 feet in elevation. We like this trail because rather than following the lift the whole time, you will wind up the side of the hill and have some opportunities to traipse through the trees.

Tip: Any time you are on a mixed-use trail, stick to one side to prevent collisions with downhill skiers. This gives anyone going faster than you plenty of room to maneuver away from your path.

You made it! …now do you have to walk all the way back down?

No way! You can *download for free, without a ski pass, on any lift on both Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains. We recommend limiting your planned downloading to lifts servicing green and blue trails and avoiding windy conditions. It’s up to the lift operators to decide if the conditions are safe for you to hitch a ride down the mountain. You can call the Trails Hotline to make sure downloading is allowed on a given day. (970) 754-5907

*Downloading means riding a ski lift from the top of the mountain to the bottom. This is especially helpful for hikers and snowshoers who make the trek to the top and want to take the easy way down. It can also be used if you take a wrong turn, end up at the top of a ski hill completely above your skill set and think it would be safer to ride down rather than ski.

Tip: The Inn at Riverwalk offers a ski shuttle included with your resort fee. It departs the hotel at 8am and 9am daily, picks you up at the mountain at 3:30pm and 4:30pm. Be sure to sign up in advance to secure a spot! Drop off/pick up points are Arrowhead Village and Beaver Creek Landing.

McCoy Park and Beaver Creek Nordic Center

What can be better than snowshoeing in McCoy Park? Pristine wilderness, space to enjoy the great outdoors (32 km of trails to be exact), in a park just for snowshoers and cross country skiiers. We can’t think of anywhere better to be on a sunny winter day.

Tours ranging from leisurely strolls to fitness snowshoeing are offered daily. Some visitors find it invaluable to have a knowledgeable guide to show them the ropes of snowshoeing and share area information. If you prefer to venture into the trail system yourself, we encourage you to do so. Just make sure to get a map when you buy your lift pass at the Beaver Creek Nordic Center, located in the Strawberry Park building in Beaver Creek Village.

1 Day Lift Pass: $42 per adult/$29 per child

Access: Ride up Chair 12 Strawberry Park Express once you pick up your ticket. At the top, look straight towards the almost treeless fields and walk towards them. That is McCoy Park!

Tip: Stop at the Candy Cabin at the top of Chair 12 and get something sweet for your trek.

There are hundreds of miles of amazing trails in the Vail Valley, just waiting for you to pop on a pair of snowshoes and get trekking. We started you off with a few ideas and we challenge you to get outside, breathe in the fresh air and explore!

Do you have something you want to share or add to our blog? Call or email The Inn at Riverwalk any time! (970) 926-0606 x251 / social@theinnatriverwalk.com

 

 

 

 

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