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

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hiking
7 hours 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
12 hours ago

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

hiking
19 hours ago

Thought this trail was just ok compared to others in the park. You have to walk uphill the entire time with no views except a waterfall early and then the big payoff at the end being the lake. Otherwise just trees and more trees! Glad I did it so I can cross it off the list but probably won't do this one again.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike! We were on the trailhead at 7:00. We saw a big bull elk and 1 deer. The hike had a lot of elevation change but was so worth it. The lake is beautiful, and filled with cutthroat trout. My husband and son spend several hours fly fishing. Amazing day and hike!

hiking
1 day ago

Great trail. Lots of climbing on the way up, but it’s all worth it for the views at the top. Go early to avoid the crowds – it was already pretty busy at 7am and people were lined up inching along the narrow paths on on the way down. Free parking is available about 10 blocks away.

I really enjoyed this hike. Lots of places to explore off the trail, plenty of water sources along the way to cool yourself and your dogs off. I love a trail/hike that has water so I think thats why I dug this one so much.

The only downfall is the parking situation-- we got to the trailhead around 10am, and there was zero parking. We had to park about a mile away from the trailhead, and we weren't sure how to access the shuttle so we ended up walking to the trailhead. I recommend googling the free shuttle and figuring that out beforehand :)

hiking
1 day ago

Great morning hike! Took me 2 hours with a 15 min stop at peak.

hiking
1 day 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!

on Ypsilon Lake Trail

hiking
2 days ago

Hiked Ypsilon today and my Fitbit said it was 10.03mi. Great Lake view, but make sure you don’t stop short at the little pond. I was quite shocked at the amount of people who were starting at 3pm in jeans with no water. Be smart, it’s not worth it.

Certainly challenging, but nothing to lose sleep over. Expect to wait in line if you’re hoping to get decent pictures at the top.

hiking
3 days ago

This is definitely a “hard” trail, bust super proud when I finished! Practically all up hill on the way there but that means down hill on the way back! The views at the top are beautiful! I would recommend starting it sooner rather than later so the traffic is low and the sun isn’t too high!

hiking
3 days ago

We enjoyed this hike! It was definitely a high incline and rocky but it was worth it. It was a bit harder then expected the the views are beautiful and the arch is pretty neat. Bring lots of water, take stops and enjoy the outdoors! There are trees on a lot of the hike which gives some much needed shade every now and then.

Thought we would start here on vacation to get used to the elevation before heading to RMNP but this was a tough hike for us. Arch bigger than expected and nice view of flatirons

hiking
3 days ago

This was a very nice short first day hike for our CO vacation to get acclimated to walking at this altitude/weather. I would put the overall difficulty more towards moderate, but it’s a tough call as parts are easy, parts are moderate, and there are some steeper stretches that are more difficult. We went relatively early on a July weekday and the number of people going up was not bad at all, but we passed a ton of people going the other way as we can back down. Yes, bring water, wear good hiking shoes, sunscreen, etc and otherwise use common sense. Although short, the trail has more of the feel of a “hike” than a walk in the park.

Good one

hiking
5 days ago

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

hiking
5 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.

hiking
5 days ago

My new most favorite place. Absolutely worth the hike. However it is 9 miles long, not 8 miles. I did the entire trail out and back in 3,5 hours time. (Including breaks.)
The lake is so beautiful! I did the hike in the afternoon and even though the parking lot was full, not many people went the entire way to the lake. I ended up having the lake all to myself. The beginning of the trail is pretty busy. Also beware of horses. There are horse tours going to the lake. There is enough shade as most of the hike is in the forest. Not a lot of views, except the first 1,5 miles. From then on it’s just forest until you reach the lake. The first little pond right before the lake is also very beautiful.

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful views from the Royal Arch and worth the effort it takes to hike up! Would not recommend this trail for small children, elderly, or dogs that are not experienced hiking companions in high altitudes. Very steep, rocky, and mostly vertical climb. Several areas require scrambling. You’ll want a good pair of hiking/approach shoes. Do not take this trail if you have bad knees, hips, or ankles. Otherwise, enjoy!

Almost 100% vertical. Take breaks, bring water. Go early on a weekday - my group went on a Sunday late morning, and it was super crowded. Trail is fairly narrow and rocky, which makes navigating the crowds fairly difficult.

Liked it better than Flattop mtn, Hallett Peak, and even better than Emerald Lake. The least crowded hike in the Rockies so far with the best views going both ways on the trail. Amazing views at the lake. Wish we would have done the social trail to Helene Lake on the way back...next time.

hiking
6 days ago

Nice view of city and UOC Boulder from top. Great view of the flatirons. Steep toward the end. Arch is very impressive. Saw lots of raptor hawks. A hazy view of Denver in the distance.

very good hike!! it was a tough uphill but only took a little over an hour to the arch. total about 2 hr round trip for us. loved the workout!

Beautiful views. Definitely a must see

hiking
7 days ago

I’d do it again, mainly because it is such a great little workout. Don’t underestimate that uphill! It is totally doable though. There is a $2.50/hr parking fee between 8 and 5, but I recommend hiking before 8am anyway this time of year. 6am would be ideal so that you get the most shade and the best temperature to make the hike as pleasant as possible.

hiking
8 days ago

Did this on a Monday early afternoon after misreading the Flatiron closure warnings. Heavily trafficked - lots of groups, people playing music in their phones aloud, etc - with that said it’s not a national park or anything. Great variety for a shorter trail. Beautiful views, busy at the arch but was able to wait out the crowds to get the pictures I wanted.

hiking
8 days ago

Really hard but worth it

backpacking
8 days ago

Many of the views are very beautiful. However, with all of the pine beetle kill, there are hundreds of downed trees that cover portions of the trail, particularly between the trails near the Cataract lakes in the north down to Boulder Lake. There is evidence that the Forest Service has tried to clear the trails by chainsawing out the dead pines that have fallen onto the trail(s), but they can't keep up with the blowdown.

There is plenty of water, and you never walk more than 2 or 3 miles between decent water sources.

Loved it. Went in early March and there was a little snow but vey manageable. Will definitely di it again.

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.

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