Stepping out in Routt: Serene creek-side loop

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If you go

Length: 1 1/2 miles round trip

Difficulty: Moderate

Grade: Gentle grade with steep hill

Surface: Singletrack trail and sidewalks

Start: Angel’s View Way and Pine Grove Road

Parking: From Pine Grove Road, turn on Angel’s View Way; park in gravel lot on the left

Bus access: Redline stop No. 60 (Pine Condos) at Pine Grove Road/Angel’s View Way

— This hidden gem provides a mix of creek-side singletrack and urban sidewalks. From the parking area, walk toward the creek, and you will see the singletrack trail. Turn right (away from Pine Grove Road) and follow this trail along Fish Creek. As you walk, stay left at the two junctions where trails to the right head into an undeveloped subdivision. The trail continues along the rushing Fish Creek and winds right up a steep hill at 1/2 mile. Take your time up the hill and watch your footing on the loose soil. Follow the trail across Angel’s View Way and down the cul-de-sac to join the asphalt trail running alongside the Yampa Valley Medical Center property. Follow the asphalt trail and turn right when it intersects with the Central Park Drive sidewalk. Turn right again at the intersection with Pine Grove Road and follow the sidewalk to Angelview Way and back to your car.

Wildlife encounters

Living close to vast areas of wilderness provides ample opportunity for sighting wildlife. Skunks, foxes, porcupines and other small mammals are common in this area. Moose, bears and an occasional mountain lion also have been sighted in Steamboat. Here are some tips if you spot a moose, bear or mountain lion in close proximity:

■ Don’t run, and don’t look the animal in the eye.

■ Back away slowly while keeping your eye on the animal.

■ Speak firmly in a low voice.

■ If a bear charges, stay still. Most charges are bluffs. If the bear attacks, play dead by curling up in a ball. Protect your head and neck with your arms.

■ If a moose charges or attacks, run to take cover behind a rock or tree.

■ For a mountain lion, make yourself larger by holding your jacket over your head, waving your arms and grouping together with other people. Pick up children and dogs. If the mountain lion attacks, fight back. Use anything at your disposal and stab, smash and punch. Do not lay still and play dead.

Janet Hruby writes Stepping Out in Routt on behalf of LiveWell Northwest Colorado.

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