Rock Creek Trail, 02/16/2003
We parked at the junction of the St. Vrain Mountain Trail Road and the Rock Creek Road. There were about 3 other cars already parked there. Started skiing up Rock Creek Road (FR116) at 10:09. The snow was compacted from snowmobile traffic, so we kept a pretty fast pace. This trail is steep with respect to cross country skiing. The snowmobile tracks eventually vanished leaving only an old pair of ski tracks. The road ended and we followed the old ski tracks for a while before splitting off from them and continuing up the ridge making fresh tracks in a large scale zig zag pattern that was just steep enough for cross country skiing. We continued up the ridge this way as the trees became more like krummholz. We turned around near timberline at 13:27. The return trip was a great deal of fun, first skiing through the fresh powder, and then down the snowmobile compacted forest road. This trail is steep enough so that skiing down on cross country skis while maintaining a safe speed is challenging, but also incredibly fun. You DO have to keep an eye/ear out for snowmobiles zooming up this trail carrying snowboarders/skiers who are incapable of propelling themselves up on their own power. These snowboarders/skiers also tend to come zooming down behind you with little warning. We returned to the truck at 15:27.
This trail is in fact the most thrilling cross country ski trail that I have ever skied on. It is definitely NOT a trail to learn cross country skiing on: for experts only.