BACKYARD BACKCOUNTRY SERIES
Join us for a half day hike on your local trails and learn a little more about what’s going on in your backyard! Put on your naturalist cap for these hikes and learn to identify your local wildflowers, become a scientist for a day searching for American pika, experience why mushrooming can such a finicky hobby, and more! Each hike explores a new topic on one of your favorite backyard trails!
Hikes take place every other Friday, June 18 - October 8, on various trails in the Eagle River Valley. For details on these hikes & programs, and to register, scroll through our schedule below!
What’s an organism that is neither a plant nor an animal, thrives year after year but isn’t always seen, is sometimes tasty and sometimes deadly, and are among the largest organisms on earth? Mushrooms! Join a naturalist in learning all about these fun fungi!
This hike will take place on a trail (TBD) in the Vail Pass area, 20 minutes east of Vail.
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Hike along scenic Gore Greek in the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness, just outside East Vail. Learn about the life thriving just below the surface of our mountain streams and what it means for the water that feeds our community!
The Gore Creek Trail starts in East Vail and climbs steeply at the start, before becoming more rolling as it follows the scenic Gore Creek through montane wetlands and forests. This hikes is 3 miles with 850ft. of elevation gain.
Hike above tree-line at Machinegun Ridge and learn all about pika, some of Colorado’s most resilient mammals! Enjoy panoramic views of Vail’s surrounding peaks, search the talus for signs of pika, and learn how you can use the Pika Patrol app on your own hikes to help scientists better understand the threats facing these cute critters.
This hike starts at 11,500ft. and follows a high alpine ridgeline. Because of the very rough jeep road to the trailhead, we do not offer a Meet at the Trailhead option for this hike (I know I wouldn't want to take my car here!). This hike is 3 miles with 800ft. elevation gain.
Hike through golden aspen groves and learn the secrets of Colorado’s “superhero tree”.
East Lake Creek is located just outside of Edwards and travels through some of the largest aspen groves in the Vail area. This beautiful hike traverses the hillsides high above the Lake Creek Valley and is more rolling than most Vail area trails. This hike is 3 miles with 700ft. elevation gain.
What is more constant than the quiet of an ancient forest? Well, actually quite a lot! Our forests are always changing, and if were to time travel a few hundred years in the future—you may not even recognize some of your favorite trails! Experience this change in real time on a hike through the Aspens of the Martin Creek Trail, outside Minturn.
The Martin Creek trail leaves from the town of Minturn and climbs steadily through stunning Aspen forests and into a unique mixed Aspen & fir forest. This hike features a beautiful viewpoint of the Cross Creek valley. The hike is 3-4miles with 1,200ft. of elevation gain.
Although Walking Mountains is academically oriented, some of the activities are quite strenuous if the participant is unfamiliar with such activities or is not in good physical condition. The ability to walk several miles without undue fatigue indicates reasonable physical fitness. Any previous knee or ankle problems, excessive weight, or allergies to food, medicine or insect bites are also of particular concern.The following information is important and will help us avoid health or medical problems before they occur.