Trail Name: Meadow Mountain Minturn (Ole Faithful!)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 4.5 miles to Line Shack, however there are many turnoffs and other routes that make Meadow Mountain the local favorite for an hour-long jog or a half-day slog.
Moderate; Depending on where you go and which line you choose to follow. Stay on the road for a mellow incline or choose to follow one of the likely snowmobile tracks straight up one of the old ski runs for a real calf-burner.
What to Expect:
Quick disclaimer: most of us who have spent any duration of time in the valley and enjoy time on the trails, know what to expect on Meadow Mountain. That said, it is a great place to view all types of local ecology, follow animal tracks, and see the variety of recreational activities allowed on our National Forests. Following the road takes you by remnant cabins from the sheep herding and lettuce farming days, and winds by great spruce, fir, lodgepole pine, and aspen trees. One of the first stands of aspen along the road has signatures of the herders and some of their more intricate and lonely artwork, etched into the trees.
Staying on the road also gives snowshoers the best chance to see tracks from our local wildlife. As we’ve mentioned before, animal life in the winter is all about energy conservation and staying alive so wildlife will utilize packed down trails to make their travel easier. Look for hoof-prints of mule deer and even larger elk or moose (moose prints are frequent just one drainage over in the Grouse Creek trail area). You can also put your canine/ feline tracking skills to the test by examining the paw prints of either local dogs or potentially the wild cats of Colorado (remember that most cats will walk with their claws retracted so you won’t see the nick towards the top of the toe pad!).
This is the time of the year when many local trails are closed down for the season to promote wildlife foraging, migration routes, and safe havens for raising young. Please respect all closed trails and take the time to meet and chat with the local trail ambassadors from the Eagle County Trail Ambassador program as they maintain vigilant oversight of our local, closed trails. As we learn more and more about managing local wildlife populations and our desires as recreationalists, one of the easiest things we can do is to respect our “place” by ensuring we play in responsible locations this 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