Skiing and Snow Shoeing
The East Side of the park, the lee side of the mountains, is relatively dry and snow cover is patchy, especially early in the winter. Strong winds blow what snow falls into drifts, covering some areas but exposing others. Snow coverage is often intermittent below 9500 feet. Above that elevation, steep slopes and variable snow coverage result in challenging ski conditions.
Although the East Side does not really offer beginning cross-country skiing, it does have a selection of trails suitable for the beginning snow-shoer. Free ranger-led walks (link to ranger-led activities) can help you get started. If you don't have your own "shoes", several local stores offer equipment rentals.
The strong winds, variable temperatures, and steep slopes of the East Side all contribute to increased avalanche danger. Since snow conditions and avalanche hazard are quite changeable, we encourage you to stop by a visitor center or call the Information Office/Backcountry Office to discuss your plans.
The park offers ranger guided snowshoe and cross country ski programs during the winter. Click here for more information.
To learn more about winter hiking, click here.
To download printable brochures about winter activities and trails, click here.
Did You Know?
The one way length of the East Longs Peak Trail is 7.5 miles. Average time for a round trip is 12 hours. More...