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    Mesa Cortina Trail

    Eagles Nest Wilderness Area, Colorado
    Elevation Gain1,179ft
    Trailhead Elevation9,217ft
    Elevation Min/Max9180/9592ft
    Elevation Start/End9217/9217ft

    Mesa Cortina Trail

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    Arvada, CO
    Ranger | 3331 pts
    3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
    I did this trail a few days after a snowfall and it was nice, quiet and not crowded, I probably saw a total of 5 people during my hike, most of them as I was coming back. It starts in a residential area in Silverthorne and for the first mile or so you can see I-70 and hear it. Afterwards it turns quiet and more woodsy before opening up to more scenic places with meadows and great views of Buffalo and Red mountains. At at about 2 miles or so I turned to the Wheeler Gore trail and followed it for about 1 mile or so before stopping and turning back. The two guide books here suggest that because of possible avalanche danger. The two guide books also list the total length of the trail (in and out) as 7 or 7.5 miles. The snow on the trail was fresh and I used my snowshoes all the way in and out. The trail was readily visible most of the time but not always, so having a good map and a GPS was helpful. The trail is pretty easy too with little elevation gain but you are starting at 9200 ft. It took me a little over 4 h to complete with a nice leisurely lunch stop in a meadow before turning back.
    Denver, CO
    Adventurer | 220 pts
    2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars
    This trail is in bad need of some repair. The first few miles have been maintained well untill you get close to timberline then a lot of fallen trees still have not been cut out. Once you hit the junction of the Eccles pass the trail is hard to find to go over Red Buffalo Pass. Look for the Cairns and the path above the lake. The trail just below the pass(on both sides) is very eroded. The trip took me approx. 4.5 hours by mostly running with a few short stops for route finding close to the pass. Make sure if you are goind from East to West over the pass to look closely for the Cairns going straight down off the pass. A few misleading Cairns will take you up to the peaks instead of immediately off the pass. Once you reach the bottom of the basin on the West side of the pass the trail gradually improves the closer you get to the creek crossing.

    Trail Information

    Eagles Nest Wilderness Area
    Nearby City
    Eagles Nest Wilderness Area
    Skill Level
    White River National Forest
    Local Contacts
    USGS Dillon,Willow Lakes,Vail East; Trails Illustrated: #108 Vail,Frisco,Dillon
    Local Maps

    2 Members Completed

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    Trail Log