Winter Activities: Guided Hikes
Southwest Colorado Winter Ecology Series, 2013-2014
Mesa Verde National Park, San Juan Mountains Association, and the San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society have teamed up to offer a series of winter hikes during the 2013-2014 winter season. Come enjoy the outdoors during this special time of year while exploring the local winter ecology. See below for hike descriptions, dates, and times. (Hikes may be rescheduled due to inclement weather.) If you have questions or want to sign up for a hike, use the information below to contact the appropriate organization.
Snowshoes and poles will be available during each hike for those who need them.
Surviving the Snow Season - The Trees of Winter at La Plata Canyon
Join the San Juan Mountains Association and learn how different trees survive the winter and discover what animals depend on these trees for their own survival.
Park biologists and interpretive rangers will lead a hike to explore the amazing ways that animals and plants survive in the cold winter environment of Mesa Verde National Park. The hike will tour the winter habitats of plants and animals in the Morefield Campground area.
How can you sense winter? Smell, see, hear, feel, and taste the coldest of the seasons during this fun family exploration.
Critter Curosity at Chris Park, North of Durango on Hwy 550
Search for signs of life in the winter stillness. Look closely, and you will realize that life lives on in the cold and snow of winter.
Join Mesa Verde for it's 2nd annual winter festival. This year, the event is split between two Saturdays in February. Events include a fun cross-country ski race, animal track hike, fire starting, atlatl throwing, and moonlight hike. Check back here or watch for flyers and public service announcements for more information.
Become a Junior Snow Ranger at Chicken Creek Cross-Country Area, Mancos
Become a Forest Service Junior Snow Ranger during this winter adventure! Discover animal tracks, examine plants, and conduct snow experiments to receive your official Jr. Snow Ranger booklet and badge!
Winter Plant Identification Hike at Mesa Verde National Park
Winter months strip many plants of their foliage and make winter identification of these plants difficult. Join the San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society on a winter plant identification hike in Mesa Verde National Park to learn how to identify plants in the winter.
For information on self-guided snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities in Mesa Verde National Park, visit this page. Snowshoes are available for loan any time during the winter at the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum and the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center.
Did You Know?
On a snowy December day in 1888, while ranchers Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason searched Mesa Verde’s canyons for stray cattle, they unexpectedly came upon Cliff Palace for the first time. The following year, the Wetherill brothers and Mason explored an additional 182 cliff dwellings.