Family Snowshoe Adventure: Best Day Ever

My kids declared Sunday as the "Best Day Ever". Did I fill them full of junk food, take them to an arcade or let them watch a bunch of movies? No. Actually, our family grabbed our snowshoes and headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a fun family snowshoe and a great day of playing in the snow.

Like many children, my girls occasionally complain when I drag them out on the hiking trails. While they love playing outside, their willingness to go out every weekend to hike, family snowshoe or explore a new area doesn't match the enthusiasm their dad has for these adventures.

So, what made this particular day the "Best Day Ever"?


Honestly, it was a surprise to me because I wasn't expecting another day on snowshoes to be such a hit. Here are some of the things we did on this particular snowshoe trip that I believe helped make it so awesome.

  • Plan for the weather: We carefully chose our layers, jackets, hats and gloves to be sure the whole family would be toasty warm yet not overheated. Comfortable kids are happy kids.

  • Pack a snack: Plenty of snacks helped the 1 hour car ride more bearable and a light snack in the outdoors helps keep everybody energized and ready for more outdoor fun.

  • Be flexible: While I tend to be very destination driven with most of my hikes (We've got to get to the lake, peak or waterfall before we turn around), this time the goal was just to spend some time outside. We tromped in the snow and zig-zagged which ever way the kids wanted to go.

  • Know where to go for the right conditions: With so little snow on the Colorado Front Range, we haven't done much snowshoeing this season. When we decided that we wanted to go snowshoeing, I knew Bear Lake was the perfect spot because there is usually a lot of snow in that valley. I was right. The conditions were perfect.

  • Follow their lead: We let the kids pick where we were going. They led us up the hill, out onto the lake and to see some cool rock outcroppings.

  • Make it a game: In the car on the way to the trail head, we made a list of things we might see. We set a goal to see 3 different animal species, both ice and flowing water, 3 different types of trees and animal tracks. This gave us some fun brainstorming in the car and a fun activity for the outdoors.

The summation of all these factors lead to an amazing day together as a family exploring in the snow. It was a family snowshoe adventure that we surely won't forget for a long time.

Kid Snowshoe Sienna breaking trail

Now the bar has been raised, I'll have to find new ways to ensure the kids keep having so much fun outdoors. Share your ideas below to let me know how you keep your kids engaged with the outdoors and having fun.
Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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