Snowshoe and ski tours are an accessible way to see a lot of the Yampa Valley while learning a little
December snow allowed Yampatika’s winter programming to start in mid-December and the environmental stewardship group is offering opportunities for people of all abilities to explore the Yampa Valley.
Ski with a Naturalist
Every Tuesday and Thursday, skiers and snowboarders at Steamboat Resort can take a post-lunch tour of the green run “Why Not” alongside a naturalist from Yampatika.
The causal trip down the mountain will include many stops to see old bear dens, claw marks and include tips on the best places to see porcupines and learn about elk, moose and birds.
The tour begins at 1:30 p.m. and runs for about an hour starting at the large trail map across from Thunderhead Lodge at the top of “Why Not.”
Cost: Free with a Steamboat Resort lift ticket.
Mountainside Snowshoe Tour
Every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon, through March 8, Yampatika leads a gentle 2.5 mile snowshoe tour at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center. The late morning tour offers views of the resort, valley and a scenic section of town.
Cost: $20 including snowshoe rentals. RSVP required.
Fish Creek Fall’s Uranium Mine Trail Snowshoe Tour
Looking for a more robust adventure? The Uranium Mine Trail snowshoe tour is perfect for those looking for a little bit more of a challenge. This hike takes place every Friday at 10 a.m. through March 10, taking participants above Fish Creek Falls to see sweeping views of the canyon, resort and surrounding hillsides.
Cost: $20 deposit or snowshoe rentals
Howelsen Hill Snowshoe Tour
A short distance from downtown, this hike starts with a ride up a chair lift every Saturday at 10 a.m. through March 12. The tour takes participants through multiple ecosystems, according to Yampatika.org, with signs of wildlife and great views of the valley and city.
Cost: $25 including snowshoe rentals.
Winter Wander, Discover Snowshoeing
This family and beginner-friendly tour takes place at 11 a.m. every Saturday through March 11. The 45-minute trail navigates easy terrain at Yampatika’s Legacy Ranch just south of town. There is no elevation gain, but plenty of views of the resort and valley. A warm room is never far away and hot cocoa is provided after.
Cost: $10 includes snowshoes, RSVP required.
Monthly special programs
The moonlight snowshoe tour will take place Jan. 6 and Feb. 5. Snowshoe through History with the Tread of Pioneers Museum will take place Jan. 18 and a moonlight snowshoe on Rabbit Ears Pass will occur on March 5.
Registration is required for all special programs and will prompt more information as the dates near.
Private tours are also available, but only at specific times on certain days. Reservations can be made at yampatika.org/winter-programs-2.
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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