Explore Spring/Summer/Fall 2016 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Spring/Summer/Fall 2016 Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
1 day ago

Probably the easiest trail around Vail. Very moderate incline and rewarding, beautiful views. If you're looking for an easy, pretty hike while visiting, I would pick this over Booth Falls! This trail is normally extremely crowded, but I went on a cloudy Friday evening around 5 PM, and there was only 1 other car at the trailhead. Please don't feel the wildlife and no there is no designated picnic area at the bottom.

hiking
1 day ago

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

As someone from Michigan, this hike was a little difficult for me. There were some flatter areas but overall it was an incline. Took me about 3 hours to get up to the lake and 2.5 to get back down. However, it is pretty rough on the knees going down. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks/lunch for the lake.

Is there a picnic area at the bottom for lunch after?

hiking
1 day 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.

hiking
2 days ago

My husband and I arrived from Kansas City on Thursday and hit this trail on Friday. We had Quandary Peak on our Saturday agenda so wanted a scenic but reasonably high altitude hike to help us acclimate. This trail was very enjoyable with some moderately steep sections but lots of mild areas too. So many stunning views along the way. We found a ledge to rest at the top for a snack, and were greeted by a fat little chipmunk that shared our snack straight from my husband’s hand. Such a treat!

hiking
3 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.

Awsome !

I live this hike. I don’t remember it being very difficult.

hiking
6 days ago

Another note:
Geo Markers (2) located at 39.53518, -106.25963

hiking
6 days ago

First of four hikes we did in the area around Vail and still the best. Beautiful hike with lots of variation and great views. It was also the first hike after spending a week at sea level. Jumping up to 12k ft without acclimating was a challenge. Also, this hike was done on a Monday morning around 0845, and there were about 8-9 cars at the trailhead. By noon, it was a zoo, WAY TOO MANY people on the trail and probably 35-40 cars in the parking lot and along the road. Do it, but do it early.

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!

The perfect acclimation hike. The hike itself is at high elevation, but generally flat the whole way so you can become comfortable moving around at high elevation. We loved all he different historic sites from the boom town up there. You could step off the trail and wander through old wooden house frames and find metal cans, rings from barrels, bricks, etc. We also did the little side loop towards the end around mile 5. The way out was nice, but the way back was essentially non-existent. You could either walk out to the end of the rail line there and then turn back, or just be ready for a bit of bushwhacking.

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.

Excellent hike! It took us 2:.5 hours to reach the lake at a good pace....and then a nice dip in the lake!!

Not too bad of a hike. Just a scramble towards the end. The views up top are spectacular!

Beautiful hike!! Not too hard and goes through several types of terrain.

backpacking
8 days ago

Just did this trail w my 10 & 14 year old and dog. Fairly steep but 3/4 way it levels out more. Boys did great. Footing generally stable throughout hike. 4.5 hours up and 3 hrs down w our backpacks.

I go hiking a TON and absolutely love it. This trail... it was harder for me to complete this than a 14er lol. I read all the reviews before and thought, “how hard could those first 2miles really be”. Oh ya. My dog and I are pretty beat. It’s very pretty at the top, yes, but I wouldn’t recommend to anyone

hiking
9 days ago

This hike is okay, the second you step on the trail you head directly vertical. the trail literally goes straight up the mountain. It's incredibly steep and if you aren't in shape then forget it. The trail is also very rocky so you don't get much chance to enjoy the scenery, your eyes are glued to the ground so you don't faceplant. I only did the first mile then turned around, it wasn't enjoyable.

Great hike. Well maintained trail and beautiful flowers and views the entire hike. However this should say HEAVILY trafficked trail. I don't think I have ever hiked any trail with that amount of people on it. Parking lot full and cars parked for 1/4 mile down the road in both directions. Great hike, just expect to be hiking it with a lot of other people.

hiking
10 days ago

Views are absolutely stunning!! Would 10/10 recommend this hike and will have this high on my list to do again in the fall. Definitely get there early. I showed up at 8:15 on a Saturday morning and pretty much had the trail to myself. By 10:30 when I got back to the lot it was nuts!

We were planning to make the Halo Ridge traverse over to summit Mount of the Holy Cross, but the weather came in hard and fast at noon.

The notch mountain trail is beautiful. The switchbacks Offer gorgeous views and the lakes and valleys below. The shelter up top perfectly frames Mount of the Holy Cross in the window.

Next time, we’ll get an earlier start and make the Halo Ridge traverse.

hiking
10 days ago

Wow! One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever experienced! Lots of wild flowers and birds to enjoy on your trek up. The views from the top were unbelievable and definitely worth the hike. I would recommend getting there early as it got pretty crowded by the time we left. The trail was listed to be 4 miles, though my Fitbit logged 5.2 total.

hiking
11 days ago

There is just one "Fancy Lake." The trail to it is about 2.6 miles with an elevation gain of 1,500 feet. (The contours on these maps are confusing because the contour interval is 10 meters (about 33 feet) whereas every fifth contour is labelled with the elevation in feet.) The first 1.5 mile passes through pine forest before some meadows with wildflowers start to appear. This part is moderately difficult.

The trail from the lake to Fancy Pass gains about 870 feet in 0.7 mile, of which the last half is especially steep and difficult. In particular, it is easy to miss where the trail jogs to the right, and climb up a natural rock chute that was used for dropping mine tailings to a lower elevation. The trail is difficult enough, but the mining chute still has loose tailings in it and is worse. It is hard to appreciate the scenery while focusing on your footing, but as others have said, the view from the pass -- particularly to the north down the valley of Cross Creek -- is spectacular.

Most people who get to Fancy Pass continue to Missouri Pass and return to the trailhead by way of the Missouri Lakes Trail, which starts at the same parking area. I think that that route has better alpine scenery with less extremely difficult trail conditions than the Fancy Pass Trail described here.

hiking
11 days ago

This is an amazing hike. You get a little of everything - meadows, trees, lots of wild flowers in July, and large/unique rock formations all surrounded by wonderful mountain peaks. Shrine Pass Rd is dirt but is in fairly good condition when coming from I70. Not so good if you continue past the trail head. There are lots of people on trail.

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful! Not many people for a Saturday in Vail. Caught the end of wildflower season.

hiking
11 days ago

Nice moderate hike with wildflowers and scenic vistas at the end. The rock formations at the end are unique and worth the extra hiking.

hiking
11 days ago

Thought I got a late start at 7 on a Sunday morning but turns out I was the first one in the parking lot and first one at the top. Tons of white people on the way back down, an easy trail with views and wildflowers.

Load More