Trail Name: Martin Creek, Minturn
Walking Mountains' weekly hikes are hand picked by our hiking guides and environmental educators to get you out on the most beautiful trails at the most scenic time of year. Whether it's wildflower blooms or beating the crowds, Walking Mountains' team of nature nerds is out there to show you the best experience on our vast public lands and wild environments. Check back next week for another timely and beautiful, Hike of the Week.
Roughly 15 mile out-and-back trail with options for forming loops with Grouse Mountain and Cross Creek trails.
Moderate to difficult. This is a steeper and longer trail but a great, local way to get the heart rate up.
What to Expect:
The trailhead for Martin Creek is west of Highway 24 on the Southern end of Minturn. There is very limited parking, keeping the trail relatively quiet and peaceful. The trail begins traversing through private property on an easement granted to the USFS for trail access. Please respect the landowners and remain on the trail!
If you are looking for a trail that highlights forest succession this is it! Meander by older firs and spruce trees en route to young aspen stands, preparing for the next 40 years of bringing fall color to the valley. The trail climbs towards the Cross Creek trail and just a little further hikers will hit the Grouse Mountain connector, that drops down above Grouse Lake and down towards Minturn. Remember to take special note of trail intersections and make sure you plan your return carefully!
Moose are a very common sighting along the Martin Creek trail and in the Grouse Creek drainage. Not originally found in Colorado, Moose are thriving since their introduction into the high country! It is especially important to keep dogs on their leashes when hiking in moose country, because moose are more likely to turn and face, than turn and run! Moose are very large animals with incredible top speeds when running full tilt so keeping a keen “animal awareness” is essential. One piece of local folklore regarding what to do if you see a moose, is that playing “ring-around-the-rosy” with a moose around a tree more than 6” in diameter will hide you from a moose because their legs are too long to turn tight corners! This hiker has never tried it personally, because he practices good trail etiquette, but he’d be interested in hearing any evidence of this method working (or not)!
Hike with Walking Mountains:
Walking Mountains Science Center leads guided hikes year round for people of all ages and abilities. To see a schedule, visit www.walkingmountains.org or stop by one of their Eagle Valley Locations:
In Avon at the Buck Creek Campus behind the hospital
On Vail Mountain at the Nature Discovery Center
At the Vail Nature Center near the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens