Vail’s mountains are full of awe-inspiring hiking adventures for any type of explorer. From casual strolls to daring descents, this mountain oasis has it all. Check out the popular Booth Creek Trail and ascend the steep trail that winds around Booth Lake before you reach the stunning hiking in vail colorado.
Take a serene journey along Bighorn Creek Trail and soak in the vast vistas while looking out for rare wildlife. Plan your hikes or pick-up a map from the Vail Welcome Center or download its digital version on your phone. Activate your senses with an outdoor adventure and end your day with one of Vail’s many fine dining options.
When the snow melts in Vail Valley, the trails unveil marvelous scenery that often leaves onlookers awe-struck. While all trail lovers may be drawn to Vail Mountain, there are many other paths that have glorious views and breathtaking destinations just waiting to be explored.
One of the most stunning hikes on any bucket-list is Booth Creek Falls. This trail climbs steeply up notch mountain and ascends through a colorful aspen forest before leading you to beautiful alpine lakes and meadows beneath Gilman Mountain. It’s easy to get mesmerized by these environs; indulge in your surroundings and don’t forget to bring a camera, to capture these magical moments forever!
1. UPPER PINEY RIVER WATERFALL
Embark on an idyllic adventure and explore the grandeur of Colorado’s landscapes with a hike along the Upper Piney River Falls trail. Starting at picturesque upper Piney River Ranch, you’ll be greeted by brightly-colored aspens that line your route to one of Vail Valley’s most beloved trails – ideal for both avid hikers and nature lovers alike!
Venture on the dirt road and you’ll soon be immersed in a breathtaking landscape of Piney Lake with the impressive Gore Range looming as your backdrop. Take a right at each fork, until an overlook appears looking out onto the valley below. After 15 minutes filled with incredible views, you will arrive at one of nature’s most majestic sights – cascading waterfalls!
Embark on an adventurous journey through Red Sandstone Road #700 to the picturesque Piney Lake. The 6-mile drive to piney lake is sure to be exciting as you climb 731 feet and traverse a bumpy dirt road! Once at your destination, piney lake, park in the rustic ranch parking lot for some breathtaking views of nature’s beauty.
2. NORTH TRAIL SECTIONS
Enjoy a blissful escape from the stress of everyday life with a hike or bike ride along North Vail’s scenic 12-mile trail—a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts! From Davos Road to Spraddle Creek, be surrounded in beauty; alluring pine and aspen groves will line your path and breathtaking views of Vail Mountain, Holy Cross and the Gore Range serve as an everpresent reminder that nature is alive and well.
Embark on the ultimate full-day adventure west vail and take a hike along one of Colorado’s most beautiful trails. Starting at the Buffehr Creek Road trailhead, enjoy 2.5 miles of challenging but rewarding climbing to North Trail lookout point – an expansive clearing with breathtaking vistas stretching all the way towards Vail Village! So lace up your boots, breathe in that fresh mountain air…it’s time for you to explore this perfect spot east vail today!
Come explore the breathtaking North Trail! Take a journey along entire north trail system its various sections, conveniently accessible from the North Frontage Road. Discover your own adventure parking at Cortina Lane, Buffehr Creek, Red Sandstone or Spraddle Creek — with distances ranging from 3.8 to 3.9 miles each way depending on which section you choose to traverse! Choose an out and back vail hiking trails for some variation in scenery or spice things up with a point-to-point expedition through this captivating stretch of nature’s beauty!
3. LOST LAKE TRAIL
If you’re looking for a leisurely stroll through the mountains, set your sights on Lost Lake Trail! This inviting trail wends its way through majestic groves of aspens and lodgepole pines in Colorado’s Vail Valley. With no more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain along the path, it’s a moderate hike and an ideal opportunity to soak up plenty of natural beauty without overexerting yourself.
Enjoy a spectacular journey as you hike up the trail to its highest peak, giving you breathtaking views of Beaver Creek, Vail Mountain, and Mount of the Holy Cross with sweeping panoramas of mountain peaks of Gore Range. The descent brings reward for your efforts in reaching Lost Lake.
Follow the North Frontage Road and make your way up Red Sandstone Road. After a 3.9 mile journey, you’ll find a trailhead with parking waiting for you on the right side of winding trail for this incredible adventure. The trail drops whole trip is an out-and-back route covering around 7 miles total, gaining almost 1,000 feet in the elevation gain!
4. GORE CREEK (LAKE) TRAIL
If you’re feeling adventurous, Gore Creek Trail is the perfect full-day hike. Take in all that nature has to offer as you pass through stunning aspen groves notch mountain, and flowery meadows while ascending up into a majestic alpine lake tucked away in nothing less than beautiful countryside of pine stands and the ever gorgeous Gore Creek drainage. Although there are some hills along gorgeous trail and moderate hike starts the way, your effort will be rewarded with plenty of breathtaking picnic spots pushing this one day trek over anything but average!
When you take the Gore Creek/Lake Trail, be prepared to be entranced by its beauty! As you walk through mile 4 and come across a fork in the path, decide if it is 5.5 miles of serenity that your heart desires; if so then continue straight over Red Buffalo Pass or veer left towards beautiful Gore creek drainage and Lake. There will likely await you mountain goats who are not worried about your presence as they peacefully tread atop these gorgeous mountainsides listening to nothing but calming sounds of nearby rushing water from lush meadows ahead – all while delighting in majestic views stretching further than ever before!
Take a scenic journey from I-70 in Eagle Vail and head east along Bighorn Road for an unforgettable trek to Gore Lake. With elevation gain of 2,679′, you’re sure to be rewarded with picturesque views! Parking in east vail is scarce so hop on the bus or carpool if possible – it’s 5.48 miles one way until your destination awaits at gore lake at the trailhead just before reaching the campground.
4. SHRINE RIDGE TRAIL
Venture up Vail Pass to experience the Shrine Ridge Trail! This short, gentle stroll through enchanting timberlands lush pine meadows and two scenic ponds leads you right to the summit of Shrine Mountain. When summers are in full bloom around mid-season, be sure not to miss this breathtaking scene – luscious meadows carpeted with wildflowers of all shades such as yellow, pink, and purple alpine blossoms that create a vibrant collage.
Make the trek to 11,000 feet and experience a breathtaking journey through some of Colorado’s most spectacular heights! From Copper Mountain to Mount of the Holy Cross, Gore Range and Vail’s Back Bowls – you’ll be rewarded with an awe-inspiring 360 degrees view. Don’t forget your jacket though – temperatures can get chilly up there!
For an adventurous and scenic journey, take Interstate 70 to Exit #190 for Vail Pass. Take a right onto the Shrine Pass dirt road (FSR 709) – make sure you’ve got some good tires! After 2.4 miles of well-graded roads through nature’s beauty, find the trailhead on your left where limited parking is available. This out and back hike will cover 2.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 793 feet – what are you waiting for?
5. DELUGE LAKE TRAIL
Nature enthusiasts who want an extra challenge should embark upon the Deluge Lake Trail. This path offers a breathtakingly beautiful view of wild birds and passes through some rugged terrain, including boulder fields and steep slopes covered in aspen stands. With just that bit more effort required than its the Gore Creek trail counterpart, this trail is sure to be rewarding!
Take a journey along the Deluge Creek Trail and experience an invigorating creek crossing before emerging into breathtaking views of Sawatch Range and Mount Holy Cross. This scenic 9-mile roundtrip is perfect for those looking to get away from it all, as the trail’s high point tends to be less populated – plus your furry friends are welcome too!
Step off the I-70 and onto Bighorn Road, where you’ll embark on an exciting 3.8 mile journey to reach a magnificent glacial lake nestled in the Rockies! Even though your car will face challenging elevation gain of over 3000 feet, there are still great public transportation options available for convenience. This out and back trail is sure to be filled with many breathtaking views along the way – so get ready for one memorable excursion!
6. GROUSE LAKE TRAIL
Take a journey to Grouse Lake, one of the most stunning alpine lakes in the Valley that lies at the end of an enchanting trail starting just outside Minturn. As the trail winds up steep slope and you ascend through lush aspen groves and towering evergreens, marvel at nature’s beauty around every turn.
Embark on a journey through the majestic Holy Cross Wilderness, and scale Grouse Mountain. Prepare for a challenge as the trail climbs steeply you ascend short but steep sections with several “false summits”. Take time to pause at multiple times throughout the trail winds up your experience – refreshingly cool streams await amongst the bridges, logs and stones that lead you higher up towards your destination. Finally traverse enchanting meadows before reaching Grouse Lake a beautiful alpine lake nestled at the peak of this picturesque mountain!
Enjoy a spectacular 4.6-mile trek along I-70 and take in the majestic views of Highway 24 as you make your way to the trailhead on your right! With an elevation gain of 2,865’ this unique out and back adventure is sure to leave lasting memories that will have you coming back for more! Park at the designated area when arriving at destination before beginning your journey.
7. PITKIN LAKE TRAIL
Take a journey on Pitkin Creek Trail and immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery of nature; you’ll be rewarded with an enchanting waterfall cascading a steep slope into a majestic lake.
Escape the hustle and bustle of your daily life on this beautiful, secluded trail. With its initial steep climb followed by a more gentle ascent to Pitkin Falls after two-and-a-half miles, you’ll be awestruck every step along the way: aspens rustling aspen groves in a dense grove; wild grassy meadows dancing in summertime breezes; lodgepole pines standing tall amidst it all! Push forward through these breathtaking scenes until finally rewarded with spectacular views of East and West Partner Peaks resting above sapphire waters at the head of valley.
Escape the hustle and bustle of your daily life with a peaceful stroll or strenuous hike along Fall Line Drive! Make sure to take exit 180 from I-70 in East Vail, then turn right onto Fall Line. After about 5 miles you’ll arrive at the enchanting trailhead – but don’t forget that parking there is limited. Prepare yourself for an elevation gain of almost 3 thousand feet on this out-and-back type excursion – leaving lasting memories behind as unforgettable rewards!
8. GAME CREEK TRAIL
Game Creek Trail provides an unforgettable hiking experience! Navigate through lush forests and meandering streams, enhanced by the possibility of wildlife sightings. It’s a hidden gem that’s only accessible to those with great navigational skills – so be sure you know where you’re going before heading out on your journey!
Take a hike to the top of Vail Mountain for an unforgettable experience. Along your journey, you’ll come across stunning wildflowers and juicy raspberries – perfect for picking in August! You can go out-and-back or make a day trip by arranging a car shuttle from Minturn to Lionshead so it’s one way up (or down) the mountain. Either route will provide incredible views as well as unique scenery that is quintessentially Vail!
Experience breathtaking views on an unforgettable 3.6 mile journey! Pack your hiking boots and gear and take I-70 to Minturn Exit #171, then proceed along Highway 24 until you reach the historic bridge near The Saloon. Make a left onto Taylor Street for a scenic drive that terminates at trailhead parking – perfect starting point for an inspirational out-and-back or one way hike with stunning elevation gain of 2,399 feet!
9. BERRY PICKER
Venture up Vail Mountain and experience the unique trail of Berry Picker! This invigorating adventure begins in Lionshead, climbing steeply over three miles through breathtaking pine and aspen groves throughout, majestic mountain forests, and lush meadows. With an elevation gain of 2200 feet to look forward to en route – it’s a stunning journey not for the faint-hearted!
Ready to challenge yourself? Take the plunge and seize adventure with a rugged hike up the mountain. Don’t forget your gear, for this challenging hike is no easy feat! When you make it to the peak of success, reward yourself by taking in stunning views from atop Eagle Bahn Gondola before coasting back down copper mountain on its cable car ride.
Embark on a grand adventure up the stunning Vail Mountain, starting in Lionshead Village. Park your car at the nearby parking structure and begin this 4.2 mile journey to discover breathtaking views of vail valley and nature’s majesty! Challenge yourself with this strenuous hike with an elevation gain of 1,358’ or take advantage if available to either hike up and float down by gondola or experience it vice versa – whichever suits you best!
10. BONUS HIKE: BOWMEN’S SHORTCUT
Take a breathtaking journey to the “Top of the World” on an 8.5-mile loop trail off Vail Pass! Weave through dense forests, rolling ridges and vibrant meadows until you reach summits with 360° views that stretch far beyond Colorado’s magnificent mountain ranges – Sawatch Range, Gore Range, Ten MileRange and even capturing mesmerizing vistas of ski area at Vail. With temperatures this high up being cooler than expected due to altitude make sure you are prepared for changing weather conditions as your senses take in all the grandeur nature has created before taking our descent back into civilization again!
Follow the wooden marker at the end of the trail ascends the trail drops a picturesque meadow and traverse downhill into an array of treetops. A brief uphill climb leads to Two Elk Pass, where you’ll find directions for two distinct trails: head west nine miles toward Minturn or east 1.7 miles towards Old Vail Pass/Vail Rec Trail. Take your pick – which adventure will be yours today?
Step away from the hustle and bustle of it all, to take in some breathtakingly beautiful views on Bowman’s Shortcut Trail. If you’re looking for a biking challenge while soaking up nature’s finest sights, Two Elk Trail’s high point, combined with this shortcut is your best bet! Forget about a strenuous climb at Vail Pass – cut right through using our trail as an exciting substitute route – one that skips out on 1,800 feet worth of elevation gain over two miles.
Explore the beauty of Vail Pass and Shrine Mountain by taking a drive to Lime Creek Road #728. After traveling 8.5 miles on I-70, exit at number 190 for Vail Pass and make your way up FSR 709 until you reach Julia’s Deck – Holy Cross Scenic Viewing Deck with wheelchair access ramp! Enjoy sights such as Timber Creek road #712 before turning into Lime creek Road where you’ll find an enchanting hiking loop or one-way rides towards either Vail mountain or Minturn await!
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Does Vail have good hiking?
Yes, Vail, Colorado has excellent hiking opportunities, with numerous trails of varying difficulty levels and scenic beauty available for hikers to explore.
What is the most famous trail in Vail?
One of the most famous trails in Vail is the Booth Falls Trail, which leads to a beautiful waterfall and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
How many hiking trails are in Vail?
There are more than 350 hiking trails in the Vail area, with options for hikers of all skill levels.
What is the most beautiful mountain hike in Colorado?
It’s difficult to determine the most beautiful mountain hike in Colorado as it’s subjective, but some of the most popular and breathtaking ones include the Maroon Bells, Hanging Lake, Garden of the Gods, and the Rocky Mountain National Park trails.
Why is Vail so famous?
Vail is famous for its world-class ski resorts and picturesque mountain scenery, attracting skiers, snowboarders, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. It is also known for its luxurious accommodations, upscale dining, and vibrant cultural scene.
Is Vail a good beginner mountain?
Yes, Vail has a variety of beginner-friendly slopes and ski runs, making it a great destination for those new to skiing or snowboarding. The resort offers lessons for all skill levels, including beginners, to help them learn and improve their skills.