Coming down Berthoud Pass across from the Winter Park ski area is the Bonfils Outdoor Center for the Disabled. While I had seen the sign dozens of times, I only stopped to follow the trail after foot surgery forced me to use a knee scooter. The trail starts with a boardwalk next to the huge parking lot, then follows Jim Creek on a wide gentle trail through the trees. On that spring day the trail was heavy with early snow slush and we didn’t get very far.
Today the ground was dry and we took the trail less travelled on the left. After crossing meadows and passing some moose marshes we crossed a wooden bridge over the aqueduct that takes water down to Denver. Soon the path forked. We took the left to the ponds and were rewarded with the sight of mama moose and her youngster lazily lunching on willows by the pond. One of the benches along the trail was situated right there at a comfortably safe distance for moose viewing.
Further along, the trail does a gradual elevation change with a switchback up to the Water Board Road that leads around to the main Jim Creek trail. Continuing up the trail through the James Peak Wilderness there are side trails to view the creek below. In early September the aspen on the far side of the creek are just starting to turn. In a couple of weeks these views should be spectacular.
Descending, we followed the main trail. There were many more of the benches situated for prime views. At an accessible campground, with raised tent sites and picnic benches, a clean outhouse waits.
The Jim Creek trail is a very pleasant hike, a great choice for families, or anyone looking for an easy hike. The disabled accessible features sponsored by Bonfils are wonderful and well maintained. Tell your friends about it. And look for us on the trail when the aspens are at their peak.