Snowshoeing on the Grand Mesa

Most winter weekends you’ll find me at a ski resort.  Downhill skiing (and occasionally backcountry or sidecountry) is my winter sport of choice and I actually keep track of the number of days I ski.  Still, after a lackluster few months of snow and 18 days of skiing at the same resort, I was ready for a change.  I needed a break.  This is how I found myself trekking through the forest on snowshoes with Adelle this past weekend.

We decided to stick to a well-known trail, West Bench, which I’ve biked several times in the fall.  The trail winds through a campground and past Sunset Lake before dropping down into the woods.

The trail was packed flat to make travel easier for both snowshoers and cross-country skiers.  When possible we still tried to stay on the side of the trail so skiers would have an easier time.  On this particular trail though, it didn’t seem to be much of an issue to just share the trail.

My original thought was that we could make it all the way to Lift #1 at Powderhorn Ski Resort (our local resort).  The trail runs behind the top of the resort and in the summer this is often our turn around point for short bike rides.  3.5 miles is nothing on a bike; on snow shoes 3.5 miles seems much much harder to reach.  After about 2.5 miles we were starving and found a lovely fallen tree to sit on.  It had taken us quite a while to make it this far, so we turned around.  We could have continued but by the time we got back to the car I think we were both glad we turned around when we did!  Snowshoeing is hard work!

Autumn loves the snow!

Mountains peeking through the trees

There are miles and miles of trails available for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on the Mesa.  The Grand Mesa Nordic Council grooms many of these in the winter and has a great map of their maintained trails. We’re lucky to have such a great place for winter activities only an hour away.

 

Related posts:

  1. Winter hiking and snowshoeing safety tips
  2. Trip Report: Mesa Verde National Park
  3. Grand Canyon North Rim Trip Report
  4. Cinema Sunday: “Amazing Flight Over the Grand Canyon”
  5. Mammoth Cave: Hiking the Grand Avenue Cave Tour

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