Explore 2017-07 Vail - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2017-07 Vail Map

This trail is a hidden gem! While you don’t get an Alpine lake, hiking just beyond the cabin to the bowl offers amazing views that rival the sometimes dry lakes and creeks. There’s a fair amount of elevation that steadily climbs throughout the hike out, and it’s much cooler and shaded before noon when the sun is filtered by the trees. There’s some water sources along the way that offer extra shade and a chance to splash water on your face.

Great trail, worth going through the thick ferns to get to the lake!

I would rate this trail as difficult. Vail is already at 8150ft with this trail giving you a steady incline of +1000ft which was pretty rough on us coming from California coast only the night before. We went as far as the falls for this hike and took a lot of rest. I would say the very beginning is the steepest stretch, so don’t get discouraged when you start. There were a handful of flat areas a few meters long, with the valley opening being the longest. This area was a very beautiful view of the vegetation. For the falls you do need to cross two creeks but there are rock stepping stones, so your feet will not be submerged. A good portion of the path is rocky, so I’m glad we wore our hiking boots for this one.

We love this trail. The dirt road to get there from Vail is not always well maintained but this year in August of 2018, the road was passable with my Impreza sedan. It took us 2 hours to hike to the falls, enjoyed beautiful views from the well-maintained trail. We sat on the rocks by the falls and rested. saw a scampering animal that may have been a marmot?? Some very friendly folks eating their lunch (which they offered to share) near us asked if we'd seen the beaver but it was not likely that. The weather yesterday was absolutely perfect, no need for extra layers or rain coats, which I brought. Took us 1.5 hours to walk out. My daughter wore tennis-type shoes, I wore my hiking boots. Both of us we fine. The elevation gain on this trail is not significant but there are a few easy places where you pick your way across stones and a little trickle of water crossing the trail. Always good to start with a full water bottle to stay hydrated. This trail is a real treat for us, have hiked it several times, always delightful.

long dirt road in- 6 miles. Road can be bumpy but no need for 4x4.
Only a few steep sections and they are short. Lake is pretty. Great view of Holy Cross peak. Anticipate 3-3.5 hrs.
Morning is best as trail gets hot.

It's too late in the season for this trail. Wildflowers are gone, and the falls don't have enough water to be impressive. However, the walking surface is good, and the lake is pretty.
We had no trouble with the rough road in a Malibu. It took 30 minutes at 20-25 mph.
This looks like it would be a nice hike earlier in the season.

6 days ago

Continue down the other side of the pass toward Notch and scale for an amazing View of Mt. of the Holy Cross!

6 days ago

My wife and I did this yesterday. Nice trail with wildflowers and great scenery. It is a combination of open fields of wildflowers and areas with large shady aspens. There were also some wild raspberries and blueberries (or possibly huckleberries) along the trail of which I munched on here and there. I would recommend hiking shoes as the trail can be rocky in places although I did see many folks in tennis shoes along the trail. There were several steep places where a trekking pole came in handy. I'm 63 and about 220 lbs and I find a single trekking pole helps balance and knees on the steps. My wife and I made it to the falls in 1 and 1/2 hours. I'm from a southern low land area but we've been here about 5 days to get somewhat acclimated to the elevation. While getting a bit winded at times, it wasn't that bad. Would do this again.

8 days ago

Says Hard but I don't think its hard. Beautiful trial.

I am in Vail for a 9 week post-surgery checkup for my hip. I had a personal goal to do some hiking while in Vail. This trail was steep but had enough shade and flat surfaces that I was able to complete it! The hardest part, for me, is getting used to the elevation. Make sure to pack plenty of water and healthy snacks. I found a walking stick, which was very helpful. We took alot of breaks and completed the trail in and out in 5 1/2 hours. Great scenery and plenty of friendly, encouraging hikers along the way.

on Lost Lake Trail

9 days ago

A little rocky in places, but an easy hike as advertised. Some nice scenery on the way up and a beautiful lake at the end. Pretty much had the trail to ourselves, which was a treat.

10 days ago

It’s not a hard hike but you need to be in shape to tackle it! I started from sandstone and went over to Lionshead Loop street. I then walked back to the condo I was staying in. Lots to look at. Nice patch of raspberries.

Awsome !

Amazing views along the way with lots of wildflowers. There are parts that are steep but manageable. There are plenty of places to rest on the way up that are shaded. Enjoy the gorgeous views of the falls at the top!

Great trail along creek, then up to views, then to ponds. Last bit of trail overgrown with mostly ferns. Easy to follow. Pond level down since it’s August. Overlooks and creek are fantastic on sunny day. Nice view of vail and holy cross. Creek refreshing stop along the way.

12 days ago

Beautiful hike! Loved the changing landscape. Was definitely closer to hard trails I have hiked rather than moderate, as rated by AllTrails. The cabin was at 3.85 miles by my GPS and I went another 1/3 mile (mostly uphill) to the bowl and turned around at 4.2 miles. Started at 8 am and didn't see anyone until I was coming back down and about 2 miles from the trail head.

Perfect lake hike. Wow what an accidental find!

Amazing view! Our 3 boys loved it and one is 4 years old. Don’t miss this trail.

Easy dirt road to drive. Most of it is like a graded county road, though toward the end it is a little more bumpy. A sedan can make it, though smoother in an SUV. At the end of the road is a "resort" with a restaurant, lake for paddle boarding and horses. Since it takes 30 minutes to get there on the road (45 minutes if you get behind someone slow), make a day out of it.
The hike is easy. Starts through a meadow. Wildflowers are weak now. Aspen groves would make a great fall trail. Light incline for a while, then a few long switch backs. It appears most people stop at the first area that reaches the creek with a tiny waterfall. However if you go downstream there is a less traveled, steeper trail that leads to the bottom of a much taller cascade. For pics and more info: https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/07/31/a-weekend-in-vail/

Very nice mellow hike. We got to the trailhead about 9 am and there were only a few other people, but the trail became heavily trafficked to packed near the lake on the way back. A lot of the people were visiting from other states and not respectful of the fragility of the high alpine environment (taking short cuts between switchbacks and walking over obviously blocked off shortcuts). The trail is well-maintained, and although most of the wildflowers are gone for the season, a few pockets remained. The cataracts were pretty small with the low water level, but it was still worth the hike. The views of the Gore Range are incredible and worth the drive.

Stunning views! The trail is well marked and criss-crosses a creek a few times so my pups could cool off. Beautiful flowers line the trail. We hiked to the falls which has dramatic drops, so keep your dogs and kids close!

This was a great day - highly recommend if you have the time to spare. 45-minute drive on pretty rough forest road to Piney River Ranch but very scenic. The Ranch has several options for activities including a restaurant, lake for paddling and fishing and horseback riding. We had lunch in the restaurant and it was really good! The trail is great for beginners and kids. Pretty out and back to the falls, well marked and not too much incline. We went out in the afternoon and returned near sunset. Spent around 30 min at the falls with our feet in the water and taking pictures. Great day!

18 days ago

Fantastic trail and scenery, with a wide variety of plants and other wildlife. This is one of my favorite hikes in the area, however it is also one of the most trafficked.

Outstanding in every way. The valley and lake were beautiful, wildflowers were still out, challenging enough of a hike, and the falls were so refreshing and relaxing after a long hike. The drive isn't for the faint of heart, and I would consider myself slightly in that bucket, but if you take it slow like I did, it's a fun and beautiful drive. I saw a guy make the drive in a VW GTI, which I definitely wouldn't advise. 4WD or AWD will make you feel more confident but you can do FWD and get by just fine. Good food and drinks at the ranch. Best hike during our time in Vail, for sure.

This is a beautiful trail with a variety of views in July...wildflowers, aspen, rocky areas, and the falls...which are extremely low this year. I would rate it as easy to moderate. There are just a few rocky areas...but most of the trail is dirt. The elevation gain pushes this hike into the moderate range...but it’s spread out over two miles. If you leave early enough, you’ll be in the shade almost the entire time.

All around beautiful hike. Wildflowers were in bloom, small creeks, and amazing scenery. Easy hike really no incline expect in just a few places. The dirt access road is not bad, made it perfectly fine in my sedan.

Fabulous hike! Beautiful vistas from the valley floor, wildflowers, aspen, conifer forests, and a waterfall. My Garmin had us at about 6.5 miles back and forth, but we scampered around the boulders a lot at the waterfall. The access rode is rough but passable. Highly recommended.

22 days ago

Lovely hike. It honestly made me feel a bit like I'd been cramming Little Debbies all week because the elevation had me doing the hard breathe that you try to hide a bit when other fit hikers walk by. I wish I would have walked past lake Constantine to the other lakes nearby but I was hungry and wanted dinner.

23 days ago

Best hike ever

25 days ago

Nice challenging hike. Being a Midwesterner, the elevation and vert climb was tough in short stretches, but followed by easier sections to keep you from red lining. The falls were nice... but some of the views are blocked by vegetation. There is also a VERY nice public bathroom nearby the school (you’ll find it) in case you need to change or freshen up before heading into Vail Village.

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