Colorado backcountry ski tours with gorgeous views and a good workout – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-02-22 10:57:58 –

A backcountry tour of Mayflower Gulch takes skiers and snowshoeers to the dramatic mountain amphitheater, one of the most beautiful spots in the front range. There are also mountain lodge ruins that are perfect for picnics. (John Mayer, The Denver Post)

Editor’s Note: This is part of The Know’s new series, Staff Favorites. Every week, we comment on what Colorado offers best for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We will also introduce some hidden gems). Find your previous staff favorites here..

My favorite backcountry ski tours — Vail Pass, Jones Pass, Mayflower Gulch — do not include climbing high mountains with steep powder descents. It’s ski climbing and close to my heart, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re at high risk of avalanches as it is today.

These tours are not as steep as they slide, but travel through mellow terrain, ideal for good training in stunning landscapes. They cIt can be done with lightweight cross-country skis and snowshoes. They include climbing hundreds of feet over miles and then making a fun and relaxing descent (if you are skiing). For example, on Thursday I did part of a Jones Pass tour. It took more than an hour to climb and a simple descent took 20 minutes.

Huge Vail pass The recreation area has 52 miles of non-motorized trails, many of which are unaffected by avalanches. I like skiing up the road from Vail Pass to Shrine Pass, down the mellow downhill on the other side of Shrine, and overlooking the mountain of the Holy Cross, about 8 miles round trip.

Valpas is also my favorite place to ski the full moon. Because I feel completely safe on the road, even in dim light. Good night, you can see sparkling high peaks miles away.

Trail head Jones Pass It is about 2 miles west of Versad Falls near Empire. There are many places to ski, but I tend to ski on the way up to the pass. About two miles later, every time I go there, I enter a huge, breathtaking bowl. There are many. Sometimes I ski to the pass, but only when the risk of avalanches is low.

Mayflower GulchLocated 5 miles south of Interstate 70 via Colorado 91 near Copper Mountain, you can reach one of the most beautiful spots in the Front Range. A very short tour of a few miles, but a rocky spire leads to a dramatic mountain amphitheater towering above you. There are also some old mining ruins that are great picnic spots.

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