Guide to Renting Snowshoes – Seven Ways to Rent Snowshoes for Beginners

Are you looking to try out snowshoeing for the first time without buying your own pair of snowshoes? If so, there are a number of places that offer snowshoe rentals that can meet your needs.

If you’re on the fence about buying vs renting, we recommend reading “Should I Rent or Buy Snowshoes” to help you make a decision. This guide will help you with where and how to rent snowshoes.

Where Can Beginners Rent Snowshoes?

1. REI

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) is a national retailer that offers in-store rentals for a variety of outdoor recreational equipment including snowshoes. Their rental packages are offered at different rates for members vs. non-members, but all rentals typically include trekking poles.

2. Eastern Mountain Sports

In the Northeast, Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) is a reliable regional outdoor equipment retailer that offers snowshoe rentals during the winter at many of its locations. EMS stores are located in each New England state along with Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey.

3. Local Sporting Good Stores

Many towns nearby popular recreational areas will have a local department or sporting goods store that offers snowshoe rentals. For example, Epic Mountain Sports in Winter Park, Colorado offers snowshoe rentals, along with ski and snowboard equipment.

4. Ski Resorts and Lodges

While skiing and snowboarding are the main draw at many winter recreation destinations, many ski mountain resorts offer separate snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals. This is especially true at locations that have a dedicated cross-country trail system. This can be a great option for the non-skiers in a family or group of friends to still take advantage of winter recreation.

5. Nordic and Cross-Country Ski Centers

While most people think of mountains and downhill skiing when they think of ski resorts, standalone Nordic centers are a thriving business in several winter destinations. These resorts and lodges focus on maintaining trail systems for cross-country skiers but usually offer snowshoe rentals and trails in addition. Methow Trails in Washington State is one example.

6. Inns and Bed & Breakfast Lodges

Several inns and bed & breakfasts include snowshoe rentals with their lodging options or as separate add-ons to explore beautiful scenery in their backyards. Canterbury Farms in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and the Woodstock Inn & Resort in Vermont are two examples that offer snowshoe rentals to their guests to participate in their Nordic Center and nearby trails.

7. Wildlife Sanctuaries

There are an abundance of great snowshoeing routes on public land, and some conservation areas even offer on-site snowshoe rentals. The Mass Audubon Society offers snowshoe rentals at three of its wildlife sanctuaries. Check with your local National and State Parks and other conservation groups to see if similar options are available in your area.

Common Beginner Questions about How to Rent Snowshoes

How Long Does a Snowshoe Rental Last?

Generally, you’ll rent snowshoes on-site for either a half-day or full-day period. Some places will have a minimum 24-hour or 48-hour rental period, or even let you rent for multiple days at discounted rates. 

What is included with a Snowshoe Rental?

Most beginners should use both snowshoes and poles when starting off. Oftentimes, trekking poles will be included in the rental or at least available to rent separately, but be sure to understand exactly which equipment is included in the rental agreement. You’ll likely have to bring your own gear and supplies including appropriate winter apparel to stay warm.

How Expensive are Snowshoe Rentals?

This answer will vary based on where you rent, but snowshoes can usually be rented for between $15 and $30 per day. For example, basic snowshoes begin at $27 through REI for a non-member vs. $18 for a member.

What Brand and Model of Snowshoes are Available to Rent?

Standard snowshoe rentals may not be suitable for certain types of terrain, such as requiring backcountry snowshoes for more challenging hikes. Tubbs, MSR, and Crescent Moon are some of the most common brands of snowshoes offered as rentals. 

Which Size Snowshoe Should I Rent?

Be sure to get properly sized snowshoes that are comfortable and are suited to your weight capacity. Usually your rental assistant will know the best size and proper fitting, but feel free to research snowshoe sizing guides ahead of time.