Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Colorado Travel Tips: Ice Skating on Evergreen Lake

Evergreen Lake on New Year's Day 2016
Happy New Year!

If you stop by Evergreen in the Winter, put ice skating on the Lake on your must-do list. Once Evergreen Lake is frozen over to 12" of ice, it is open for ice skating, hockey, and broomball! This Winter, Evergreen Lake made it on CNN 10 of the world's most beautiful ice rinks.

As an overly cautious person, the thought of walking out onto a frozen lake freaked me out at first. What if the ice cracks and I fall through? What's the protocol for when I do fall into the lake? With reassurance from my other half, who is just as cautious as me, I waited for him to get on the ice first. (Read: Ok, he didn't fall through.) I was pleasantly surprised by the sturdy feeling of the ice. I had imagined the ice to be wobbly and completely translucent.

I'm standing on a frozen lake in ice skates. What?!
If you plan on skating the Lake, here are a few pro tips:

  • Parking is terrible at the Lake. There's a clear sign that says no parking for sledding. Next door the Lake is the golf course covered in snow. There were lots of sledders walking from the parking lot to next door. I recommend parking in downtown (street and paid lot) and walking to the Lake. 
  • When you get to the lake house, you have to buy a ticket to use the ice and a ticket to rent. To buy tickets to get on the ice and to rent skates, is one line. This line is separate from the line to get the rental skates. We split up in the lines. One of us staying in the line to pay for tickets. The other stayed in the rental line. 

Private rink areas available for rent. 
Advertising hidden in an ice sculpture.
  • Watch out for the cracks in the ice. The ice wasn't groomed very well. I saw so many skaters eat it when their skates got caught in cracks. Pay attention to cracks and notches as you skate. 
  • The middle of the rink is smoother than the outer edges. 
This year's Christmas Card picture.
  • Wear warm socks with your ice skates. It's significantly colder on the ice. I had fleece leggings on under my jeans, a base layer shirt and a thermal under my hoodie and jacket, but I had on a pair of regular gym socks. My toes got cold really fast. Gloves are also important. 

Happy Skating!