This trail is located within the site of the historic Camp Hale, where the 10th Mountain Division trained for winter mountainous warfare during World War II. The fourteen thousand men that were trained here fought heroically in the mountains of Northern Italy.
The trail begins on the right side of Ranch Creek Road (FDR 714), look for a buck and rail fence. The trail crosses the East Fork Eagle River. Across the river, the trail proceeds through a marshy meadow and lodgepole pine stand.
After a mile, the trail crosses a clearing on the slope, where the 10th Mountain Division practiced skiing. This point also provides a great view of Camp Hale.
The trail climbs up FDR 726 and drops into Highway 24. After crossing the highway, the trail proceeds through a long narrow strip of uplifted land in the Mitchell Creek drainage. The trail begins climbing into another lodgepole pine forest to Tennessee Pass.
Many of today's ski areas were founded by veterans of the 10th Mountain Division who first learned to ski at Camp Hale.
Local guide services are available to learn more about this area.
Directions: From Beaver Creek, Follow I-70 to the Minturn exit (#171). Follow Highway 24 south, through the town of Minturn, and continue a total distance of 14 miles from the interstate until you reach a valley opening. Look for the first major turnoff on the left (east) side onto a dirt road entering Camp Hale. Follow the road to the immediate right and at .5 miles from Highway 24 take a left at the fork and then a right at the immediate next fork. Follow this road south approximately .5 miles until it curves left (east) and look for the Ranch Creek Jeep Road sign on your right (north). The trailhead is 200-500 feet from the intersection.
Elevation: 9,200 feet
Ending Elevation: 10,424 feet
Distance: 6.5 miles
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White River National Forest, Colorado
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