Walking Mountains announces summer backcountry hiking schedule | VailDaily.com

Walking Mountains announces summer backcountry hiking schedule

Hikers enjoy the Missouri Lake-Fancy Pass Loop, one of the hikes offered this summer as part of the Walking Mountains Science Center and the Vail Recreation District’s backcountry program.
Special to the Daily |

EAGLE COUNTY — Walking Mountains Science Center and the Vail Recreation District’s backcountry hiking program kicks off in early June and continues through the beginning of October. The series will travel the valley from Uneva Peak to Mount Thomas and everywhere in between. Full-day hikes are on Tuesdays and Fridays and cost $80 or $75 for VRD taxpayers; and half-day hikes take place on Saturdays and cost $55 or $50 for VRD taxpayers. Visit http://www.walkingmountains.org/hike for the full schedule and online registration.

Hikers are picked up at various locations throughout the valley and transported not only to trailheads, but to areas once famous for historic homesteading or mountain passes that have been traveled upon for centuries (see the trek to Holy Cross City or the Ute Trail). Hikers need only sturdy boots, water and snacks. In June, while the snow is still waist deep and access roads remain closed, the hikes will spend time in many of our own backyards, exploring the Squaw Creek drainage or traversing up Buck Creek (literally in Walking Mountains’ backyard). As the snow slowly makes its way down into the Colorado River, the hikes branch out and visit Machine Gun Ridge, providing 360 degree panoramas of where the famed 10th Mountain Division trained, or Notch Mountain, a strenuous yet accessible 13er.

“We are thrilled about our continuing partnership with the Vail Recreation District to provide locals and tourists alike with an opportunity to explore their curious nature on the breathtaking hiking trails in Eagle County. Hiking with one of our trained instructors opens your eyes to a new way to interpret the natural world that surrounds us,” said Lara Carlson, community programs director for Walking Mountains Science Center.

Hikes are led by instructors trained as certified interpretive guides, wilderness first responders and outdoor enthusiasts.

For the avid hikers, memberships are available for the The Vail Nature Center Hiking Club. In its 19th year of hiking throughout the Eagle Valley, the club offers members unlimited access to full- and half-day hikes as well as additional perks such as a Colorado Search and Rescue membership card. Contact Peter Suneson, adult programs instructor at Walking Mountains Science Center, at peters@walkingmountains.org or 970-827-9725, ext. 128, for more information.

Support Local Journalism