Wolcott AreaThis might be too far away for your criteria, but one of my favorites is near Wolcott (about 40 minutes west of Vail) The area I enjoy is called Bocco Mountain or something similar. Take the exit at Wolcott, head north to Steamboat. Turn left at about 3 miles (go past the land fill turnoff on the right) and take the first road on the left and look for a pull off on the right.
This area is on BLM land and is under special management..no snowmobiles..great views of Castle Peak and the west side of the Gore Range..last weekend the trail was nicely packed with about 5 inches of powder on top..Pinon/Juniper complex..not high alpine..but very scenic with wide open views..plenty of snow this year..rolling terrain. Not sure how long (at least 4 miles one way)
this is a very lightly used area
A nice change up on the weekend if one is burned out on crowds at the local resorts
Also stop at the Ranger District office in Minturn, they have a bunch of snowshoe trails info