ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hiking Colorado: The Winter Months

Updated on March 20, 2011

Relaxing winter hikes can be a walk in the park and there are at least three reasons why people choose to hike Colorado's high country in the winter:

  • There are no snakes or bugs.
  • There are almost no people.
  • There are no skis, bindings or uncomfortable boots involved.

Contrary to what everyone else around the country thinks not everyone in Colorado skis, but it is especially beautiful in the winter. Everything is so calm and less busy. Everyone else is skiing.

That's not completely true.

A small but faithful contingent of hikers braves the cold of winter to hike the Rocky Mountain region. According to the American Hiking Association, Colorado's high country is the second-most popular destination for winter hiking, just behind Vermont.  What you get in winter that you don't the rest of the year is a wilderness that seems to be at rest.

Winter hiking is a little tamer. You're hiking only where you can move with hiking boots. You can snowshoe too, but hiking is more for relaxation, snowshoeing is for a workout or an adventure.

Winter hikers have plenty of advice to offer. Dress appropriately, and ditch the cotton. Cotton retains moisture, and the moisture cools quickly, leaving the hiker with a cold layer that can cause hypothermia.

Many of your regular hiking apparel will be okay for hiking during winter. Your regular hiking boots, wool socks and a polypropylene liner will work as well. As far as pants go, synthetic hiking pants and gaiters to keep snow out of your boots are required. Polypropylene underwear, a fleece pullover and a shell jacket should round out your hiking uniform.

Other winter hiking tips:

Ice, of course, might be on the hiking trails. A trekking pole with a tip that bites into ice is recommended.

The days are quite a bit shorter in winter. Plan to be back at your vehicle before it starts getting dark. Also, carry a flashlight and a map.

Beware of dehydration. Our sense of thirst can trick us in cold weather. Symptoms of dehydration - confusion, fatigue, headaches - can be even more dangerous when it is cold.

Use sun protection.

Hike with a group of people or at least one friend.

It's common sense, but people seem to need to be reminded all the time of these basics. Obviously, it's not suggested that people go winter hiking into places that require more than common sense. Winter is a time when a lot of things can go wrong out on the trail. Avalanches happen. Wild animals are more aggressive. There are plenty of places to hike in winter and avoid these things.

You also have to consider that the temperatures can quickly go from several comfortable degrees above freezing to well below 0 degrees F in a matter of an hour or two (and sometimes even less). If you are ill equipped and far from your car, you stand the chance of not making it back to safety. There is no way that you can over prepare for Colorado mountain trail winters.

Back to Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)