Snowshoeing and other winter pleasures celebrated this weekend
Estes Park, eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, and the park itself are the place to go for snowshoeing immersion this weekend. And what a weekend it promises to be. The town and the park got some accumulation from yesterday’s snowstorm that deposited 5 inches of fluff on my back deck down in Boulder, and another storm this afternoon and evening promises an additional 5 to 11 inches. Should be ideal for snowshoeing and snowplay this weekend.
The fouth annual Estes Park Winter Festival takes place from Friday, January 13 to Monday, January 16. It kicks off on Friday with the Ceilidh Irish Barn Dances. Festival events include wine and microbrew tastings in a heated tent, an elaborate ice castle, children’s activities, a chili cook-off, music, special sales, art shows, restaurant specials, horsedrawn carriage rides, hot air balloon glow and more. The schedule and prices (all reasonable or FREE) are more comprehensive than we have room for, but click here for details, call 970-577-9900 or 800-44-ESTES.
This family-friendly festival partners with the 18th Annual Winter Trails Day held Saturday, January 14 at the Glacier parking lot in Rocky Mountain National Park. Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend happens to be a FREE day in all FREE demo snowshoes and tours try them out. Winter Trails Day elsewhere last Saturday (I went to the one Echo Lake), but RMNP is the site of a bonus event. The fine folks from REI’s Denver Flagship organized the event (and brought snowshoes from their rental fleet), and Alpine Rescue Team volunteers led short, complimentary snowshoe walks along the lakeshore. The Alpine Rescue folks used the opportunity to caution backcountry neophytes on winter safety in the outdoors.
Last Saturday’s Winter Trails Day turnout (nearly 400 who borrowed demo gear to try and others who just went a tour or just enjoyed the ambiance) was quite remarkable, given the extensive coverage the local media has given to low snow this season, the fact that it was the National Western Stock Show’s opening weekend and that the NFL playoffs began that day. RMNP traditionally attracts more people than Echo Lake.
I can’t wait to here the numbers from this event!