“A relatively steady climb to the top of East Fork and then down Middle Fork to Art Nord.
— Mike Appleby
Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This route makes for a great mid-morning hike with a stop for lunch (BYO) at the merge of the trails where there is a bench. Great views of Snowbasin and reasonably shaded in the summer. There is a good chance to see deer and beaver in the summer. This is a great way to get in a six mile hike with some elevation without having to do it as an out and back.
Need to Know
There are several benches along the route for those who need to take the occasional break. Take the normal precautions of looking out for rattlesnakes in the summer. You are at reasonably high elevation so snakes are not as prevalent as along the front range.
The Wheeler Creek - East Fork Trail
trail starts about 50 yards on the left past the gate on the Old Snowbasin Road at the Art Nord Trailhead parking area. It ascends steadily but not steeply all the way to the junction with the Wheeler Creek - Middle Fork Trail
At the junction, you go right to go down the Wheeler Creek - Middle Fork Trail
. By going left you get to the Green Pond Trailhead in about a quarter mile which opens up possibilities to extend the hike. Going down Wheeler Creek - Middle Fork Trail
, the trail stays in the trees and descends steadily, but again not steeply, to the Old Snowbasin Road.
Once you reach the road, go directly across the road and continue on the singletrack trail until it meets up with the main Wheeler Creek Trail
. Turn right and follow the trail back to the Art Nord Trailhead parking lot. After crossing the Old Snowbasin Road, the trail goes mostly down but does have one climb before reaching the Art Nord Trailhead.
This is a great trail both in summer and winter. It's fairly cool in the summer as a lot of it is in the trees. It is well used by snowshoers, hikers, and bikers in the winter and it gets well packed quickly in the winter allowing it to be , run, hiked, or fat tire biked. There are great views of Snowbasin along the way. It can be extended by going down Icebox Canyon which turns off the main Wheeler Creek Trail
on the left about half way back to Art Nord.
Flora & Fauna
Good wildflowers in early summer, big stands of Aspen, and a big beaver pond along the way. Deer, moose, beaver, and turkey are definitely there.