Coloradoand39;s Quiet Winter Trails  by Dave Muller

Colorado's Quiet Winter Trails Guide Book

by Dave Muller (Colorado Mountain Club Press)
Coloradoand39;s Quiet Winter Trails  by Dave Muller
Ski or showshoe on trails where there are no snowmobiles. If you have ever had the sound and exhaust of a snowmobile interrupt your cross-country skiing or showshoeing, this is the guidebook for you. Veteran author Dave Muller has described in detail 99 Colorado trails where snowmobiles are forbidden by state or federal regulation or where the terrain makes snowmobiling simply not worth the effort. These are easy and more difficult routes to be enjoyed and savored in silence by the cross-country skier and showshoer alike. On these trails, the only sounds you will hear will come from your equipment moving through the snow, the pound of your heartbeat, and the rasp of your breath at altitude. No snowmobiles, just quiet winter trails.

© 2007 Dave Muller/Colorado Mountain Club Press. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Colorado's Quiet Winter Trails" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 99.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 99.

The wonderful web of trails near Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park offers many possibilities for both winter and summer trekking. In summer, Alberta Falls features the roaring waters of Glacier Creek. In the winter, snow and ice cover the flow that proceeds out of view. Above the falls, you can continue to Mills Lake, Loch Vale, or Lake Haiyaha. Below, the falls and Glacier Creek flow into Sprague Lake and beyond to the Big Thompson River.
Estes Park, CO - Cross-Country Skiing,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 1.8
A new forest trail has been created for nordic skiers and snowshoers east of the Boreas Pass Road to the Baker’s Tank. The traditional route has been on the gradual, wide road, which was formerly a railroad bed. It is still available but more crowded. This new trail is much more demanding as it rises and falls through the woods. On the western slopes of Bald Mountain, the snow will often be better than on the road. The heavy foot and pet traffic on the Boreas Pass Road will also be avoided.
Breckenridge, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 6.6
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Cross-country skiing can be daunting in Rocky Mountain National Park. Narrow, winding trails, limited snowfall, and the lack of old mining roads call for snowshoes as the preferable winter transport mode within the park. Touring skins are advised for the skier.
Estes Park, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 4.2
At the southern end of Summit County near Hoosier Pass is a fine network of cross-country ski and snowshoe routes known as the Bemrose Creek Ski Circus. This route begins near Bemrose Creek and ascends on the steep Woods Trail to meet the Flume Trail, which then leads west to Hoosier Pass on level terrain. Hoosier Pass lies on the Continental Divide. Beautiful high peaks surround the area.
Blue River, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 9
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This lake in Rocky Mountain National Park commemorates the work of German artist Albert Bierstadt, whose paintings include many scenes of the American West. This short trail switchbacks up to scenic Bierstadt Lake and is one of several ways to reach the lake. In winter, be careful to stay on the trail because deep snow can often obscure it. If you’re lucky, you will encounter some wildlife, which roam freely and without fear in Rocky Mountain National Park. Snowshoers will likely enjoy this trail more than nordic skiers due to the steep, narrow switchbacks. Begin on the Bierstadt Lake Trail to the west northwest. As you follow the switchbacks up to the ridge, enjoy the great views across the valley to the south and southeast. The trail then descends from the ridge to a signed fork. The left hand trail leads to Bear Lake. Take the trail on the right and quickly reach Bierstadt Lake. A trail circles the lake.
Estes Park, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 2.4
The Big South Trail continues over 10 miles along the banks of the Cache Le Poudre River and ends in Rocky Mountain National Park at Poudre Lake near Milner Pass. This described trek extends only 2.5 miles to the bridge over May Creek. The flowing waters of the Poudre are the feature of this outing. Snowshoers should have little trouble on this trail, but it is not recommended for cross-country skiers due to its steep curving sections along the narrow trail.
Spencer Heights, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 5
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The Bonfils Stanton Outdoor Center offers two connecting trails that comprise a complete loop. The Challenger Trail joins the Discovery Trail and brings you back to the trailhead after an easy circuit around the edge of the willows near Jim Creek. A clockwise direction will be described. This is an ideal loop for families and beginning winter trekkers. The loop begins to the north northeast on the Challenger Trail, which curves to the right into the forest. After 0.3 mile, cross a bridge over a large water pipe. Continue with the willows on the right and soon connect with the Discovery Trail. Briefly cross the Jim Creek Trail and descend the Discovery Trail down to a four-way intersection.
Winter Park, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 1.5
The winter recreational opportunities of wonderful Rabbit Ears Pass have been increased by the addition of Bruce’s Trail. The trail is intended only for cross-country skiers and snowshoers in the winter. Bruce’s Trail was established by volunteers of the Northwest Colorado Nordic Council to honor Bruce Albin, an outdoor enthusiast, who died in 1992. It consists of two connecting loops that are traveled in a counterclockwise direction. The upper loop is easier than the lower.
Steamboat Springs, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 3.3
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Mixing with downhill skiers, sheltering from the wind, and avoiding snowmobiles are features of the Burro Trail in Breckenridge. The route ascends through the forest before leveling off for the last 1. 5 mile. Ideal for snowshoers, the downhill runs require intermediate skills for the cross-country skier.
Breckenridge, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 6.2
The vistas are few on this outing because you are mostly in thick, evergreen forest. Byers Peak comes into view at times in the final third of the trek. Byers Peak is the dominant and striking mountain to the west of Fraser.
Fraser, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 9.6
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The Wild Basin Area in the southeast quadrant of Rocky Mountain National Park is a hub for summer hiking. In the winter, the crowds are smaller, but the area is no less beautiful. Trekking to the Calypso Cascades will be more enjoyable for the snowshoer, but a good nordic skier can enjoy it as well. Skiers should wait until January or when there is considerable snow depth.
Allenspark, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 5.6
The Cameron Connection is a well-marked winter trail which culminates on Cameron Pass. The pass is named after General Robert A. Cameron, whose many exploits included the founding of Fort Collins. The Cameron Pass area usually has good winter snow depth. The trail is one of several in the Cameron Pass area. It winds through the trees parallel to Colorado Highway 14 for over 2 miles between the pass and the Zimmerman Lake parking area below.
Gould, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 4.6
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Chief Mountain is a good destination throughout the year. Its proximity to Denver and Evergreen make this trek a delightful half-day outing. Snowshoes are recommended, but an experienced cross-country skier can enjoy this trail as well. The views from the rocky, windblown summit reward your effort. Look north northwest to Longs Peak, east northeast to Squaw Mountain, southeast to Pikes Peak, and southwest to Mount Evans.
Evergreen, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 3
When the snow is ample and the winds are calm, the lovely Brainard Lake area offers many well-marked trails for the nordic skier and snowshoer. This loop takes you through the forest in a clockwise direction to Brainard Lake with a return on the wide Brainard Lake Road. This Indian Peaks area is very popular in both winter and summer.
Ward, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 5.2
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Another good winter destination for the nordic skier and snowshoer in the Brainard Lake area is the CMC Brainard Cabin, built in 1928. The cabin serves as a weekend warming hut and can be rented for overnight use. There are several wellmarked routes to the cabin. The Waldrop Trail, with its occasional steep sections, connects with the South Saint Vrain Trail before reaching a side trail to the cabin.
Ward, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 5.8
The Brainard Lake area near the Indian Peaks Wilderness offers many connecting trails for ski touring and snowshoeing. One of these is the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) South Trail, which parallels the Brainard Lake Road. High winds often rake this area, resulting in variable snow conditions. Dogs are forbidden on the CMC South Trail, as well as some of the other trails in this area.
Ward, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 5.6
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Winter use of the Corral Creek Basin, east of Vail Pass, involves a fee and a designated parking area. These requirements are part of the Vail Pass Recreation Area program to improve and control outdoor use in this popular area. While the Shrine Pass area, west of Vail Pass, is more heavily used, Corral Creek is free of snowmobiles and great for freestyle cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Copper Mountain, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 5.6
The wide, gradually ascending Deadhorse Creek Road, west of Fraser, in the Fraser Experimental Forest, is ideal for the cross-country skier and snowshoer. However, the good downhill runs on the return are the skier’s bonus. Other positive features are the absence of forbidden snowmobiles and glorious vistas in the higher areas. Several other trails are also nearby. Please do not interfere with any equipment in the Fraser Experimental Forest.
Fraser, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 8.4
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The Deadhorse Creek Loop is one of several good cross-country skiing and snowshoe routes southwest of Fraser. Unless you prefer steep downhill descents on a narrower trail, try this loop in a counterclockwise direction. This enables you to ascend the steep, shorter, and narrower Spruce Creek Trail and enjoy a long, gradual skier’s glide down the wide Deadhorse Creek Road.
Fraser, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 6
Winter touring in the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park can be very gratifying. There are fewer people on the trail, snowmobiles and pets are not allowed in the park, and the snow is usually ample. This tour follows the East Inlet Trail and ends at the far end of a second large meadow. En route, a side loop trail on the right leads to Adams Falls. The narrow winding trail has steep sections that are easier for the snowshoer than the cross-country skier.
Grand Lake, CO - Cross-Country Skiing - Trail Length: 4
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