Saturday, January 29, 2011

North Tenmile Creek Snowshoe

Distance: 4 miles round trip
Elevation: 9,097 ft - 9, 932 ft
Elevation Gain: 835 ft

A view of frigid Ten-mile Creek with Wichita Mountain (10, 855 ft on the left)

North Ten-mile Creek is a trail right at the second Frisco exit (coming from Denver) so it is an easy choice if you are in Summit County and don't want to drive too far. It is not high on views but the sojourner at least has a sense that mountains are nearby with occasional meadow crossing and open areas.

The trailhead

I was going to title this post North Ten-Mile at Ten Below because that is how cold it was and that did not include the wind chill. Even with long underwear under my ski pants, my legs became quite chilled. It seems I need to calibrate my gear every season, forgetting how warm or nor-so warm particular choices are. Long underware comes in various grades. I could have worn a warmer set for sure.

The sign indicating the split from the road to the North Ten-mile Creek Trail

As I mentioned above the trailhead for this trail is right on I-70 at the second Frisco exit. There is a large parking area and Forest Service sign that will be quite evident when you exit the highway.

A typical trail segment in the trees

The route starts up a road towards some obvious green water tanks and then veers off trail at a nice sign that points uphill. From this point on the route steadily gains elevation and winds in and out of coniferous trees.

Snow carvings

At 1.0 miles the trail levels off and comes close to Ten-mile Creek itself. Take a moment step out into the open and admire the creek. In winter, the wind carves the snow into ice sculptures and the water trickles in and out of ice flows.

The meadow where we sunk up to our haunches

The wilderness boundary is located 2 miles from the trailhead and this is where we turned around. Before getting there, however we crossed a small open area that contained much wind blown snow. We sank up above our haunches in this zone in the fresh snow that no one had traversed in a while.

The wilderness boundary

It being far too cold to lounge, we quickly sipped some hot chocolate out of a thermos and headed back to the trailhead. On a warmer day we might have continued. I have never done this trail in the summer but may have to put it on my list.

How you dress for -10°F...Facemask, goggles, and down coat under the jacket

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sylvia - when we did this last winter, it was a lot warmer, and we made it all the way to the trail junction with the Gore Range trail. Some good resources can be found at the link below:

    http://www.dillonrangerdistrict.com/summer/norten_hkg.htm

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