I headed out on Sunday for an afternoon snowshoe hike on Rabbit Ears Pass. The boyfriend and our puppy dog came along for a 4-mile trek on the West Summit Loop, on the closer side of the mountain coming from Steamboat.

The trail’s rolling hills are less daunting if you take a left at the top of the trail. We didn’t kno...w that, and took a right. Starting down a hill – puppy took plenty of runs into the ditch on either side, chasing snowballs – we soon came to a sweeping, sunlit clearing.

Making a large, sometimes winding loop, we chased the late-afternoon sun and weathered through a few wind gusts. Then came the fun part. Snowshoeing, for me and my boyfriend, is a way to get the dog outside, get a little exercise, and mix up the winter routine. We’re not intense. So the moderate-grade trail gave us a solid workout, with steady hills occupying most of the third mile. The winter clothing layers we thought would be extra turned out to be crucial, as the wind turned icy and snow started to fall. Working as fast as we could to beat the storm that was blowing in, we were back to the car in just less than 90 minutes. Puppy slept for the next two days. For a list of in- and out-of-town snowshoe trails and hikes, as well as descriptions of all the snowshoe and cross-country skiing trails on Rabbit Ears Pass, visit http://www.steamboat-chamber.com/info/nordic.skiing.snowshoeing.asp. There you’ll find directions, contact information, difficulty ratings, trail descriptions and distances for more than 15 trail areas.

Guest Blogger, Margaret HairAdministrative coordinator, Steamboat Chamber