The Health Benefits of Snowshoeing

Woman snowshoeing

Snowshoeing can burn more calories than walking – and for those looking for a fun, low-impact workout, this popular and affordable winter sport could be just right for you and your family.

Snowshoeing may not have the adrenaline rush of boarding or skiing, but there are still some great health benefits to snapping on a pair of snowshoes and appreciating the luminous winter of our region. Benefits include; endurance building, strength balance and agility, as well as an exceptional cardiovascular workout.

Prepping for Your Snowshoeing Adventure

There are some crucial details to think about when it comes to snowshoeing, especially if you are novice. The right kind of shoes that go over the top of those snowshoes — waterproof boots being a great choice – and remembering to wear lots of layers are crucial to the success of the snowshoeing experience.

Check out REI’s Beginner’s Guide to Snowshoeing

Local Snowshoeing Hot Spots

Here are our top snowshoeing picks in the Lake Tahoe area, with plenty more to find if you point your search engine in the right direction.

Galena Creek Park
Close to Reno, this beautiful, low-altitude park offers several trails and a visitors center that is staffed during the winter months. You’ll encounter several creeks and streams under the cover of pristine ponderosa pines. From novice to advanced, the differing trail systems offer a challenge for everyone! Head west on State Route 431 (Mt. Rose Highway) for about seven miles until you see the park sign on the right side of the highway.

Tahoe Meadows – Chickadee Ridge
This locals’ favorite not only affords amazing views of Lake Tahoe but the best part? Friendly little chickadees will eat seed right out of your hand! Be sure and pack plenty of sunflower bird seed as that seems to be their favorite. From the trail-head parking lot, head southeast into the open meadow. The ridgeline to your right (southwest) is the direction you’ll want to go. Continue southwest and toward the top of the ridgeline to the west and you’ll get to Chickadee Ridge in a little less than two miles.

Spooner Lake Trail
The 2.5 mile loop around Spooner Lake is an easy trek and great for all skill levels. This mountain lake is surrounded by aspen trees which house varied bird species, so bring your binoculars! Dogs are allowed on a leash, and parking is $10 for all-day use.

Kirkwood Ski Resort
You’ll need a trail pass, but this South Lake Tahoe resort has a variety of routes from novice to advanced, with roughly 50 miles of terrain. Full moon snowshoe treks are available throughout the winter during specified times. Kirkwood is located on Highway 88, close to Carson Pass.

Camp Richardson
Heading north, you can find this well-established and local favorite snowshoeing spot. If you’re up for an adventure, you can trek up to Fallen Leaf Lake. It’s located off Highway 89 and near Fallen Leaf Road.

Dry Pond Loop
A moderate 6.5 loop located near Washoe Valley with amazing views of Carson Valley, Washoe Lake and Mt. Rose Wilderness. If you like the sound of rushing water, most of the trail meanders along a White’s Creek. Dog and kid-friendly make this area a family favorite.

Royal Gorge
Soda Springs is home to this resort which is well known for its cross country skiing trails. Enjoy extensive snowshoeing trails that lead deep into the trees with spectacular views. Find Royal Gorge from the Soda Springs exit on West Interstate 80.

Ash Canyon Creek
Tucked away in the Carson Valley, these trails are filled with mountain bikes in the spring, and provide excellent snowshoeing trails in the winter. Find it from Interstate 580 by taking the Highway 395 Business exit to Winnie Lane.

RELATED:  Safety on the Slopes: Prepping Your Body for Winter Sports

Have a favorite trail of your own? Please share in the comments below!


  1. We are new to the area and living in such an active place. We would like to rent snowshoe equipment first to see if it's something we want to do more long term. Any of the aforementioned sites also rent? Thank you for any tips and tricks
    • Hello Brittany! Thank you for reading! Here is a great list of places to rent: Happy snowshoeing! In good health, Roseann