Greetings BAPers we hope all is well as the summer season starts to pick up!
Here in Steamboat snow is still plentiful in the high country, and the seasonal melt-off seems to be very gradual this year. Recent weather events have led to an abundance of muddy boots, bikes and paws- but hey, they call it mud-season for a reason, right?
If you are coming to visit, be sure to check the weather- we have been trending on the wetter side of things this spring, a rain jacket may be advised. Trail conditions the past few weeks have been slightly variable, and we do advocate that you tread lightly- try not to tear up the muddy trails! Do keep in mind that most trails are multi-use, so treat others with respect! If you’re looking for some hike-able and possibly bike-able trails keep on reading...
Here’s the LOCAL LOWDOWN:
Mad Creek trail is now open, and quite popular- to avoid an abundance of people we recommend hiking during the week. Mad Creek has two possible routes, the road which is beginner bike friendly or the single track trail, which, is slightly more technical. Both routes do have a significant up hill. The single track meanders up a mountain side, following the roar of Mad Creek- while the road goes up the opposite side of the creek leading you to open fields. Both trails do intersect, and for those looking to have wobbly legs you can add on miles via multiple loops. Remember the higher you go the more likely you are to encounter snow!
In order to access the road you do have to walk from the parking lot, about a quarter mile down 129 (as if you’re heading back to town). On the left hand side of the road you will be a footpath, that leads you too cattle guards at the beginning of the road.
-Hot Springs Trail-
The Mad Creek parking lot also allows you to access the Hot Springs trail; which, you guessed it, brings you too Strawberry Park Hot Springs. If you intend to trek to the springs do bring an abundance of water- altitude combined with physical activity and a hot soak could lead to an unfavorable situation. The Hot Springs Trail is a local favorite for biking, and is considered to be an intermediate single track. In order to access this trail you must head towards the road, once you start up the road you will see a sign for the H-Springs Trail.
Just north of Mad Creek parking lot on 129, there is a small pull off for Red Dirt Trail. From the start Red Dirt is a climb, it eventually mellows out after the first mile. When you get to the top, the trail starts to meander through thick forest, and can link back to Mad Creek trail or you can go on to the Zirkel Wilderness. Red Dirt is Advanced/Intermediate biking trail, the significant uphill makes it a bike hike for most. Do keep in mind that Red Dirt is often used as a horse packing trail (Usually once the snow in the high country has melted off), so be aware while biking or hiking with a dog.
-Emerald Mountain Trails-
The Emerald Mountain trail system is the incredibly accessible from town, and looks over all of Steamboat. This trail system resides next to historic Howelsen Hill; which, is the oldest operating ski area in all of Colorado. On Emerald you can find trails that range from easy all the way to advanced. Some trails are bike only, or even downhill specific- make sure to read the proper trail designation and abide by their rules! You can access the trails from parking at the base of Howelsen Hill, or from the small trailhead hidden in Fairview. Emerald provides endless fun, while being only steps away from downtown Steamboat. On most of the Emerald trails there is a significant uphill, almost guaranteed to make you have wobbly legs at the end of the day!
For more recommendations come visit us at BAP, our trail loving staff is always willing to give you their LOCAL LOWDOWN. Feel free to comment down below your favorite trails in and around Steamboat!
Until next time, remember to wear BAP!