Winter Recreation

Hiker in Snowy Woods with Traction Devices and Poles
Explore the wonders of winter in Rocky Mountain National Park

NPS Photo


Winter and spring is a spectacular time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Many hiking trails are covered with a blanket of snow from December through mid-May. From late May to early June, snow is beginning to melt, but be prepared for snow on trails above 9,000 feet.

Two snowshoers are walking across a snow-covered bridge on a trail in RMNP


Wintertime Activities in Rocky


Snowshoeing is a fun activity for all ages! It's as easy as strapping snowshoes on your boots and grabbing a couple of poles. No training is necessary and if you can hike, you can snowshoe.

Most park trails can be explored with snowshoes, conditions permitting. A few pieces of equipment are essential: you will need a pair of snowshoes and waterproof boots. Hiking poles are helpful. Wearing a waterproof jacket and pants can help keep you warm and dry.

The Hidden Valley sledding hill is mostly covered with a thin layer of snow. There are bare spots where dirt is visible through the snow. A few people are sledding down the hill.
Hidden Valley Sledding Hill, taken on January 20, 2023



Sledding is a fun winter activity that the whole family can enjoy. Hidden Valley, located 7 miles from the Beaver Meadows Entrance and the Fall River Entrance on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park, is the only place inside Rocky Mountain National Park where sledding is allowed.

Remember to dress warmly. At an elevation of 9,240 feet, Hidden Valley can be very windy and cold.

Sledding Update - January 20, 2024

Following recent storms, the sledding hill at Hidden Valley is mostly covered with fresh snow. There are bare spots where dirt, vegetation, and rocks are visible through the snow.

Things to Know When Sledding in Rocky

To go sledding, you will walk your sleds or tubes up the designated sledding hill and sled down. It's a pretty gentle hill. Skiers, snow boarders, and snowshoers may pass, but must use caution around sledders, slow down, and yield the right-of-way to sledders.

There are no tow facilities at Hidden Valley and there are no rentals available inside the park. Plastic sleds, saucers or tubes can be purchased or rented in communities outside of the park. Sleds with metal runners are NOT allowed to be used on the sledding hill.

Please obey all signs; you MUST sled within the sledding area boundary. Pets are not allowed on the sledding hill.

The sledding hill is unstaffed. There may be park rangers and volunteers in the area, but for the most part you are on your own and sled at your own risk.

Flush restrooms are open daily. They are located at the bottom of the sledding hill, close to the Hidden Valley Parking Area. The Warming House may be open limited hours on weekends.

A visitor is cross-country skiing with mountain peaks in the background


Cross-country Skiing

Picture yourself gliding through a silent forest full of fresh, white snow. Cross-country skiing is a rejuvenating sport that pairs physical exercise with the beauty of nature. You will need skis and poles with large baskets. In general, terrain and deeper snows on the west side of the park make for better for cross-country skiing, but you are welcome to strap on your skis and explore throughout the park.

A group of park visitors are snowshoeing with a park ranger


Join a Ranger-led Snowshoe Walk

Have you ever wanted to go snowshoeing with a park ranger? Rocky offers free Ranger-led Snowshoe Walks on both the east and west sides of the park from January through March, as conditions allow.

Remember to plan ahead - these programs are very popular. Reservations are required. For all details, visit the park's
Ranger-led Snowshoe Walk page.

White-tailed ptarmigan


Wildlife Watching

Winter is a wonderful time to view wildlife, especially Snowshoe hare, White-tailed ptarmigan, coyote, elk, and Mule deer. It is also a good time to see Bald eagles and Clark's nutcrackers. All areas of RMNP are great for wildlife viewing.

Remember to keep your distance when viewing wildlife. If an animal reacts to you, you are too close. Use binoculars or a telephoto lens to help you get a better view.


Last updated: May 30, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


970 586-1206
The Information Office is open year-round: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily in summer; 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays - Fridays and 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Saturdays - Sundays in winter. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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