My very first snowshoeing experience was an exciting adventure that completely changed the way I see things, especially nature. Never in my life had I been in a place so peaceful and so beautiful. Words can’t even describe the sites we witnessed. But it wasn’t all fun and games, and even though I spent a good hour afraid we might be spending the night in a homemade igloo, I still desperately find myself wanting to go back.
My boyfriend and I decided to make the 3 hour trip to Steamboat Springs, CO for our 1 year anniversary where I would try snowshoeing for the first time. It was also at this time that the Ice Castles had made it back to Colorado and I was so excited to see them, so that was the main reason we chose Steamboat. They did end up being quite beautiful, even though they weren’t fully developed yet.
While the ice castle opening date just kept getting pushed back and pushed back until we had to extend our stay to see them, our snowshoe adventure happened quite differently. We had rented most of our gear, and my boyfriend being a little bit more experienced than myself helped me get my shoes tightened properly. We grabbed our poles and our plastic bottle of wine and headed out the door towards rabbit ears pass.
Now as I had said before, without a paid subscription to trails.com, I had a very hard time finding any good information on any snowshoe trails. I tried to find the easiest trail I could, which ended up being the North Loop which was said to be 3.5 miles and should only take about an hour and a half. This is not what happened. We aren’t exactly the early riser type, so by the time we got out the door it was probably already around 1pm. This is something I’m bound to change in the near future when making awesome snowshoe adventures. Also, we didn’t drive far enough to get to the North Loop and accidentally ended up at the West Summit Loop instead. I’m happy to say it wasn’t too difficult.
Everything started out great. We found a good parking spot at the head of the trail and started hiking our way up towards the first blue diamond mark. The blue diamonds are nailed to trees, and they’re supposed to be like your Hansel and Gretel crumb trail so you don’t get lost. In most cases, follow your diamonds and you should be just fine. Anyway, we hiked up quiet a ways and the entire time I was just LOVING it! Everyone I had talked to said that I would hate it, that it was too much work, it was hard and miserable, blah, blah, blah. It was none of those things! It was like hiking in the snow with special awesome shoes on! AND it was absolutely GORGEOUS!