What trails are open around Steamboat Springs this mud season? We checked in with some experts | SteamboatToday.com

What trails are open around Steamboat Springs this mud season? We checked in with some experts

Parts of the Mad Creek trail are still too wet for cycling, but after a few days of sunshine, most of the trail to the barn is dry and ready for hiking.
Scott Franz

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs residents looking to get their hiking legs back in shape don’t have to drive all the way to Moab, Utah to find some dry trails during mud season.

The trail leading to the Mad Barn just north of Steamboat is now open and mostly dry, although the local Forest Service Office said it’s still a bit too wet in places for cyclists.

The Uranium Mine Trail, which offers great views of Fish Creek Falls, also dries out earlier than other trails and is a quick drive from downtown.

“In a general sense, the trails that open up first are Mad Creek Trail and the Silver Creek Trail over by Yellowjacket Pass,” Friends of Wilderness President Bob Korch said. “The trail up to the second falls (at Fish Creek falls) is kind of problematic this time of year because it usually stays icy for a while and it’s shaded over there.”

Hikers and cyclists should obey any signs noting a trail is closed due to muddy conditions.

If a cyclist is reaving a rut on a muddy trail, it’s not time to ride.

Betsy Frick, who works in the U.S. Forest Service’s local visitor information office, said the winter wildlife closure has been lifted for the Spring Creek Trail.

But hikers who head up there this week will encounter snow 1.5 feet deep this week on the trail between the third bridge and a point upstream of the closure boundary.

Frick said she was able to run on Blackmer Drive from its start to the top of the ski lift at Howelsen Hill.

She also reported the trail that leads to the stock pond on Emerald is runnable.

There are also 8 miles of trails around Stagecoach Reservoir that are mostly dry.

“This time of year, now that we’re thawed out, it’s just weather dependent,” said park manager Craig Preston.”We don’t close trails for conditions, but we ask people to respect conditions. Don’t come out in or immediately after a good rain because you’ll find mud puddles and tear up the trails.”

Starting May 1, Stagecoach will start a summer equipment loaner program where park visitors can rent fishing gear and fat bikes to be used at Stagecoach.

Hikers should shy away from Rabbit Ears Pass this week.

The pass is still snowed in, including the Ferndale area.

Some snowshoers and skiers are still heading up the pass.

Outdoor enthusiasts who are itching to go backpacking in such places as Mount  Zirkel Wilderness Area still have waiting to do as well.

Korch said trails that leave from the Slavonia trailhead usually don’t open up until early June at the earliest.

Have a trail report from a nearby trail?

Leave a comment below.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.


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