This week I helped chaperone my daughter’s field trip to Aspen Mountain for some snowshoeing in the backcountry. It was so much fun! The weather was glorious–we had some low-hanging, wispy clouds in the morning, but the sky cleared to a beautiful robin’s-egg blue by lunchtime. It had snowed the night before, so the ground cover was all sparkly. And the kids and grownups were all happy to be playing hooky from school and work all day!
That’s not to say the kids didn’t learn. Knowledgeable staffers from the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies talked to the 7- and 8-year-olds about animal tracks and their winter habitats. A representative from the mountain’s ski patrol discussed skiing and avalanche safety. We all watched as a trained rescue dog sniffed out four kids hiding in snow caves in a giant snow pile. I was impressed!
Visitors to the Aspen area can go snowshoeing on the same off-piste trails we did through ACES’ Naturalist Snowshoe Tours. Two-hour tours take place daily through April 11 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cost is $52 for adults, $41 for youth and seniors, $31 for children ages 7 to 12. The fee includes a gondola ride to the top of the mountain, snowshoe rental, snack and warm drink, and a knowledgeable guide. Learn about wildlife in winter, tracking, mountain ecology, history of Aspen, avalanches and winter habitats on this leisurely paced excursion over gentle terrain.
On the tour, if you’re blessed with the same weather we were, you’ll enjoy pretty scenes like these: