Custom Private Programs for Winter

Booking a private program? Plan ahead! We recommend requesting a program two weeks ahead of your desired date!

Join a certified interpretive guide & wilderness first responder for a private hike, nature walk, or interpretive program in the Vail backcountry, or at one of our conveniently located nature centers.

We offer half-day snowshoe, and 1-2 hour walks & talks. Our guides pick the best trails to fit your group’s experience and interests!

Create Your Private Program

Nature Walk or Program:
These 1-2 hour programs are perfect for the whole family. Go on an easy guided walk on our ½ mile nature loop, and warm up with hands on activities indoors ranging from learning skulls & furs of Colorado’s animals to craft projects & story telling.

  • $125 for 1-6 participants
  • $250 for 7-12 participants

 

Half-Day Snowshoe:
Join a Naturalist, trained as a Certified Interpretive Guide and Wilderness First Responder, for an educational snowshoe tour through the forests of the Eagle Valley. Learn about the winter ecology and animal adaptations as you take in the majestic mountain views.

Hikes are conducted on established United States Forest Service trails. Walking Mountains Science Center operates under a special use permit from the White River National Forest and the San Isabel and Pike National Forests.

  • $300 for 1-6 participants
  • $500 for 7-12 participants

 

Custom Program:
If you have another experience in mind for your group, or would like a longer program not offered in our packaged private program offerings we can create a custom program for you.

  • $125 per hour

Snow Science Snapshots­

Have you ever seen a snowflake through a microscope or wondered why flakes come in different sizes, shapes, and flavors? This program revolves around everything snow! Learn all about the fluffy white stuff that brings millions of visitors to the valley and holds the power to shape landscapes and clear forests! Learn about the intricate communities of critters which spend their winters under the snowpack, discover why Colorado’s snow is the gold standard for skiers and snowboarders, and dig (literally) into the science of avalanches—all while experience the serenity of Vail’s backcountry.

Tracks, Signs & Snowshoe

Can you tell tracks of Rover the Dog from Wylie Coyote? How about a bobcat from a fox? This backcountry experience will teach you how to interpret the trails left by Colorado’s resilient winter wildlife. Hear the story of how Lynx were re-introduced into our mountains, and what their tracks have in common with their iconic prey—the snowshoe hare. While seeing wildlife on the trail is a rare treat, the winter landscape opens up their stories for all to read, and this program will give you the tools to become a tracker yourself.

Colorado’s Wildlife

Wildlife is the gem of Colorado’s Wildernesses. On this hike your guide will bring along skulls & furs of common Wildlife, help you identify the tracks you’ll see along the trail, and discuss how Colorado’s Wildlife & Public lands depend on each other! Try to find the tracks of a Lynx, our native snowshoe expert, learn about the challenges Elk face in Eagle County, and discuss the ecological implications of the coming wolf re-introduction into Colorado! While sightings of mountain lions, lynx, elk, or beaver may be rare—it’s not unlikely they may just be catching a sighting of you!

Skis & Guns: The History of Camp Hale, the 10th Mountain Division, & Vail

*only offered on snowshoe tours at Camp Hale

Just 20 miles south of Vail lies Camp Hale. This former army base was home to over 16,000 soldiers and army personnel during world war 2 and served as the base for the United States 10th Mountain Division—its first and only ever active division of Mountain Soldiers. The history of the 10th Mountain Division lives on in the ski areas and communities throughout Colorado, many of which, like Vail, were started by veterans of the 10th. Go on a guided snowshoe hike into Camp Hale and learn about some of the history of the Camp and the 10th Mountain Division, all while taking in the views of the mountains surrounding the Pando Valley.

Camp Hale
Difficulty: Beginner
Camp Hale is the former base of the 10th Mountain Division in World War Two. This flat snowshoe tour offers an easy hike with views of the surrounding mountains, opportunity to see animal tracks, and learn about the history of Camp Hale.

Buck Creek Trail
Difficulty: Challenging
Starting at Walking Mountain Science Center, a snowshoe up the Buck Creek trail is a steady uphill climb. This challenging trail takes you through aspen forests & open meadows, with increasingly vast views of Beaver Creek, Avon, and the Eagle River Valley.

Maloit Park
Difficulty: Beginner – Moderate
This scenic loop is one of our favorite snowshoe destinations. The 1.5 mile loop is beginner friendly, while the option to continue up Cross Creek lengthens the hike and takes you to a high point with views of the Cross Creek Valley and across the Eagle River towards Vail. Featuring aspens, coniferous forests, beaver ponds, and always plenty of tracks—this snowshoe hike offers a little bit of everything.

Stagg Gulch
Difficulty: Moderate
This trail begins with a flat half mile walk before climbing steadily on single-track through open scrubland hillsides. We will hike about 1 mile to an open meadow with views of the craggy Gore Mountain Range.

East Lake Creek
Difficulty: Moderate
This rolling trail travels through groves of large aspens as well as dark coniferous forests as it contours across the mountains towards E. Lake Creek. More rolling in nature, East Lake Creek spreads the climbing out more than most Vail area trails.

Grouse Creek Loop
Difficulty: Challenging
For those up for a more challenging snowshoe, this loop has the best bang for your buck. Climbing just over 1,000 feet and taking you through aspen & spruce/fir forests, along a creek, and down open meadows this 3-4 mile loop features the best mountain views of any of our snowshoe hikes.

Tennessee Pass
Difficulty: Beginner
Starting on the Continental Divide at 10,500 feet, this snowshoe follows the Colorado & Continental Divide trails along an old railroad grade. The trail takes you through lodge pole pine forests and highlights the interesting history of the area. Faster groups may make it to a scenic overlook, with views of the Sawatch Mountains.

For your Nature Walk Program you can select from one of the program topics below. Is your child or family interested in something not listed? Your naturalist can create a custom program for you as well. All nature walk programs are led on Walking Mountains Avon Campus.

  • Tracks, Signs & SnowshoesCan you tell tracks of Rover the Dog from Wylie Coyote? How about a bobcat from a fox? This backcountry experience will teach you how to interpret the trails left by Colorado’s resilient winter wildlife. Hear the story of how Lynx were re-introduced into our mountains, and what their tracks have in common with their iconic prey—the snowshoe hare. While seeing wildlife on the trail is a rare treat, the winter landscape opens up their stories for all to read, and this program will give you the tools to become a tracker yourself.
  • Colorado’s WildlifeWildlife is the gem of Colorado’s Wildernesses. On this hike your guide will bring along skulls & furs of common Wildlife, help you identify the tracks you’ll see along the trail, and discuss how Colorado’s Wildlife & Public lands depend on each other! Try to find the tracks of a Lynx, our native snowshoe expert, learn about the challenges Elk face in Eagle County, and discuss the ecological implications of the coming wolf re-introduction into Colorado! While sightings of mountain lions, lynx, elk, or beaver may be rare—it’s not unlikely they may just be catching a sighting of you!
  • Snow Science SnapshotsHave you ever seen a snowflake through a microscope or wondered why flakes come in different sizes, shapes, and flavors? This program revolves around everything snow! Learn all about the fluffy white stuff that brings millions of visitors to the valley and holds the power to shape landscapes and clear forests! Learn about the intricate communities of critters which spend their winters under the snowpack, discover why Colorado’s snow is the gold standard for skiers and snowboarders, and dig (literally) into the science of avalanches—all while experience the serenity of Vail’s backcountry.
  • Animals with Antlers
  • Ponds & Puddles
  • Wild & Wacky Weather
  • Remarkable Raptors
  • Insect Mania
  • Animal Homes
  • Rockin’ Rocks
  • Buzz Buzz Buzz
  • Fossils & Dinosaurs
  • And more!