Trail Name: East Lake Creek
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 miles to a great turnaround point, but the trail continues on for another 10 miles or so!
Easy to moderate depending on far you plan to travel.
What to Expect:
The trailhead for the East Lake Creek trail is very near the end of Lake Creek Road in Edwards and is easily located following the brown wayfinding sings posted along Lake Creek Road. Proceed past the hairpin turn that also serves as the trailhead for the West Lake Creek trail and park in the small parking lot on the left side of the road. This is another local trail that shares borders and even an easement through private property, so please respect the landowners and only park in the lot and stay on the designated trail.
After a slight incline, snowshoers will pass through one of the larger and accessible local aspen stands. As you travel through the stand, feel free to rub up against the trunk to obtain the free, and easy sunscreen aspen trees provide (the white powder has roughly an SPF of 8- the same as a wet white-T!). Continue along the trail as it drops down towards the creek below, passing by the turn off to the Dead Dog Trail, and through more gorgeous and seemingly healthy aspen stands (Dead Dog trail is a great route for a more serious climb or to access various alpine lakes in the summer. The nomenclature of this trail however, is still a mystery to this hiker, so your guess is as good as mine!)
My preferred turnaround spot is located in another good-sized aspen stand, with a large gneiss boulder on the hikers left, just before you start a major downhill section towards the bridge over Lake Creek.
Snowshoeing on established trails is a great way of minimizing our impacts on the surrounding ecology and also concentrates our use in specific areas. In deep snow, our snowshoeing impacts are very minimal, that is until we reach alpine environments. Much like the summer hiking season, the alpine environment is incredibly fragile and commands a more delicate touch. Lichens and other plants that go dormant in the winter are highly susceptible to damage from our crampons as we traverse high, rocky peaks. Do your best to stay on established trails and when that is not possible, try and avoid scraping, trampling, or otherwise affecting the native plant life struggling to survive the harsh Colorado winter.
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