Brown's Creek Trail - Snowshoeing

February 15, 2020 · San Isabel National Forest

The original plan was for a snowshoeing trek along Little Brown's Creek, which is just north of Brown's Creek Trail and shares a common trailhead. However, there were a couple of things that happened that played out that changed the course of this 9.7-mile trek. Thankfully, the weather for this trek was great. It was a clear sunny day with very little wind; the only time the wind kicked up was near the first set of lakes along Brown's Creek Trail.

The Winter trailhead is about 1.75 miles back from the Summer trailhead, and all the maps I looked over did not call out the difference in Winter v. Summer trailheads, so that was a bit of a surprise. Granted, the 1.75 miles from the Winter trailhead to the Summer trail is basically flat, it was something I didn't account for.

I did not need the snowshoes for the entire trek and was able to comfortably use the traction spikes for the entire trek. This a San Isabel National Forest front-range trek, and there wasn't a lot of snow, it often felt more like a late Spring trek. Once on the official trail for Little Brown's Creek, it was not uncommon for the trail to be more mud than snow. There is a gated entrance a little past the Summer trailhead, and after that the trail was more snow than mud.

There is a confluence of three trails at a place I have come to call Confusion Point. The three trails are The Colorado Trail, running north-south, Little Brown's Creek running east-north-west and Brown's Creek, running east-south-west. At this junction the snow was much deeper, however, this area does get some strong winds and the surface of the snow was still hard enough to not need snowshoes.

At this junction there were no visible tracks leading up to Little Brown's Creek Trail. All tracks continued to Brown's Creek trail, to the south. I opted out of trailblazing the Little Brown's Creek Trail and based on the map, I assumed that at this point the trail would turn into a loop back to the shared Summer trailhead for Little Brown's Creek Trail and Brown's Creek Trail. However, as I continued along Brown's Creek Trail and came to the junction for the return leg of the loop, there were no visible tracks to complete the southern end of the loop.

So, I decided to continue to the first set of lakes in a meadow along Brown's Creek Trail. The views along the Brown Creek's Trail are very impressive and I would like to return to both of the Brown's Creek Trails in the Summer as they end near the elevation of 12,000 feet. That has always been an interesting elevation, it is around the treeline and there is so much going on there.

When I got to the small lakes and based on the mileage I had put in so far, I decided to head back. When looking at the map, it's clear I did not make a dent in the Brown's Creek Trail and Little Brown's Creek trail remains a mystery. The two Brown's Creek Trails form a larger loop. Perhaps a multi-day trek for a Summer season. I did enjoy the time on the trail, any time on the trail is quality time. I wish I knew about the difference between the Summer and Winter trailheads to better plan.


SIMILAR TRAILS

Mills Lake - Snowshoeing

December 1, 2018 · Snowshoeing to Mills Lake in RMNP was marked by wind and a lot of it. The trek started out at a brisk 21 degrees and the warmest that I saw on my anemometer was 24 degrees. It was overcast for most of the trek with windblown snow. Mills Lake is one of the few easy access trails o...

Mohawk Lakes ~ Cut Short - Snowshoeing

May 3, 2019 · The original plan for this snowshoeing trek was to go to at least Lower Mohawk Lake and at best to Upper Mohawk Lake. I have been to Mohawk Lakes in a previous summer hiking season, so I wasn't sure how far I could get. I do remember that the pitch to Lower Mohawk Lake is steep a...

Lone Pine Lake - Snowshoeing

January 18, 2020 · The trek along the Lone Pine Lake trail is an easy trail along the oxbows, I have been to Lone Pine Lake in the Summer and in the Winter the snow-covered oxbows are very pretty. It was overcast for most of the trek in and began to clear up on the way out.

AREAS HIKED

Collegiate Peaks Wilderness9
Eagles Nest Wilderness10
Fossil Ridge Wilderness1
Fraser Experimental Forest1
Gunnison National Forest1
Holy Cross Wilderness12
Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness3
Indian Peaks Wilderness17
James Peak Wilderness1
Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness2
Mount Evans Wilderness2
Mount Massive Wilderness2
Pike National Forest1
Raggeds Wilderness1
Rocky Mountain National Park41
San Isabel National Forest6
Sangre de Cristo Wilderness1
White River National Forest10
Zirkel Wilderness1

TRAILS BY MONTH

January3
February2
March2
April3
May5
June16
July26
August26
September27
October5
November4
December3

SEASONS ON THE TRAIL

2021

The 2021 Season has started. Though the pandemic created a challenging 2020 season, I am looking forward to building on the 2020 season to create an incredible 2021 season. The pandemic has taught me a few things about when and where to go hiking. As such planning for the 2021 se...

2020

The 2020 hiking season has been incredible, even in the face of adversity. The pandemic has made for a logistically challenging season. Somehow, I was still able to piece together an incredible 230+ miles on the trail this season and able to see some truly spectacular places. Enj...

2019

The 2019 hiking season was an interesting season, this was the first season that I started and ended the season snowshoeing and a full summer of hiking for a total of just under 225 miles on the trail. What this season has taught me is that it's winter in the mountains for a long...

2018

The 2018 Summer Hiking Season has come to an end. What a season, incredible views and just over 230 miles on the trail. Even with 230 miles, this season seems short to me, perhaps I'll add something to it during the winter season - snowshoeing perhaps. In the meantime, I hope you...

2017

The 2017 hiking season was interesting, I was able to explorer more of Colorado's National Forests and get in some camping, not as much camping as I would have liked, but hopefully next year I'll able to get in more multi-day hikes. This season came in just under 129 miles roundt...

2016

The 2016 hiking season was about spreading out and exploring more of Eagles Nest Wilderness, Indian Peaks Wilderness and touching on White River National Forest - and of course a few trips into Rocky Mountain National Park. These are amazing National treasures. This season came i...

2015

The 2015 hiking season was a big hiking season, I decided to do a fundraiser for The Red Cross (I learned a lot about fundraising - it was very interesting) with my pledge to hike over 200 miles for this season, I came in at 217 miles for the season; what a great time out on the ...

2014

The 2014 hiking season was almost all about exploring Rocky Mountain National Park, it really is a beautiful park. What I learned during the course of this hiking season is, although people may roll their eyes when you say you're going on a hike in RMNP, it really is spectacular ...

2013

2013 is the year this all started. The hike to Pitkin Lake started it all. Although it was a difficult trail, I was hooked immediately. However, I didn't have the right gear and the seasons were changing quickly. So, even though this season only brought two hikes, I new this was ...