Read About Hiking Trails in Vail, Colorado. This is an excellent Vail Hiking Guide, Trail Maps, Info & Hikes in Vail, CO.

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Hiking In Vail, Colorado - Trails, Descriptions

Hiking in Vail, Colorado

Vail Hiking Information
Hiking on Vail Mountain in the summer is the most traditional and one of the most pleasurable ways to enjoy the mountain. There are numerous trails around this majestic terrain that are yours for the hiking. Literally dozens of trailheads can be found in Vail Valley just minutes from town.

• U.S. Forest Service………………….970-827-5715

» Big Horn Creek Trail
» Booth Creek Trail
» Cross Creek Trail
» Deluge Creek Trail
» Fall Creek Trail
» Fancy Pass Trail
» Gore Creek Trail
» Grouse Lake Trail
» Half Moon Pass trail
» Missouri Lakes trail

Big Horn Creek Trail
Length: 3.6 Miles One Way
Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Location: Take I-70 East from Vail and exit at 180 East Vail. Take an immediate right. Proceed south to the frontage road for 1 mile until you reach Columbine Drive. Take a left and continue to the end. The road goes under the interstate. There is a small parking lot at the end.

Description: The Bighorn Creek trail is less steep than the other East Vail trails. It is generally a fairly easy walk.

The Bighorn Creek Trail in Vail is less steep than other nearby trails. This is considered an easy jaunt. This trail passes through beaver ponds and remnants of old mining camps. Take in views of Bighorn Falls.The trail passes beaver ponds and remains of old mining camps as well as' Bighorn Falls. The trail ends at an old homestead cabin located on private property. Just before mile 2 and past a large fern grove, there is a side trail to an overlook down the steep drop to Bighorn Creek. This point makes a good destination for short hikes.


Booth Creek Trail
Length: 6 Miles One Way
Difficulty: Difficult
To reach the Booth Creek Trail you need to travel on I-70 to East Vail which is exit 180. Exit here and turn left which goes under the interstate. Take the north Frontage Road to Book Creek Road. Turn right and continue to the end. Plenty of ample parking is located at the trailhead.

Description: Booth Creek Trail is hugely popular hike for visitors and locals alike. The falls are part of the pleasure of walking this trail. Bring your fly fishing rod and hook into large rainbows and browns. The lake stays frozen until June! Endure the first steep leggy section of the trail which passes through lush green Aspen groves. The trail then climbs gradually up the valley floor. Take a breather at the Booth Creek Falls which you can hear from a great distance. Continue hiking. The trail winds through another section of meadows and conifer forests. Above 10,000 feet the trees thin and the terrain changes offering views of the Gore Range. It can get quite wet towards the top so prepare for mushy terrain. The last section of the trail encounters steep and rocky terrain. Relax, take in the highly scenic views of Booth Lake and the forested island in its center. The Gore Range is everywhere you look!


Cross Creek Trail
Length: 15.5 Miles One Way
Difficulty: Easy to Difficult

Directions: From Vail, take I-70 West and go to Exit 171 which is the Minturn Exit. Highway 24 leads you to Minturn. Drive 4 miles until Tigiwon Road. Turn right at Tigiwon and drive to the trailhead which is roughly 2 miles.

Begin this trail by hiking the ridge above Cross Creek. The trail goes down and follows the Cross Creek drainage. This valley goes up 15.5 miles to Fancy Pass. There are several hidden lakes on this route that offer superb fishing for cutthroat trout, rainbows and some browns. Bring your fly rod. From this trail you can see the backside of Holy Cross. At mile 6, Cross Creek trail intersects Grouse Mountain trail. Reed's Meadow is about 2-miles further and is a long open meadow in a glaciated valley.


Deluge Creek Trail
Length: 4 Miles One Way
Difficulty: Difficult
Directions: Take I-70 East to Exit 180. Turn Right on South Frontage Road. Go to Gore Creek Campground. There is a parking lot at the trailhead. Don't park in the nearby campground.

Description: Deluge Creek Trail begins with 2 trailheads. Follow the left fort which is within the first 200-300 yards. Grunt out the first 3 miles which are steep. Around 3.5 miles the trail tops out at a ridgeline then proceeds along Deluge Creek. Some find that following the creek to the lake is the best method.

This is a steep trail. However, views of Vail and the nearby Gore Range more than make up for the tough climb up. This is a great tail for early season hikes through to the end of October because of its south facing aspect. The trail winds through several aspen groves making fall hikes a colorful adventure. Deluge lake is a remote lake that is surrounded by granite peaks.


Fall Creek Trail
Length: North Trailhead: 9 Miles One Way
Difficulty: Moderate
Travel west on I-70 to Exit 171 for Minturn and Hwy 24. Exit here and turn right onto Hwy 24. For the North Trailhead you need to proceed 4 miles to Tigiwon Road. Turn Right onto Tigiwon Road and go 8 miles of dirt road. For the South trailhead, proceed 12 miles on Hwy 24 to Homestake Road # 703. Turn right and travel 8 miles on Homestake Road to the Holy Cross City jeep road # 759. Park here and walk about 2 miles up the road to the trailhead. NOTE: this jeep road is very rough and should not be attempted unless you have a 4 wheel drive with a winch.

North Trailhead to Fall Creek Trail: Hike from the trailhead to Lake Constantine. This is a beautiful lake with nearby forests and rock outcroppings. Great fishing is had at Lake Constantine. Cross Fall Creek and climb to the Fall Creek Pass. Some hikers opt to camp in the area. You can continue over the pass to Seven Sisters Lakes and Hunky Dory Lake. Proceed another 2 miles on the Holy Cross City Jeep Road back to the trailhead. This is a spectacular area for multi-night adventures.


Fancy Pass Trail
2 Miles to Fancy Lake, 2.5 Miles to Fancy Pass, 3.25 Miles to Treasure Lake
Difficulty: Difficult
Take I-70 West to Minturn Exit 171. Get on highway 24 and proceed 12 miles to Homestake Road. Turn right and go to Road 0704. Drive 3 miles to the trailhead which is on your left.

Fancy Pass is a great route for multi-day trips. There are several options to explore remote lakes and stunning views. From the trailhead, the trail follows an old road along Fancy Creek, passing a holding pond for the Homestake I project. At mile 1.5 the trail turns into a foot path climbing through mature spruce stands. The trail encounters a lake. From the lake, it is a steep climb and descent over Fancy Pass to Treasure Vault Lake.


Gore Creek Trail
Length: 6.4 Miles
Difficulty: Difficult
Directions: Take 1-70 East and exit 180 to East Vail. Take a right at the bottom of the off ramp and continue on this road. Stop at the trailhead which is at the of the road.

Enjoy the first 5 miles of the Gore Creek Trail as it parallels the creek. You will encounter some short grunty sections. The Gore Creek trail winds through beautiful meadows and stands of aspen trees. At around the 5th mile the trail forks. The right trail goes to Gore Lake while the left goes to Red Buffalo Pass.


Grouse Lake Trail
Length: 5 Miles
Difficulty: Difficult
Take 1-70 to Exit 171 headed for Minturn and Leadville. Travel on highway 24 for mile.You will spot the trailhead as it is across the highway from the Meadow Mountain Business Park.

Description: Follow this trail through incredibly lush valleys as it winds its way up to Grouse Lake. The trail goes through aspen groves and stands of conifer forests. Camping is allowed at this lake and is great for fishing. The established trail ends at Grouse Lake however, it is possible to easily tie into West Grouse Creek Trail by traveling cross country.


Half Moon Pass Trail
Length: 3.75 miles one way
Difficulty: Difficult
Take I-70 west from Vail and exit 171 to Minturn and Leadville. You will now be on highway 24. Drive 5 miles and pass through Minturn. Turn right on Tigiwon Road. Continue 8 miles to the end. Park in the parking area at the end of the road.

Description: Climb from the trailhead up a moderately steep trail to Half Moon Pass. You will pass through spruce trees and eventually get to Timberline to the pass. On the west side of this trail the pass descends down to the Cross Creek valley floor. You can meet this trail up for a epic 2-3 day backpacking trip. From the top of Half Moon Pass, views to the west are of the Sawatch Range and the Mt. of the Holy Cross ridge.


Missouri Lakes Trail
Length: 3 miles one way
Difficulty: Moderate
Take 1-70 out of Vail to Exit 121 which is the road that leads to Minturn and Leadville. Drive for 14 miles to Homestake Road #703 Turn right onto Homestake Road and continue for 7 1/2 miles to Road #704. Turn right onto Road #704 and continue for about 1 1/2 miles. The trailhead is on the left, next to Missouri Creek.

Description: This is a great and easy hike to the Missouri Creek Drainage. The trail winds through stands of conifers and crosses the creek several more times before emerging into a large lush meadow. The trail climbs a short, steep distance to the basin that holds the Missouri Lakes.


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