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

Want to do Map
VIEW FULL MAP

As many hikers mentioned it before, I would advise to split this hike in two, the first part from the half moon pass trailhead into East Cross creek campsite and then hike the next day from the campsite into Holy Cross.
We decided to go for the full day hike and it was very demanding to say the least. A solid 8.30 hours hike and we are VERY fit. the way back up into half moon pass after a good 6 hours hiking up the mountain was grueling. beautiful views from the summit though, well worth the pain if you know what you are getting into.

This was a very exciting day on the trail - we saw a black bear and two snakes! The lookout/outcroppings were stunning.

Great hike! Leads you up Vail mountain through beautiful patches of aspens and pines and through meadows. Once we got to the top of Eagles Nest we traversed the mtn on Grand Escape trail and down Kinnikinnick trail to the mid-Vail gondola. About 6 Miles all together and was amazing. Great views and a variety of landscapes. Not very busy on a Tuesday. The only downside is that the first mile is really steep and you hear the highway until about 1.5 miles into the hike. Don’t let that deter you. Was the only hike we did while in two for two nights and was a memorable one!

hiking
2 days 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.

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
3 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.

hiking
3 days ago

We were told by the bus driver that Crater Lake was a lot more dried up this year, and that was completely obvious once we saw the lake. I’m sure it would have been a lot more attractive if the water were higher. But pretty views throughout the hike! Saw a ton of families, so should be doable for most kiddos. And if you have a dog, they’ll probably enjoy cooling off in the lake at the top.

I’m physically active so I thought the trail itself was mostly easy, but we flew in from GA ~18 hours before the hike and I definitely felt some negative affects of the altitude adjustment. If you’re not used to high altitudes, bring plenty of water and remember to take deep breaths.

hiking
4 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!

My first solo trip. Weather was perfect and the trail lived up to all my expectations. CLockwise and glad I did!

hiking
5 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.

Bunch of knobs on the trail

The hike is great, lake is underwhelming. Views along the hike are awesome.

Awsome !

For those of us not used to the altitude (we are from GA) this was a pretty difficult hike on the way to Crater Lake. Mostly uphill and very rocky. Took about an hour hike to get to Crater Lake but the view was gorgeous! Plan on packing a lunch or snacks and taking in the view—and a short rest! Definitely want to get there early as it gets very crowded on the narrow, rocky trail as the day progresses. We got to Highlands at about 8:15 to take the bus up to Maroon Bells. Go early—very popular destination! Bring lots of water too.

We arrived to start the loop on Saturday morning at 5:30 am. Were greeted with overnight lot full sign. There were two parking spots in the overflow area just before the overnight lot. When we walked thru the overnight lot, there was one open spot. When we returned on Tuesday both of those parking areas were full. You might have to check out the other overflow parking area to find a parking spot.
We did the loop CW to West Maroon pass first. We did this because one hiker was not acclimated, and this direction is not as steep. The valley was crowded with hikers and runners up to the pass. The camp sites between West Maroon and Frigid Air are about 1/4 mile off the trail in the trees. There is a stream for water between the trail and campsites.
Thunderstorm started at 6 pm and rained and sleeted for a couple of hours. Intermittent rain thru the night. Only about 800 ft elevation change from camp to Frigid Air pass, a 100 yard section was steep and slick from the rain, so it was a relatively easy morning hike. 2100 ft elevation change downhill into the next valley.
We camped just after the intersection with the Geneva lake trail. Several nice camp sites in the area and water is close at the river.
Third day was a tough one. First 2170 ft elevation change up to Trail Rider pass. 1700 ft elevation change down into the Snowmass lake area. Then 800 ft elevation change up to our next campsite. The area was dry due to the summer conditions, so a lot of streams were dried up. There is water in Snowmass lake but we didn't need water at the time. We didn't really want to pull water out of the swamp, though the beaver dam was busted and it was flowing. At the campsites halfway up to Buckskin pass, there were two good streams for water.
Fourth day another roughly 800 ft elevation change to Buckskin pass, then close to 3000 ft downhill to the parking lot.
Outside of the main valley the trail was not crowded. Beautiful flowers, lakes and mountain scenery. Lots of animals, pikas, marmots, deer and a mountain goat guarding Buckskin pass.
Doing the trail in the CW direction was right of us, so the unacclimated hiker was able to make it. But it does make the last half of the hike the hard section. If you are a flatlander and live at low elevation like me, I do recommend spending a 3 or 4 days to acclimate before doing high altitude hiking.

hiking
7 days ago

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

hiking
7 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!

Pretty mostly shaded well maintained route through aspen groves. Hiked in early August when wild thimble berries plentiful along the trail. Lovely bridge across clear stream. Enough uphill to get our hearts pounding. Downhill portion (Cinch ski trail) not exciting but pretty views of Beaver Creek resort below.

hiking
8 days ago

Very nice hike up the slopes. The elevation makes it pretty challenging, but it was doable for our 11 year old. Mix of forest and crossing the meadows on the ski slopes. Saw lots of berries (both edible and not). Had a nice lunch on top at the Eagles Nest. On the way down we diverted to Strawberry Trail for the last stretch to mix it up, which was nice. That feeds out into Vail Village about 10 minutes from the trailhead in Lionshead.

I’m not an experienced hiker so not sure how to rate... but very enjoyable... 2 hours ( for me) up to Gore Ridge Trail... then turned around ... I went slowly with plenty of rest stops .... beautiful views along the way... and wonderful smell of the lodge pole pines ... 1 hour 15 minutes down ... although parking lot at trailhead was just about full I really didn’t encounter many people ... the people I did see along the way just gave a friendly “Hi” and carried on ... I post a pic I took at the bottom... pretty much says it all ... steep initially but levels out ... don’t get discouraged! Some areas require navigating over tree roots and rocks but nothing too daunting .... after you get to the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area the trail becomes more interesting... passes in and out of meadows and trees ... very nice!

hiking
9 days ago

The road to the trailhead is very rough, you definitely need high clearance and 4WD to get all the way. There were no cars parked at the trail head. Cars could probably make it a bit past the Mt Massive trailhead, to within about 1 mile of the trailhead, where there are some campsites to park at. But depending on your vehicle, it may be safest to not try.

The hike itself offered beautiful views of many surrounding mountains and was generally easy to follow. It is very steep at times, and you definitely want to be fully acclimated before attempting. Before you reach the first lake, the trail forks, and could be easy to miss. To the right is a path up to a waterfall, and to the left is the lake(s). The AllTrails map doesn't include hiking up to the second lake, though there's definitely a faint trail going there and it's not a bad quick addition if you still have the energy at the top. We only saw one other set of hikers the whole time we were on the trail.

on Crater Lake Trail

hiking
9 days ago

I found the low level of the lake and the dirty water to be a little underwhelming. The view of the surrounding mountains is very nice, as is the aspen forest on the way in.

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!!

We arrived at 9am on a Tuesday and there were 4 cars in the lot. After a very pleasant 2 mile hike we arrived at the springs and had them to ourselves for 45 minutes. That is all the time we needed due to persistent horse flies. The lowest pool felt like a 92f hot tub. It was most splendid and strange to have a hot waterfall jet falling on my back. The hike in and out is very nice due to the flowing stream. We were all very glad we took this amazing hike.

Pretty neat!

The views down by the lakes were incredible. The beginning of the hike is not as scenic, but was worth the wait.

Load More