Trail Conditions Update – June 11

Summer seems to finally arrived here in the Eagle River Valley!  Trails are slowly “opening up” as the melt and runoff ramps up.  First, a quick reminder that many seasonal trail closures are still in effect through June 20th for elk and deer calving.  Please continue to respect these closures.

We have two main resources that we do our best to maintain for trail conditions update:

  1. Trailforks conditions on our webpage here
  2. Facebook trail conditions group here

Additionally, the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District publishes a conditions report which can be found on their website here.

Another resource we have found to be super helpful is CalTopo’s Sentinal Weekly layer (pro account required).  It takes an updated satelite image on a weekly basis which (if not cloudy) can be a great tool to see where snow-line currently is.

East Vail

Looking at a satellite image of the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness from 6/9, there is still a lot of snow up high!  Generally, snow-line seems to be around 10,500′ and depends on the aspect.

Vail Mountain Area

Who wants to go ski Riva?  It sure looks like some great coverage up there.  Mill Creek and Two Elk are closed until 7/1 so they have some time to dry out but dang, that looks like a lot of snow up there still.

Game Creek is good to go with only one tree down and minor wet spots. 

Cougar Ridge has a lot of trees down and looks to be snow covered for the last 0.5-1 mile.  Our crew and Forest Service crews will get out there and clear the trail once it melts out a bit more in the next couple weeks.

Yeoman & Sylvan Area

McKenzie Gulch and Sneve are both dry.  But I can personally attest to a number of big trees being down on both.  We cleared about 12 downed trees on McKenzie on Sunday and the amount that were down may allude to a lot of trees being down this Spring!

Ironedge is definitely still snowed in and so is a majority of Lake Charles and Nolan Lake.  Snow-line seems to be around 10,500′ in the Sawatch area as well.

Grouse Area

The Grouse trails are a very popular early season opportunity to get into the forest.  This is evident by the constantly overflowing parking lot!  There are definitely some springs, mud, and at times spicy creek crossings so be aware.  But overall W Grouse Creek, Grouse Lake, Full Nelson, and Half Nelson are all good to go.

Seasonal Wildlife Closures

Are in effect on many trails including:

  • North Trail
  • Son of Middle Creek
  • Beaver Creek & Arrowhead (Elkhorn, Village to Village, Mud Springs, etc.)
  • Buffehr Creek
  • Whiskey Creek
  • Everkrisp
  • Paulie’s Plunge
  • Eastern Hillside
  • Two Elk
  • Mill Creek

Our seasonal staff person, Melanie (right above) has been crushing it out at trailheads on a daily basis, educating and informing trial users why trails are closed and what trails are open.

Tree Clearing

It’s almost the Trail Conservation Crew’s favorite time of the year – tree clearing season!  As normal, the crew will head out and begin clearing trails in the next 2-3 weeks as they begin to dry out and open.  Pictured above are some big ones on Full Nelson and Game Creek.

We are beginning to plan out our tree clearing schedule in partnership and support with the Forest Service and will provide a schedule once we finalize it.  But you can expect a majority to start on Monday, June 24th. 

The calendar is not ideal for our crew’s schedule this year.  They work 4-10’s Monday-Thursday and opening day this year is Friday, June 21st.  So there will be three days of tree hurdling before our crew gets after them on Monday, 6/24.  Thanks for your patience!

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