Trail Name: McKenzie Gulch Sylvan Lake State Park
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!
2.5- 3 miles each way depending how far you hike on Powerline Road.
Moderate if the trail has been packed down. Difficult if you’re the first one out on the freshies!
What to Expect:
The trailhead for McKenzie Gulch is off of West Brush Creek Road, en route to Sylvan Lake State Park. The road to the lake is maintained to allow access to the cabins and yurts surrounding the lake so look for a turnout on the left a few miles after the Y split in Brush Creek Road. The trail begins by crossing through a wildlife gate (please remember to close it after you!) and then winds through a stand of mixed aged aspen and through a mixed spruce/ fir forest as you continue to climb. At about the half-way point, you’ll pass by a sign directing you to a few local springs, Hart and McKenzie, but stay the course and start your climb up to Powerline Road, the terminus of the McKenzie Gulch trail. If you snowshoe South East along the road, within a mile or so you’ll get a great overlook of Sylvan Lake and the new dam!
Although it might seem as if you are visiting a local State Park, the McKenzie Gulch trail is located on the White River National Forest and is thus managed and overseen by our local Forest Service office. With many Forest Service entities and employees currently unable to return to the forest or office, it is a great time to remind hikers and snowshoers to “Pack it in, pack it out!” Although it is always important to learn from Leave No Trace Principles, it is especially important that we, as users, do our part to help keep our local forests clean and healthy when our local managers are unable to.
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