Snowmass history: Owl Creek Trail |

Snowmass history: Owl Creek Trail

A cross-country skier on the Owl Creek trail on Jan. 2, 1986.
Michael Kennedy/Aspen Historical Society |

“Owl Creek trail is right on track,” Paul Anderson wrote in The Aspen Times in January 1986. “One of the best trails to experience the totally blissful and ethereal joy of Nordic track skiing (and I employ full poetic license in that remark) is the Owl Creek trail that runs from West Buttermilk to Snowmass. The trail is a groomed track that makes up 8 kilometers of the total 72 km of tracks set in the Aspen area by the Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council. It is probably the most popular track in the area, and for good reason. The trail starts in the aspen groves near Buttermilk where it drops gradually down into the rolling meadows of the Owl Creek drainage. From there it winds, climbs and descends over hill and dale, through open glades or timbered slopes until it reaches the Snowmass Golf Course.”

The Owl Creek Nordic trail officially opened in December 1984, so less than two years later, it was still considered a relatively new trail and one of the best around.

Now, the trail has been around for more than 30 years. It also has hosted one of the state’s largest Nordic ski races, the Owl Creek Chase, since 1985.

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