Backyard Backcountry Series

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Every Monday
Free ($10 if transportation is needed)

Join a naturalist guide for a day out on your local trails, and learn a little more about what’s going on in your backyard! This weekly series of half day hikes will help you put on your naturalist caps, and explore everything from the flowers blooming in your backyard, to rugged ecology of Colorado’s alpine, and why mushrooming can such a finicky hobby!

Programs are limited to 15 hikers and pre-registration is required.

Register for a Hike! Click Here

Fall Program Topics:

Forests in Flux: What is more constant than an ancient forest? Well, actually quite a lot! Our forests are always changing, and if were to time travel a few hundred years in the future—you may not even recognize some of your favorite trails, and there’s no better place to see this in action than at the Martin Creek Trail!

Fall Colors: Explore some of the Eagle Valley’s best fall colors hikes, and the secrets of Colorado’s iconic Aspen groves (including how entire groves all change color at once!) Learn why leaves change colors, and what makes Aspens Colorados ‘superhero tree’—all under the golden backdrop of Autumn in the Rockies!

All program participants must carry a mask or other face covering on them for the duration of all programs. Masks must be worn when:

  • In any Walking Mountains transportation vehicles
  • During the pre-hike environmental briefing
  • During any group educational stops, lunch, or other times on the trail where 6 foot distance is not maintained

While hiking on the trail, hikers do not need to wear their masks as long as 6 foot social distance is maintained along the trail.

Read our Full COVID-19 Policies Here

9/14: Fall Color Hike – Cross Creek

Cross Creek, just outside of Minturn, is a gorgeous fall hike up into the Holy Cross Wilderness. The hike follows Cross Creek through granite outcrops and aspen groves to views of the Mt. of the Holy Cross.


9/28: Forest in Flux – Martin Creek

A hike up Martin Creek offers a glance into the past, as well as the future of Colorado’s forests. Alongside being one of the most stunning fall colors hikes in the valley, through endless Aspen groves, this hike provides a look into how Colorado’s forests are always changing.


10/5: Fall Colors Hike – East Lake Creek

The hike into East Lake Creek rolls through old groves of Aspen, and descends into the E. Lake Creek Valley. One of the best fall colors hikes in the Eagle River Valley, this trail often glows gold in peak color!


What’s bloomin’ in the backyard? : Join a naturalist guide on your local backyard trail to learn which wildflowers are currently blooming, and to how to identify flowers on your next hike!

Life on the Frontlines: Climate Change in the Alpine: Learn about how Colorado’s Alpine zone is the frontlines in the climate crisis here in the Rocky Mountains, and what research is telling us about how this environment and the critters that live here may adapt.

Alpine Wildflowers: A whole unique community of spectacular, hardy (and often very tiny) wildflowers thrive in Colorado’s harshest environment. Learn what makes these plants so beautiful, unique, and awesome!

Mysterious Mycology: What’s an organism that is neither a plant nor an animal, thrives year after year but isn’t always seen, that’s sometimes tasty and sometimes deadly, and are some of the largest organisms on earth? Mushrooms! Join a naturalist in learning all about these fun fungi!
*this is not a foraging program.