6 Snowshoe Hikes in Kirkwood


Your Kirkwood Resort stay is the perfect time to try something new. Explore these 6 snowshoe hikes in Kirkwood for a thrilling experience you'll never forget.

Posted on October 17, 2023

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While the 2,000 feet of vertical drop or over 2,300 acres of skiable terrain may have brought you to Kirkwood Resort, these are only a few highlights of everything Kirkwood has to offer. Adventurous skiers looking to try a new outdoor activity will have a blast trying the dozens of snowshoe hikes in Kirkwood. 

If you're up for the challenge, take a tough route for an intense workout. Or simply soak up the stunning mountain views by taking an easy route. Either way, you have plenty of snowshoe hiking options to consider as a Kirkwood visitor. Plus, Vail Resorts is committed to promoting mountain safety, ensuring you enjoy your adventures to the fullest. 

It's easy to fill your days and nights in Kirkwood with a range of activities, from relaxing in the cozy self-contained village to exploring the many snowshoe hikes. Get excited about your visit by checking out the top places to go snowshoe hiking in Kirkwood.  

1. Meadow System at Kirkwood Cross Country and Snowshoe Center 

The Kirkwood Cross Country and Snowshoe Center is the go-to spot for both locals and visitors to explore snowshoe hikes in Kirkwood. Located just 1/4 mile east of Kirkwood Resort on Highway 88, you'll find nearly 50 miles of world-class groomed snowshoeing trails to explore here, ranging from easy to advanced in difficulty. Nestled in Alpine Valley, you'll never run out of new paths to explore at Kirkwood Cross Country and Snowshoe Center. Plus, snowshoe rentals are available to make your experience a breeze. 

During your snowshoe adventure, be sure to check out the interpretive signs located along the paths of Kirkwood Cross Country and Snowshoe Center's trails. The Meadow System, located across the highway from the center, features 15km of trails located through the meadow, perfect for self-guided snowshoeing adventures.  

Visitors have two options for snowshoe hikes in Kirkwood as a part of the Meadow System. The first snowshoe path, the Outside Loop, is an easy route perfect for a laid-back approach focused on sightseeing. This loop spans over 3.2 miles and is dog-friendly, perfect for Kirkwood visitors traveling with pets. The second snowshoeing path is the Meadow Trail, a slightly shorter path of only about 2.5 miles. 

2. Caples Creek System at Kirkwood Cross Country and Snowshoe Center 

The Caples Creek System at Kirkwood Cross Country and Snowshoe Center provides another nine options for snowshoe hikes in Kirkwood. These snowshoe paths are located adjacent to the center, offering the most diversity of any of the center's trail systems. What sets this group of snowshoe paths apart from the rest is the opportunity to catch exciting wildlife sightings throughout the path, such as ducks, herons, and more.  

Visitors looking for a moderately challenging snowshoe route to explore have the most selection here, ranging from the short Jobe's Jaunt Trail to the lengthy High Trail and Caples Creek Trails. If you're in the mood for a challenge, try the Agony Trail, a path dedicated to snowshoeing adventures. Check out the complete Cross County & Snowshoe Trail Map to learn more about all of the trails that are a part of the Caples Creek System. 

3. Schneider Trail System at Kirkwood Cross Country and Snowshoe Center 

The Schneider Trail System is the last of Kirkwood Cross Country and Snowshoe Center's three snowshoe trail systems. This trail system contains the longest path for snowshoe hiking in Kirkwood, known as the Outpost Trail

The Outpost Trail spans about 6.2 miles, offering you a chance to take a long trek through the mountains. You'll never know what you'll find on your journey!  

4. Lake Margaret Trail 

Located only 2 miles from Kirkwood Resort, the Lake Margaret Trail is rated #2 for hikes in Kirkwood on AllTrails. The Lake Margaret Trail is situated within Eldorado National Forest and spans 4.8 miles. This moderate-intensity route will take you about 2 hours to complete. 

Lake Margaret Trail is a great option for snowshoeing in Kirkwood if you want a slight challenge combined with great views. Though visitors note portions of this nature area were damaged by forest fires, the beauty of Lake Margaret Trail remains. 

5. Winnemucca Lake Loop 

The Winnemucca Lake Loop is another great option for snowshoe hikes in Kirkwood. This moderately challenging 5.8-mile loop will take about 2.5 to 3 hours to complete. Before you head out, past snowshoers recommend printing a copy of the map to ensure you keep on track as you snowshoe along this route. This loop will take you up about 912 feet in elevation. 

If you're looking to get close to nature in a serene and quiet setting, Winnemeccua Lake Loop is perfect for trying snowshoe hiking in Kirkwood. After you pass the first 0.5 miles of this path, you're likely to be alone on your route. Keep a close eye out for animal tracks while you explore, as you're likely to spot some wildlife in this area.  

6. Little Round Top Loop 

Also located in Eldorado National Forest, the Little Round Top Loop is great for a leisurely approach to snowshoeing. Located about 45 minutes outside of Kirkwood, the panoramic views of Eldorado National Forest are surely worth the drive. 

The Little Round Top Loop is an easy-to-moderate snowshoeing route, perfect for snapping memorable photos of the landscape. However, the trail is 9 miles in length, so snowshoers looking for a shorter route can stop at any point and return back to their starting point. If you complete this entire loop, your legs will surely need a rest by the time you return to Kirkwood Resort! 

Find Your Favorite Snowshoe Hikes in Kirkwood 

Between the three trail systems of Kirkwood Cross Country and Snowshoe Center and the many surrounding snowshoe paths, you'll never run out of new snowshoe hikes in Kirkwood to explore. Start with a short loop like Meadow Trail, or go big with a long trek around Little Round Top Loop. No matter where you begin your exploration, you'll leave mesmerized by the stunning scenery surrounding these 6 best snowshoe hikes in Kirkwood.