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Hike We Like: Snowshoe & Swiss Fondue

This rewarding half-day outing combines snowshoeing with live music, Colorado wine, and creamy Swiss fondue. What more could you want? 


What’s better than snowshoeing through Colorado’s breathtaking foothills? Ending the expedition with wine and fondue. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through March 13, Aspen Peak Cellars in Bailey hosts a guided, 90-minute snowshoe trek, with options for multiple difficulty levels, followed by live music, wine tasting, and authentic Swiss fondue.

The occasion begins at 10:30 a.m., when participants rendezvous at the winery, then carpool to the nearby trailhead for an hour-and-a-half snowshoe (or, if there’s not enough snow, a beautiful winter hike) on private trails owned by Wilderness on Wheels, a nonprofit that provides access to nature for people living with disabilities and their caretakers. After outfitting the participants with snowshoes and poles, guides lead the group along a mile-long trail that gradually climbs in elevation. Anyone who desires a more challenging workout can branch off onto other trails or explore off-the-beaten path amongst stately blue spruce and vibrant lodgepole and bristlecone pines.

After returning, the group can enjoy live music while touring the award-winning winery’s facility and sampling five of their best-selling wines. Afterward, participants select a glass of their favorite to pair with the fondue. Co-owner (and Swiss-born chef) Marcel Flukiger prepares this pièce de résistance using a time-tested recipe from Switzerland, where, depending upon the region and its local cheese selections, many different versions of the dish are made.

Marcel’s fondue is a mouthwatering mixture of cheeses from several regions, including Gruyère, located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Emmentaler (in the Bernese mountains), and Appenzeller, a picturesque eastern town. All the cheeses are shredded, mixed into a base of crisp, white wine, pepper, garlic, and nutmeg, and then finished off with a shot of dry cherry brandy, a bit of cream, and some spicy Dijon mustard. Served with crusty French bread and crisp, cut veggies for dipping, the velvety warm fondue is a rich reward for a chilly day well spent in the gorgeous Colorado foothills.

Join the fun: Tickets for the Snowshoe and Fondue events are available online through Living Social. If they are sold out, Aspen Peak Cellars also has a few winery-direct tickets available for each day, so be sure to check their Facebook page or call 303-816-5504 to inquire. The winery is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, so if you’d like to go snowshoeing on your own and then drop by around 1:30 p.m., you can always join the tour, taste some wine, and purchase your own fondue. 60750 Hwy 285, Bailey

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