Winter has never been my favorite time of year. I mean, I love Christmas. And snow. And I’m a ski bunny. But, I also get incredibly cagey and can’t stand being cooped indoors, so winter has never been my friend.
Until this past year, that is. In 2016, we made a New Year’s resolution to get our pup out for a hike every weekend. We quickly discovered that even on the snowiest of days, many of our favorite summer hikes were still accesible and, dare I say, even more beautiful.
Today, we went snowshoeing for the first time (I refuse to count the step-step-faceplant, step-step-faceplant incident when I was 8 as a real snowshoe experience) at Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was so beautiful and I think I’m addicted. There was over 60″ of snow and it was an absolute winter wonderland. I’d only ever visited in the summer and fall and it was a completely transformed place.
So here’s why you should be visiting your favorite summer spots in the winter:
1. What doesn’t look more beautiful covered in a foot of snow? (Besides your car when you’re late for work) Your favorite views will be even sweeter in winter.
2. Way fewer people brave the cold and snow, so that crowded trail you never quite enjoy in the summer might be just perfect under a blanket of snow.Rocky Mountain National Park wasn’t running their summer shuttles, so the people hiking were limited to the number of spaces in the lot.
3. Who wants to do cardio in a sweaty gym? Pine trees and fresh snow smell wayyyy better than your treadmill neighbor’s curry BO.
4. In winter, you have way more options for how to get to your favorite lake, waterfall or vista. Snowshoeing and cross country skiing are a great way to create a new experience on familiar ground.
Remember to check roads before you head out, think twice if your vehicle has crappy tires, wear layers, stay hydrated and keep an eye on the weather. You’ll have just as much fun, if not more, exploring your favorite places in the winter.