This totally wooded trail travels from West Brush Creek up to the Powerline Road, FDR 413, following McKenzie Gulch. The trail begins after passing through a barbed wire gate. The grade is a moderate uphill climb through mostly aspen, mountain maple and wild rose. As you climb up in elevation the vegetation changes to aspen mixed with pine, spruce and fir. The trail is faint in a couple of areas, but can easily be found again, being sure not to follow cattle trails. There are a number of switchbacks to accommodate the rise in elevation, short-cutting them promotes trail erosion.
About 1.5 miles up the trail forks; to the right is the McKenzie Fork to the McKenzie Spring. This 0.8 mile trail has a slight uphill grade through aspen forest (with lots of aspen deadfall) and some small grassy meadows with grazing cattle. It ends near a cattle stock tank at the McKenzie Spring.
ASPEN FOREST - This trail offers a good example of how varied an aspen forest can be. At the lower end of the trail, there is aspen mixed with the dense vegetation of mountain maple, snowberry, wild rose, gooseberry and small chokecherry trees. Midway up, the aspen has some lodgepole pine with it and numerous clumps of lupines. At the top of the trail, there is less aspen and more lodgepole pine with spruce and fir.
FOREST BIRDS - These aspen forests provide an excellent habitat for a variety of forest dwelling birds. Wood thrushes, house wrens, dark-eyed juncos, mountain chickadees and Northern flickers may all be seen.
Directions: From Beaver Creek, Travel west on I-70 to Eagle (exit #147). Turn left and drive into Eagle. Turn left on Capitol Street and follow to Brush Creek Road. Turn left and follow Brush Creek Road10 miles south of Eagle. Turn right on the West Brush Creek Road to Sylvan Lake. Go 2.4 miles from the Y. The trailhead is on the right side up a fairly steep 4-Wheel drive road. Parking is available for vehicles and trailers at a pulloff just past it on the left. Four-Wheel drive vehicles can park 100 yards up this road before the fence. There are no facilities at the trailhead.
Elevation: 8,000 feet
Ending Elevation: 9,450 feet
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White River National Forest, Colorado
Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 Wildernet.com all rights reserved.
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