Book Review: Snowshoe Routes – Colorado’s Front Range

If anything, Colorado is home to an embarrassment of riches for winter sports enthusiasts.

High altitude snowpack? Check. Backcountry terrain? Check. Well maintained trail systems? Check.

The problem for snowshoers in the Centennial State often isn’t “where to go” but where “else” to go.

And that’s what makes a book like “Snowshoe Routes: Colorado’s Front Range,” by Alan Apt (The Mountaineers Books, 2001) such a valuable resource for Colorado snowshoers. Packed with information (including trailhead directions, route descriptions, difficulty ratings and topo map IDs) on 75 trails up and down the Front Range, the book offers options for winter hikers looking for something different that’s still fairly close to home. Readers in Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, and even Colorado Springs will find something worth exploring in its pages, making this more of a statewide guide than advertised.

In fact, despite the “Front Range-centric” title, the trails featured in this book aren’t limited to the Front Range exclusively. In addition to destinations in Rocky Mountain National Park, high country routes near Breckenridge, Leadville and Steamboat Springs are featured, each with in-depth descriptions of the local trails (the book is split into four sections – northern, central and southern Colorado and the Indian Peaks area) along with fairly basic maps. (And I do mean “basic.” Anyone heading out into the backcountry on any of these routes should pack the applicable topo maps and not rely on these basic outlines.)

Overall, however, “Snowshoe Routes” includes a little of everything for both novice and advanced snowshoers alike. Day trips (like several of my favorites in the Brainard Lake area outside of Nederland), family excursions (like Cub Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park) and even overnight trips involving the state’s various backcountry hut systems. Chances are, any Colorado snowshoe trip worth taking – long, short or in between — is included in this book.

Clear your schedule. This title will keep you busy until spring.

Recommended for any Colorado snowshoer (or even anyone in the state who owns snowshoes).

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About the author

Tim Sprinkle

Tim Sprinkle is a Denver-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in dozens of publications, including Outside, Backpacker and Wired.

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