dogs on leash
cross country skiing
This is one of my default trails when I can't decide where else to go. The trip is a short one when you end it at Lily Pad Lake, so I reccomend pushing past that to the second, larger lake, and beyond. If you want to beat the crowds, go earlier in the day, and do the larger loop.
Hiked to the lake yesterday. Excellent hike with great views. Chiming in here to confirm what a few other reviewers wrote: it's 10 miles round trip, not 7.8 miles, and the last 1/2 mile is tough (especially due to the over 11k feet altitude) but well worth it. Bring lunch, lots of water, and wear layers -- warm at bottom, very cold strong wind at the top.
Awesome day hike in Vail! Just shy of 10 miles, if you are a faster hiker you can be up and down in 4 hours, but take your time and have lunch at the tip and it's a great time. There are gorgeous views of Vail mountain and mount holy cross as you hike up. If you're not use to the elevation it will kick your butt, the falls is only half way up, with the hardest part just before you reach the lake. Snow in the early season makes it very difficult and mud in the late season.
Incredible hike.one of the most scenic and beautiful hikes I've ever done. All of the views are amazing. It took me about 6 hours to do the 13 miles round trip to the lake. It was more difficult going down for me because the ground was covered in snow. It's not too strenuous but definitely an intense hike. Lots of incline, but a nice balance. The lake is gorgeous and its worth the hike up to it. Great hike for the fall.
Tonya H. on Upper Piney River Falls Trail
The views at the lake make it all worth it. Trail is narrow at times but it's not a big deal. During our hike in October we encountered snow and a little mud. We practically had the entire place to ourselves. I would definitely go back during peak colors - I bet it is beautiful with all the Aspen groves.
Julia B. on Meadow Creek Trail to Lily Pad Lake
Great hike on a fall day! Moderate to easy, steeper in the beginning but gets easier in the second half. Gorgeous fall colors all the way up and great views of Frisco. The lake was cute and there were plenty of places to sit. Lots of dogs and people on the trail so if you want something quieter, do the longer loop. Will do this again.
Awesome day, October 1st, we'll marked, scenic trail. Packed in a lunch and near the end of the hike were rewarded by the sight of a huge bull moose near Piney Lake. Be sure to visit the Piney Ranch gift shop and restaurant near the trailhead.
I'm a local, grew up 5 mins away from the trail. I LOVE it. It steep until you get to Surprise Lake. At the end it's a little tricky. You will see a lake and think you made it, but its Cat Lake. I do recall a sign that was there explaining it. Go further up and you will find upper Cataract. There are camping spots around the lake and it's the at the base of Eagle's Nest (Most locals call it Sleeping Indian). An Awesome view the whole way up!!