Snowshoe on East Lake Creek Trail can be 2 miles or 10
Walking Mountains Science Center
Trail Name: East Lake Creek
Mileage: Roughly 2 miles to a great turnaround point, but the trail continues on for another 10 miles or so.
Subjective rating: Easy to moderate depending on how far you plan to travel.
What to Expect
The trailhead for the East Lake Creek trail is very near the end of Lake Creek Road in Edwards and is easily located following the brown wayfinding signs posted along Lake Creek Road. Proceed past the hairpin turn that also serves as the trailhead for the West Lake Creek trail and park in the small parking lot on the left side of the road. This is another local trail that shares borders and even an easement through private property, so please respect the landowners and only park in the lot and stay on the designated trail.
After a slight incline, snowshoers will pass through one of the larger and accessible local aspen stands. As you travel through the stand, feel free to rub up against the trunk to obtain the free, and easy sunscreen aspen trees provide (the white powder has roughly an SPF of 8 — the same as a wet white T-shirt). Continue along the trail as it drops down toward the creek below, passing by the turnoff to the Dead Dog trail, and through more gorgeous and seemingly healthy aspen stands (Dead Dog trail is a great route for a more serious climb or to access various alpine lakes in the summer. The nomenclature of this trail, however, is still a mystery to this hiker, so your guess is as good as mine.)
My preferred turnaround spot is located in another good-sized aspen stand, with a large gneiss boulder on the hikers left, just before you start a major downhill section towards the bridge over Lake Creek.
Snowshoeing on established trails is a great way of minimizing our impacts on the surrounding ecology and also concentrates our use in specific areas. In deep snow, our snowshoeing impacts are very minimal, that is until we reach alpine environments.
Much like the summer hiking season, the alpine environment is incredibly fragile and commands a more delicate touch. Lichens and other plants that go dormant in the winter are highly susceptible to damage from our crampons as we traverse high, rocky peaks.
Do your best to stay on established trails and when that is not possible, try and avoid scraping, trampling or otherwise affecting the native plant life struggling to survive the harsh Colorado winter.
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