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Lower Grouse Creek

Difficult
 3.3 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A short fast descent in the forest that is moderately technical by Vail-area standards.


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Map Key

6.1

Miles

9.8

KM

40%

Singletrack

8,870' 2,704 m

High

7,745' 2,361 m

Low

1,126' 343 m

Up

1,127' 343 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Summer to mid-Fall, usually dry by end of June. Snow closes it by mid October to early November

Overview

This ride is referred to locally as the Middle Loop on Meadow Mountain. (Lower Loop = Meadow Mountain Tie-Through trail, Upper Loop = Whiskey Creek).

Need to Know

Only the portion of West Grouse Creek Trail #2129 that is used by this ride is open to bikes. There is a sign at the Grouse Creek TH that would make you think that bikes are not allowed on ANY portion of this trail, but the Minturn Ranger Station holds that this portion is open to bikes.

Description

Park at the Holy Cross District Ranger Station near the Minturn/Leadville Exit from I-70. Climb the Line Shack Road for approximately 2.7 miles and roughly 1000 feet of vertical. At the top of a steeper rocky segment, look for a doubletrack on the left once you enter a small aspen grove. Take this left; the doubletrack is soon overgrown to singletrack. Climb a short distance then descend several wide switchbacks. Where the old roadbed crosses Grouse Creek, take a left onto West Grouse Creek trail and descend back to Highway 6. All these turns are unsigned. If you continue riding the old doubletrack past the trail, it will dead-end in some former clear-cuts.

The descent is rooty and fast and in the upper half, until you cross the creek over a wood bridge, then the more-funner-er stuff begins. Lots of moderate technically challenging boulder gardens in the lower half, all ride-able, until you get spit out at Hwy 6 & 24. Take the highway a short distance back to your car at the ranger station trailhead.

Practice good trail etiquette and perhaps think about avoiding this trail on weekend mornings in the summer and in the fall during hunting season.

In summer, you can encounter numerous uphill hikers with kids, especially on Minturn Market Saturdays. In the fall, hunters use this trail, often on horseback, to access camps in the upper Grouse Creek and Stone Creek drainages. Please be courteous, keep speeds down, and please don't spook horses or parents with kids.

History & Background

Meadow Mountain was the location of a former a ranch and a small local ski hill, leading to it's current open views and tree clearings.

Contacts

Shared By:

Bill Hoblitzell

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 3 votes

#5

in Vail

#3047

Overall
  3.3 from 3 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#5

in Vail

#393

in Colorado

#3,047

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Photos

Crossing Grouse Creek
May 31, 2020 near Minturn, CO
Nice views on the Full Nelson Trail
May 31, 2020 near Minturn, CO
Grouse Creek, right next to the trail
May 31, 2020 near Minturn, CO
Meadow Mountain: aptly named!
Mar 19, 2013 near Minturn, CO
Working up the hill!
Nov 16, 2012 near Minturn, CO

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Check-Ins

Jun 23, 2020
Trent R
Fun! — 1h 08m
Jun 18, 2018
Noel Jones
Great gradual 2.7 mile climb up grassy rolling meadows on an old ski area above Minturn behind Vail . Great views across and up the Leadville canyon
Jun 6, 2018
Garrett Vanderwater
Oct 14, 2017
Blake Gansborg
Oct 7, 2017
Elias Lehnert