Family-friendly hike near Vail, Brown’s Loop good for aspen viewing, potential wildlife
Walking Mountains Hike of the Week
Hike with Walking Mountains
Walking Mountains Science Center leads guided hikes year-round for people of all ages and abilities. To see a schedule, visit http://www.walkingmountains.org or stop by one of its 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
Trail Name: Brown’s Loop.
Mileage: 1.5 mile loop.
Subjective rating: Very easy — perfect for families with younger children.
What to expect
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The Brown’s Loop trail departs from Yeoman Park Campground off of East Brush Creek Road out of Eagle. Enter into the campground and proceed to the end of loop B to find the trailhead. The trail circumvents the wetlands near the headwaters of East Brush Creek, with a few boardwalks to take hikers out of the marsh, and dips in and out of the surrounding forests.
This time of year, the drive toward Sylvan Lake State Park and Yeoman Park is one of the most photographed locales in Eagle County. The large aspen stands on the road change the lighting to an amber hue, naturally displaying all shades of gold.
The hike is the perfect introduction for visitors to the valley who might not be ready to hike some of the higher elevation trails in the area. (Brown’s Loop starts at roughly 6,100 feet above sea level with less than 400 feet of gain.)
It’s also a perfect hike for families with the next generations of environmental stewards. Make sure you stop by one of the Eagle Valley Library District locations or one of the Walking Mountains Science Center locations to check out an adventure pack with everything the kiddos will need for a day of trail exploration.
Often, the staff at Walking Mountains is asked: “What is a naturalist, and how can I become one?” The answer is simple. Naturalists are anyone who spends time asking questions of their natural environment and then takes the time to find out the natural processes behind what they are seeing, feeling or experiencing. Anyone can be a naturalist.
Utilize the local experts at Walking Mountains, the Eagle Valley Land Trust or the Eagle River Watershed Council for answers to your questions or stop by your local library (Google is also sometimes a naturalist).
Becoming a naturalist is an easy practice that we think empowers people to take ownership of their natural surroundings. With ownership comes care, and with care comes protection and stewardship. The more we know about our local ecosystems and environments, the better the chance of equal cohabitation.
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