Round Trip Distance: 2.9k or 1.8 miles
Elevation: 10,761 - 10,839 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Usage: Snowshoeing - Cross Country Skiing - Dogs
Time: 1 hr.
Facilities: Vault toilet
Trailhead: County Line
Fee: none (donations appreciated)
Attractions: Groomed alpine Nordic trails
View County Line Loop 1-2 in a larger map
The County Line Nordic Area is located on the Grand Mesa where the Mesa/Delta county line crosses Highway 65. The groomed trails, with their minor changes in elevation, are some of the easiest Nordic trails on the Grand Mesa. Of all the trails, Loop 1 and Loop 2, are the shortest and easiest.
The County Line Nordic trails are groomed and maintained by the Grand Mesa Nordic Council. You can support their gallant effort by making a donation at the trailhead or on their website. If you are snowshoeing you will want to use the section of the trail opposite the classic tracks that are groomed into the side of the trail. The center of the trail is the skate lane and when it is in good condition I generally keep off of it also. At times there will be classic tracks groomed into both sides of the trail. Have fun figuring that one out. If it is snowing, or if it has been awhile since the trail has been groomed, then I still avoid the classic tracks but I don't worry much about anything else.
Between all of the trails at the County Line you can mix and match them to come up with an outing of anywhere from 1 to 10 miles. The Scales Lake and Kannah Crossing trails will take you all the way over to the Skyway trail system if you are looking for something even longer.
For this trip I left the trailhead following Loop 1 to the right for the .2k distance to Loop 2.
I continued on around on Loop 2, past both junctions with Loop 3, until I was back at Loop 1 and heading towards the trailhead.
This section of Loop 1 is well protected by the trees as it snakes around each corner. Every so often one of these trees would unload its burden of snow and fill the air with sparkling crystals. Just before getting back to the trailhead is the fork that takes you around the west side of the loop.
The west side of Loop 1 is more in the open and visibility can become pretty much nil on a windy day.
After following Loop 1 back to the junction with Loop 2 you can follow the trail back through the trees for the second time to the trailhead. You could, of course, jump onto one of the other trails if you feel a need to spend a little more time on the mesa. It only took me an hour, at a snails pace, to complete both of these loops on snowshoes.
The County Line Nordic Area has great trails that are just right for anyone of any age that would like to give cross county skiing or snowshoeing a try. You can rent equipment at several places in Grand Junction including Gene Taylors and Board and Buckle. That gives you the opportunity to try out the sports before shelling out your money to buy your own stuff. I have reserved equipment for as many as 20 people. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.