Magazine article Sunset

Back to Nature in the Rockies

Magazine article Sunset

Back to Nature in the Rockies

Article excerpt

Snow play and snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Summer has always been considered prime time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, but restoration work last season at Hidden Valley snow play area and a bounty of winter programs are making the park more accessible when the snow flies.

Hidden Valley has a new look this winter. The last vestiges of the longdefunct ski area, including the old lifts, have been removed to return to more natural terrain. The only remnants of the previous facilities are rest rooms, a large paved parking lot, and faint ski trails between stands of trees.

Now this popular snow play area includes more unobstructed space for kids to build snowmen or tow their sleds and saucers uphill, then slide back down with ear-to-ear grins on their faces. Snowshoers can explore short routes through the nearby woods. You may see gonzo backcountry types climbing high up the mountain to ski or snowboard the ghost trails, old ski runs that are no longer maintained. …

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