And just like that, hiking season is upon us! For those of you that were in the valley last year--you’ll be aware of how stark a contrast this summer is setting up to be. While our snowpack peaked at just above normal (108% to be exact), our warm spring has done quick work of melting off a lot of that snow--opening up our trails early for us to enjoy! A quick comparison shows that our snowpack currently rests at roughly 50% of last year! With more trail quickly opening up, a great local spot to start getting in shape for those high country adventures is the June Creek Trail in Edwards.
What to Expect:
If you haven’t hiked up June Creek in the Spring--you are most definitely missing out. This ‘trail’ is actually a rough forest service road that heads up the June Creek Valley from Single Tree. It climbs at a steady moderate grade following the small June Creek through Aspens in the valley bottom, and periodically climbing up into the sage brush & scrub hillside.
This time of year is the perfect season to explore this local gem. The vibrant green of the aspen’s, just beginning to leaf-out, is on full display here. As you climb higher, you are greeted with spectacular views of Beaver Creek, New York Mountain, Mount Jackson, and other iconic peaks of the northern Sawatch Mountains.
With current snow levels, you can make it at least 4 miles up the trail before you hit snow--and possibly further allowing for a great hike that will certainly help you get ready for the bigger adventures right around the corner. The trail does branch off in a few places, often with both forks leading to the same place. At around 2 miles taking the sharp left will switch back up the hillside avoiding the very short and very steep & rocky section that you would encounter if you stayed straight.
You can access June Creek from either Singletree or Wildridge. To get to the Single Tree Trailhead take Single Creek Road to its highest point, just before Single Tree Road joins June Creek Road there is a small 3-4 car pull off opposite the trailhead. From Wildridge, the trail departs from June Creek Trail road near the Dog Park. Alternatively, you can get to the June Creek trail from the West Avon Preserve system via Wild West Ridge.