Once you try hiking in winter in our mountains, you will be hooked! The sparkles across meadows of snow, the quiet, the snow-laden tree forests, and our famous bluebird skies will keep you wanting more. It’s magical, cold and exhilarating! Ten of our favorite winter hikes that left us wanting more …
Check the forecast for the area you plan to hike. If it looks bad, don’t go! However, if it looks nice, ALWAYS check for avalanche warnings. They can happen in nice weather, too.
In Colorado: Colorado Avalanche Information Center
BAKER’S TANK TRAIL
Bakers Tank Trail is popular for year-round outdoor enthusiasts just 3.5 miles up Boreas Pass from Breckenridge, CO. The trailhead is located at where Boreas Pass is closed for winter. Hike up through a magnificent forest to historic Bakers Tank and return via Boreas Pass with unsurpassed views of snowcapped peaks.
Rated: easy to moderate
Approx: 5.5 miles out and back
Start Elevation: 10,385 ft
The trail is well-marked
Nearest Town: Breckenridge
Information: Dillon Ranger District
The trailhead is located where Boreas Pass is closed for winter, 3.5 miles up Boreas Pass from Breckenridge, CO.
Mayflower Gulch is just the best backcountry getaway in every season. In winter, it is magical. We do it every winter. Easy to get to and doable for just about anyone. Do this trail once, and you’ll be back!
Hike: to Boston Mine Camp, 1.8 miles, starts at 10,994 ft., ends at 11,980 ft.
Hike: to Gold Hill and across the top: approx: 4 miles out and back
Rated: easy to moderate
Open: hiking, snowshoeing, nordic skiing, dogs, mountain bikes
Note: Some avalanche-prone areas on the upper end of the trail
Located on Freemont Pass, 6 miles from Copper Mountian
SPRUCE CREEK TRAIL
Spruce Creek Trail loop is beautiful in winter. Starting off meandering through a forest of pines loaded with snow and the added option of hiking to Mohawk Lakes above treeline, it’s genuinely Colorado at its best. Located in stunning Blue River, CO, near Breckenridge, CO, you can’t go wrong.
Open to leashed dogs
Nearest town: Breckenridge, CO
SALLY BARBER MINE TRAIL
Sallie Barber Trail is the perfect getaway for an early afternoon winter hike with a fantastic destination, the historic Sallie Barber Mine. One of the prettiest trails we’ve hiked in snow.
2.8 miles out & back
Minimal elevation gain
Popular for XC Skiing, Snowshoeing, Hiking
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Davos Trail is stunning in winter! Deep snowbanks sparkle in the bright sun as bare Aspen trees mixed with pines line the trail. The higher you hike, the more winter wonderland awaits, with views that will take your breath away.
5.7 miles out & back
833 elevation gain
Dogs okay on leash
Located: Vail, CO
For beginner or avid hikers, this is a trail for the winter months.
I have found that winter hiking is easier than most think. Not always will you need snowshoes. Often, the trail’s snow is already packed down from previous hikers and snowshoers, and microspikes are all you need to enjoy a winter wonderland in the mountains.
BUTLER GULCH TRAIL
Snowshoeing Butcher Gulch was blissful, frosty, and glorious. A beautiful blanket of deep snow covered everything. The deeper into the forest you go, the more you know winter hiking is for you!
5.5 miles out & back
Nearest Town: Empire, CO
Dogs okay on leash
Elevation Start 10,500′ – end 12,000’+
Ouzel Falls, Calypso Cascades & Copeland Falls in one hike! It is located in the Wild Basin region, the southeast corner of Rocky Mountain National Park, which sometimes gets missed.
5.9 miles out & back to Ouzel Falls
1,062′ elevation gain
3.6 miles out & back to Calypso Cascades
Wild Basin Trailhead
CARIBOU RANCH OPEN SPACE
You will be surprised when hiking Caribou Ranch Open Space and how much history is located within its boundaries. A loop trail takes you past the historic DeLonde Homestead and the famous Blue Bird Mine from the late 1880s. History buffs will love this, and if you want a day out to hike through snow-covered meadows and trees and take in the views, this is it.
Caribou Ranch Open Space– about 4 miles of trails.
Nearest town: Nederland, CO
Day use only
No pets, bikes, camping, open fires
Restroom, picnic tables at trailhead
Closed: the months of April, May, June
Inter-Laken Trail is a beautiful winter trek alongside glacier-carved alpine Twin Lakes that takes your breath away. The added destination to the historic late 1800s Inter-Laken Resort makes for an adventurous day. Perfect for families and avid hikers alike. This trail is gorgeous and fun!
4.7 miles out and back
Start Elevation: 9,272 ft. Minimal gain
Nearest Towns: Twin Lakes, Leadville, Buena Vista
BROWNS CREEK FALLS
Browns Creek Falls is finding a mind-blowing frozen waterfall deep in the canyons. The trek is full of views, snow-laden forests, sparkling snow field meadows, and snow-covered bridges — a sensational winter hike with unsurpassed beauty.
6.2 miles out and back
Start at 8,990′ elevation and ends at 9,830′
Nearest Towns: Buena Vista / Salida
Salida Ranger District
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