Why We Love It: Lots of reward (read: views) without much travel
When to Go: Right after a Front Range snowfall
Distance: About 4 miles, round-trip
Elevation Change: About 900 feet
I spend way too much time on I-70, which is why I love this quick snowshoe up Squaw Mountain. The summit is marred by wires and not-so-picturesque buildings, but not so much that you can't enjoy the 360-degree views. The trail, a road during the summer months, is a steady climb, so much so that you'll probably curse my name on the switchback. Above treeline, the path is often windswept, meaning that you can take off your snowshoes and scramble up the rocks to the fire lookout. This past weekend, the boulders were covered with snow, which made the final climb a cinch. Spend a view minutes taking in the views, and stroll back down the mountain (your calves will thank you), letting the powder float your snowshoes step by step.
Getting There: Head west on I-70 to Exit 252 for the Evergreen Parkway. Follow the Parkway to a stoplight with signs pointing to the Echo Mountain ski area (and CO-103). Turn right and travel about 12 miles to Echo Mountain. Just past the entrance you'll find a small, plowed parking area to the left.
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