Trail Name: Buck Creek Trail
Walking Mountains' weekly snowshoe hikes are hand picked by our hiking guides and environmental educators to get you out on the most beautiful trails at the most scenic times. Walking Mountains' team of nature nerds and backcountry snowshoe guides are certified interpretive guides are out there to show you the best experiences on our vast public lands and wild environments. Check back next week for another timely and beautiful, Hike of the Week!
Roughly 2.5 miles to the first open meadow, plenty more trail to keep you moving!
Moderate to difficult depending on how far you go. The trail to the first meadow where the old Nottingham Ridge trail intersects has only two major inclines. The further you head up towards Red and White Mountain Rd., the steeper it gets!
What to Expect:
The Buck Creek trail starts just above Walking Mountains Science Center off of Buck Creek Road in Avon (this snowshoer always starts a Buck Creek hike off at Northside for donuts!). Coming from I70, you’ll continue west on Nottingham Rd and then make a right just after the medical center. The trailhead is less than a mile up the road.
The first bit of trail proceeds through conservation easements held by the Mountainstar POA and Town of Avon before entering the National Forest just beyond the culvert under Mountainstar Drive. After a bit of a climb and a few water crossings, the trail opens up in a meadow that once housed the National Forest Service office for the White River National Forest (much has changed since 1907!).
The trail continues to climb to the first good turnaround spot in an open meadow where the ridge trail intersects Buck Creek. If you’ve got a little more energy, follow the ridge trail west and after a mile or so you’ll find another great meadow, this one surrounding a pond littered with boreal toads in the spring, and plenty of picnic seating year-round.
Buck Creek is a seldom used trail in the winter other than the first mile or so by local dog walkers. In the summer, it is part of a steep single track circuit many bikers like to loop in from other trails and roads closer to Vail. Because it is a relatively quiet trail, the chances for someone else to pick up after you are even slimmer! Do your part and give back to this hidden gem of a trail by helping keep it clean and in good shape for the upcoming recreation season.
Snowshoe 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 our 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