Snowshoeing in Aspen & Snowmass

Hiking in the wintertime through evergreen forests draped in a fresh blanket of white, glittering snow is a terrific way to experience the natural beauty of Aspen. A snowshoeing adventure gives the opportunity to take a break from skiing in Aspen, while still getting the chance to explore Aspen hiking trails. Discover Aspen snowshoeing trails and guided snowshoe tours on Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Mountain.

In the Aspen area, there are a number of excellent snowshoe trails just outside of the downtown core, with some of the best trails in and around Independence Pass. With Independence Pass closed to vehicular traffic during the winter months, this scenic stretch of Highway 82 makes for an exceptional snowshoeing adventure. Aside from the impressive views of the Independence Pass area, quite possibly the best part about snowshoeing up the pass is the clear route along the roadway, so there is no need for maps or navigating through a dense pine forest. Another great Aspen area snowshoe trail is the Difficult Creek Trail. The Difficult Creek trail head is located just east of downtown Aspen along Highway 82. A moderately steep trail, Difficult Creek Trail is approximately 3.6 miles round trip, and winds around a small, open meadow, through thick pine forests, and past the gurgling Difficult Creek.

If you do not own snowshoes, a pair can be purchased or rented at local outdoor retail shops, such as Ute Mountaineer in Aspen.

For those new to hiking in Aspen and to snowshoeing, it is best to go on a guided snowshoe tour. Sun Dog Athletics, a local outdoor adventure and guide company, offers guided snowshoe trips in and around Aspen and Snowmass. Sun Dog Athletics offers three different types of snowshoe trips. Their recreational adventures are all about fun and enjoying the scenery around Aspen. The Sun Dog gourmet adventures are for snowshoeing enthusiasts who like to enjoy a grand meal in the great outdoors. The Sun Dog fitness adventures are geared towards snowshoers who are looking for some heart-pounding and fun exercise in the outdoors.

The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) offers daily guided snowshoe tours throughout the winter season. Ashcroft guided snowshoe tours are offered daily, and present a half-day excursion into the heart of the beautiful Castle Creek Valley. ACES naturalists impart their knowledge about local flora and fauna on the trek through pine forests and aspen groves, pointing out and identifying animal tracks and plant seeds. Explore the old mining town turned ghost town of Ashcroft, and learn about the history of what was once a thriving town. After the snowshoe tour, enjoy a gourmet lunch at Pine Creek Cookhouse. Ashcroft snowshoe tour groups meet at the King Cabin Nordic Center.

The two hour ACES naturalist guided snowshoe tour on Aspen Mountain is an educational experience, with ACES naturalists sharing their knowledge on mountain ecology, Aspen history, animal tracks and scat, local flora, and more. The views of surrounding peaks and valleys from the top of Aspen Mountain is incredible, and makes the hike along Aspen Mountain's Richmond Ridge truly worth braving the cold. Aspen Mountain snowshoe tours meet daily in front of the Sundeck restaurant. The tour includes a gondola foot pass, a hot beverage, and a snack.

Embark on a snowshoeing adventure through the snowy pristine and peaceful forests on Snowmass Mountain. ACES naturalists guide snowshoers through an exploration of the natural world by carefully observing animal tracks, plant seeds, and other signs of life in the winter landscape. ACES naturalist guided snowshoe tours on Snowmass Mountain are offered daily, and snowshoe tour groups meet at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola. The tour includes a gondola foot pass, a hot beverage, and a snack.

ACES also offers snowshoe tours by the light of the moon on Friday nights throughout the winter season. Explore the wilds of Snowmass Mountain beneath a blanket of twinkling stars. Learn about mountain ecology and how wildlife survive the harsh winter in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Nighttime snowshoe tour groups meet at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola on Fridays. After the one hour trek through the wilderness, enjoy a delicious dinner in the nearby toasty and cozy atmosphere of the Elk Camp restaurant.

Snowshoeing in Aspen and Snowmass grants the opportunity to trek through pristine wilderness, enjoy breathtaking views, get some sunshine, and spend time appreciating nature. From self-guided tours around Independence Pass to personalized guided tours from Sun Dog Athletics to educational naturalist guided tours with an ACES naturalist, there are great options for unique snowshoeing tours in Aspen. For more information about snowshoeing adventures in Aspen and Snowmass, contact the Aspen Square Condominium Hotel concierge at concierge@aspensquarehotel.com.