Grouse Lake Trail is a 9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Minturn, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
The trail up West Grouse Creek wanders through lodgepole forest, meadows, and aspen forest then enters thicker spruce and fir forest. Hunters use this trail during hunting season. Snoeshoers and people walking dogs frequently utilize the first couple of miles in the winter. The trail is neither marked nor maintained for winter use.
Beautiful trail with lots of wildflowers and wildlife. There are mosquitoes around. A lot of people around the trailhead but only saw a few on the actual trail.
The Good: Beautiful hike and great fly fishing (it’s where I caught my fist trout on a Dry Fly!). Grouse Lake has a stunning backdrop as well.
The Bad: Caution if you go right after the hatch because the bugs at the lake are almost unbearable. I typically don’t mind bugs but we ended up leaving the lake earlier than planned.
The Random: My friend did this hike on his own and on the way down he got trapped by a couple of moose. He had to spend the night on the trail. Keep an eye out for mating moose.
You will notice at the beginning of the trail a lot more people and sometimes mountain bikers. Once you get less than half way they will dissipate. Overall, this trail is a must for the Vail Valley!
Easy hike we did the trail to the right and followed the river. Nice trail but the miles all seemed the same
Hiked at the end of July 2014. We did Grouse Lake which was not difficult. A few steep sections. Five miles or so one way. Tons of wildflowers and very green. Lots of shade too. Follows the creek. Ends at a small lake.
One of the other reviewers explains the difference between Grouse Lake and West Grouse Creek. The latter is longer and apparently more difficult. Both start at the same trailhead.
I don't understand why this trail is rated as extremely difficult and for experienced outdoorsmen only. Granted I hike often but this was actually the easiest hike I've done this summer. There are a couple of moderately steep sections but most of the trail is a gentle grade. Lots of fallen trees but easy enough to get around and the trail is well-marked. The difficulty of this trail is moderate at best, alltrails kinda dropped the ball on the grading of this one.
Moderate trail with beautiful scenery along the way. The views from the lake make the elevation well worth it.