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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.

hiking
4 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.

Challenging (moderate/difficult) to Surprise Lake and a more moderate second half to Upper Cataract Lake. We left the TH at 6:30am, arrived at Upper Cataract shortly after 9:00am. We fished with small spinners and spoons and caught four brook trout. Great hike, we will be back to camp at Surprise Lake!

Nice easy hike around the lower lake. Tried fishing, but didnt even see a fish. Very busy trail. Perfect for families.

hiking
5 days ago

Pleasant meandering trail. I recommend taking the free gondola from the base to the second stop at Grand Lodge. It's a short walk from there to the trailhead. Hike down to the Shock Hill gondola stop and get back on the gondola to return to the base. This avoids walking on the confusing streets in that last segment down.

hiking
5 days ago

Lots of development and roads cross the trails. Dust abounds.

hiking
6 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 !

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!

backpacking
11 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.

hiking
12 days ago

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
12 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.

Super easy, well maintained, nice little bridges. Connected with the Nordic center trails and made it over to peak 8 adventure park. Dry @11:00 after rains last night and this am.

Sweet, simple, and to the point.

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!

hiking
16 days ago

We started the hike at 10 a.m. and finished in 5 hours, with a 30-minute lunch break at the lake. The first 2 miles are quite literally STRAIGHT uphill. If you're not used to strenuous inclines consider a different hike. And the decent downhill is just as difficult! It's incredibly steep so again, not a hike if your legs aren't prepared. The last quarter mile to the lake is just as steep as the first two miles. All in all this hike is a blast! Gorgeous and challenging.

hiking
16 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.

hiking
16 days ago

Nice day 1 hike. Easy to navigate and some beautiful views.

hiking
16 days ago

We were on a time crunch so only hiked first couple of miles, very nice, through a forest. Explored other trails near Deluge as well. Very nice hiking area. Only saw a couple other people on the trail - surprised at that since we were there July 2018, peak summer season! Lovely stream right by the trailhead, nice photo op.

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.

backpacking
20 days ago

Spent 5 days at Upper Cataract lake. As others have said, the hike is not exactly easy but if I can do it it's not impossible (I was clocking a 40-50 minute mile). The lake is spectacular. Especially the side that has the shear cliffs. That side also has incredible fishing. Caught many brookies, browns, and hybrids.

Mirror lake, in my opinion, is okay but not nearly as nice as Upper Cataract. If you hike to Mirror lake be sure to cross the stream that runs out of Mirror lake even though you probably won't see the trail on the other side. Don't be tempted by the trail to your left unless you really, really like making your way over a very large boulder field. Don't ask me how I know.

rock climbing
21 days ago

It was awesome trail! It took me about six hours. Roughly 2 hours to get to the lake and that I decided to hike to the summit of the tallest mountain. Altogether it was an amazing hike worth the difficulty. What an amazing feeling and challenge! I would do it again in a heartbeat! Such awesome views!

hiking
21 days ago

Best hike ever

hiking
21 days ago

Map showed 3.6 mi trail to the lake, but it was WAY farther than that. My tracker said 4.4 mi when I must have been almost a mile from the lake. Not particularly difficult, but it is strenuous. The trail is well worn, easy to follow. While the slope it climbs is steep, the trail makes enough switchbacks and traverses that it isn't especially steep. The lower part of the trail meanders through aspens and would make a nice Fall foliage hike. The middle third in the fir/pine forest was loaded with wildflowers. Upper third is the open wild-flower filled meadows leading to the lake, but there's still plenty of vertical. Take time to wander around the lake and through all the hummocky terrain above it. Fabulous views. If you still have energy, you can scramble up to the ridge above and look into Snow Lake. (I didn't). Only real downer is the highway noise for the first couple miles up, last couple miles down. (Met a father and teen daughter on the way down who had made a loop up Gore Creek, off trail to Snow Lake, over the pass, and at Deluge Lake picked up the trail down. Now that's a hike!) Rating takes road noise into account.

hiking
23 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.

This 2.3 mile loop trail around the lake is an easy trail (only 230 feet elevation gain) that offers a view of a waterfall cascading from perhaps 200-300 feet above. The sound of the waterfall accompanied us on most of the hike. The start of the hike (8:40am) was the most exciting....we were met early-on by a skinny fox who had just caught a chipmunk. I would have expected the fox to run away quickly, but he was much more intent upon securing the chipmunk in his mouth before making his exit. We also enjoyed seeing a huge beaver dam, but...no beavers. We completed the hike in about 1-1/2 hours, stopping to talk to a few couples along the way.

Beautiful hike. Wild flowers amazing right now. Kids had a great time climbing at the falls.

Tough ascents and descents but well worth the time and pain.

The views are outstanding. Wildflowers are everywhere. I started the hike before 8:00 a.m. and it was a good choice! As I was coming back down there were several groups hiking up. Pack bug spray if you plan to hike later in the morning/day.

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