Skinned Horse (The second longest trail in the Ward system is an enjoyable 500 ft backcountry descent through forests and meadows from the upper part of the Deep Ward Lake campground at Baron Lake Drive back to Ward Trail at trail intersection 4. The upper part of the trail down to intersection 14 is often untracked. The predominant aspect is SW-NW and afternoon descents can be challenging in spring. The Skinned Horse viewpoint offers spectacular views on sunny days.
Dog Loop (Enjoy skiing with your best canine friend in the area originally designated for dogs. From the parking lot the trail is flat to intersection 22 then downhill followed by an uphill to intersection 16. From there return to the parking lot via Dog Cutoff - (305 m, 1001 ft) and intersection 22 or continue to Tower trail at intersection 17 . This trail is mostly in the trees. )
Overlook ( This trail rolls from the parking lot to intersection 15 with short and steep ups and downs. Although it is shorter than Tower Trail, it is more difficult, heavily used by dogs and snowshoers and not good for beginners.)
Scales Glade ( A gentle trail in the woods that creates a loop with Tower Trail at intersection 12. At intersection 20 it connects with other short loops that are less than a mile in length near the parking lot.)
Tower ( A flat trail in open meadows. Lovely on a sunny, calm day but can be drifted on windy days. Can make a nice loop with Scales Glade. This trail from the parking lot to intersection 13 is good for beginners. From intersection 14 to 15 the trail gets more difficult as it goes past the cell tower where it starts to roll up and down in the trees. At 15 take the short trail out to the photo overlook. On a clear day the southern mountains are in view!)
Kannah Crossing (Rolling terrain in the woods gradually uphill from intersection 11 to 14. Recommended for advanced skiers only as it is far from the parking areas.)
Vista Ridge (Gradually uphill in the trees from intersection 9 to 11. Connects for a good advanced ski loop with Vista Valley. )
Vista Valley (A beautiful, quite open meadow trail that gradually climbs from intersection 7 to 10. At 10 it goes steeply up to 11. It makes a wonderful advanced skier loop by connecting to and returning on Vista Ridge or going on to Kannah Crossing and the trails at County Line and returning on Scales Lake Road. Good to ski early in the day because on windy days it can blow in. Use caution when descending onto Vista Valley from intersection 11. There are blind corners.)
Scales Lake Rd (This trail starts at the parking lot with a steep downhill to intersection 4 then it climbs steeply to intersection 8. From intersection 8 to 13 is a gradual uphill with some rollers. When returning to Skyway parking lot on Scales Lake use caution on the descent to the snowmobile corridor, it is steep with blind corners. Scales Lake Road is a favorite for advanced skate and classic skiers. Beginner skiers can take Lions at intersection 8 to stay closer to the parking lot.)
Wills Hill (When there is enough snow to groom the hill this is a short trail to practice uphill from intersection 5 to 6 and downhill technique.)
Arroyo (A short trail in the meadow starting at intersection 4 that is flat and then climbs steeply up to intersection 7. An excellent trail to practice techniques and get warmed up for the day as it has a mix of terrain in a short distance. )
Sunset (In the trees with rolling terrain this trail joins others to create different length loops, a good choice for a windy day, late season, or for skiing close to the parking lot. It is a gradual uphill from intersection 1 to 2. Stop and ski out to the overlook for a photo and beautiful views of the Grand Valley.)
Winslow (In the trees with rolling terrain this trail joins other trails to ski different length loops. A good choice for a windy day, late season, or skiing close to the parking lot. It is a gradual uphill from intersection 1 to 2. )
Lions (In and out of meadows and forested areas this trail has variety and can connect with other trails to form loops close to the parking lot. From intersection 1 to 2 is a gradual uphill and then loops around to connect with Scales Lake at intersection 8 with a steep descent near intersection 7.)
High Trail (A short trail just west of Ward Trail, between intersections 7 and 11. This Trail has some moderate grades and meanders through partly thinned forest with a broad meadow at its southern end. Though short and not heavily used, High Trail can provide an interesting diversion for both backcountry skiers and snowshoers.
Staircase ( This trail provides a direct, mostly forested short-cut to the Ward area backcountry. It ascends a fairly even, moderate grade between intersections 2 and 3. Staircase is very popular with both backcountry skiers and snowshoers. Under icy conditions, caution is advised while descending Staircase. )
Skinned Horse Viewpoint (A short diversion east of Skinned Horse Trail on a lightly-marked trail between intersections 6 and 14 offers a spectacular vista of the San Juan and West Elk Mountains, the Gunnison Uplift, and the Gunnison and Uncompahgre Valleys. At 10211 ft, the view point is the second highest elevation in the Ward trail system.)
Sheep (A mostly flat, forested route with a small meadow near intersection 13, Sheep Trail connects East Ward Trail at intersection 12 to Skinned Horse Tail at intersection 5. )
Finney (Rating: Easy.
Finney Trail runs mostly east-west on a well-defined road, ascending through a forest from Sheep Trail (at sign No. 13) to Skinned Horse Trail (at sign No. 14). The grade is moderate and relatively even, and Finney Trail is rated as "easy" under most snow conditions.
Wild Trail (A heavily forested trail between intersections 2 and 9 that provides a shortcut to the east side of the Ward area. The lower part of the Trail includes a few short, moderate grades that can be challenging to ascend or descend under icy conditions. With its varied topography and location near the trailhead, Wild Trail is a favorite of many snowshoers and backcountry skiers )
Deep Slough (A flat trail starting at intersection 10 that crosses the dam and follows the western shore of Deep Sough Reservoir reconnecting with Ward Trail at intersection 15. Though not heavily used, this trail provides a bypass of the outflow channel from Deep Slough Reservoir when it may flood Ward Trail in early to late spring. )
Cutoff (A direct route that cuts off the big hairpin curve in upper Ward Trail between trail intersections 16 and 17. There are some moderate, south- and west-facing slopes that can be easy and fun with new snow, but more challenging under icy conditions. This is not usually groomed. )
East Ward (A relatively flat trail running north-south along the east side of Deep Slough Reservoir between intersections 8 and 16. There are several stream crossings in its northern part that can present obstacles under lean snow-pack and/or warm temperatures, especially during early season. )
Ward ( Ward Trail is the only groomed trail in the Ward System. From the trailhead on CO 65, Ward Trail climbs over 500 ft thru stands of aspen and conifers and several wide meadows to the campground above Deep Ward Lake ending at Baron Lake Drive. Ward Trail is popular with both classic skiers and snowshoers. It also provides access to the backcountry trails of the Ward Trail System. The Ward system trails face mostly south and steeper sections on south- and west-facing slopes can become more difficult when icy. )
Summit (Groomed by snowmobile only, this one way trail begins at intersection 3 (the only access point) and ends at 10 (Vista Valley). It has short steep rollers and climbs steadily. It is more remote and should not be attempted by beginner skiers as there is no turning around because it is designated one-way only. A good choice for late season.)
Big Dog - Snowshoe Loop (This is a new trail authorized by the USFS for a one year trial during the 2017-18 season. It connects to Dog Loop at intersection 16 and at the SW corner of Dog Loop. This relatively flat trail will be snowmobile groomed for snowshoers and other users seeking solitude in a sheltered pristine setting. The trail follows old skid roads through the trees with a long section in the middle traversing an isolated meadow between Scales Lake Rd and Dog Loop. A short ungroomed cutoff (red line) at the North limit of Dog Loop offers the possibility of two shorter loops.)
Ward TH ( )
Skyway TH ( )
County Line TH ( )