Bighorn Creek Trail

MODERATE 64 reviews
#27 of 196 trails in

Bighorn Creek Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Vail, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.4 miles
2211 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




nature trips





wild flowers


The climb from the start is fairly steep. As with most of the other East Vail hikes, there are several small streams you'll cross and lots of photo ops. Important: when you start the trail you'll take an immediate left and start climbing. It looks like you should continue straight but that is not the trail.

9 months ago

Definitely an a** kicker on the way up! The aspen groves are AMAZING!! There is a section about 1/2 way up or so that follows the river so it's nice and cool here. After that there is a steep incline that is pretty rocky and in direct sun... Things to take note... I took my dog and am not sure I would recommend it... we hike all the time but it's pretty rocky in a lot of sections and with the direct sun, it was a little hot with no natural water for her to cool off in. (I definitely had water and a bowl for her). Right before the cabin, there is a little creek she could lay in... but she ended up tearing the pads on her feet and it took quite a bit of time to come down. Good hike if you want something challenging, but again maybe leave the pups at home!

9 months ago

Beautiful hike. But I would not rate this moderate. It is more challenging. The first 1/2 mile is brutal, then the uphill is not as severe for the next mile. Then it get brutal with steep elevation on loose rock. We did not make it to the hut. Turned around about 2 miles in. The Aspens are changing and the views are really pretty. Parking lot is very small and if it is full you are out of luck. There is no parking on the street. We went mid day on Wednesday and parking lot still had a few spots. Saw only a few people on trail. Felt like we had the place to ourself. The was a sign posted to beware of mountain lions. Thankfully I just had to deal with the trail.

9 months ago

Hell of a workout but worth the views and cabin!

10 months ago

The start gets your blood flowing quickly.

10 months ago

Excellent hike. Really 7.2 to Cabin and back.

11 months ago

Used to access the grand traverse, really cool canyon.

11 months ago

I really enjoyed this hike. Definitely had some challenging parts but the scenery and views made it worth it. Honestly I don't know how long it actually is, but to the hut and back took just over 5 hours.

11 months ago

Beautiful hike! Did this one 3 July 17 with totally clear trails all the way to the cabin at about 3.75 miles. Wild flowers were blooming but probably weren't at peak yet. Only saw a few other people on the trail. Great views along the switchbacks after enjoying shade in the Aspen forests. Would definitely do this one again. Somewhat limited parking at the trailhead, but was clearly marked.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trail to the cabin is more like 7.5 miles. Hike is pretty much uphill for the first 2.5 miles with a steep pitch in the beginning and again at about halfway. Only saw 5 other people on the trail and had cell service nearly the entire time. Both were pleasant surprises! Last mile is still snow covered and difficult to follow the trail through the pines. Wildflowers were just starting to bloom; should be quite scenic is a few weeks. Trail also has a beautiful section where you walk through Aspens. I recommend this hike but be prepared for a work out for your calves!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

dificult to keep on trail with snow but great views!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This is one tough hike. The cabin at the end is cool and there is shade and a stream there, but it doesn't have the pay off of finishing a hike by the lake. The climb from the start is fairly steep. As with most of the other East Vail hikes, there are several small streams you'll cross and lots of photo ops. This was a long day (it was warm out). Felt like forever but was only about 5.5 hours. Not my favorite hike but worth doing once.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Beautiful! Uphill most of the hike so be prepared to work for it!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Has a steep pitch at first, then evens out into a really lovely aspen grove--I'd definitely seek it this trail again!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

It's a nice trail but not 6.4 miles. More like 10 total. 5 up and 5 back. Saw 4 people on the trail on sept 10 so not heavy traffic. Very pretty tho with a couple rock fields.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Sunday, August 07, 2016

This is a massively underrated trail. While there aren't any major "destinations" this trail is a consistently beautiful trek through beauty on all sides. From the stunning views of the peaks, to the gorgeous aspen groves, to the blooming wild flowers, to the running creek. This trail is loaded with scenery and is a great mix of difficult and forgiving terrain.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A trail with very little reward. Steep. Lots of gravel for poor footing.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Great hike. Steep for the first 15 minutes, then it levels off with some good sections of uphill hiking from time to time. At times a little more than moderate.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Great trail! Hiked out so its easy to follow. Great areas by the creek to hang and relax. Beautiful

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Awesome trail with few people generally. Hiked to the cabin at the top of the trail in the basin and then camped out overnight. Woke up at 2 AM and began the ascent of the Grand Traverse with crampons and an ice axe. Summited the peak sometime after day break. Not too steep but there is a little scrambling on rock at the top. Coming down was a blast. Glasaded the top part and down climbed a few cliffs. Grand Traverse looks really steep from town of Vail but its not that bad once you get on it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Every part was gorgeous. Challenging parts but balanced nicely. Bring a snack and sunscreen!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Beautiful! The trail was lush, and filled with wild flowers, aspen groves, rivers and streams, and beautiful views if you make it to the top. Definitely a workout, too! :)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Just walked it today. Great hike! A fun snow field along the way to hike through too!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Beautiful hike. Went late afternoon on a Sunday and not many people were there- it was almost a little eerie. Gorgeous open areas and views. Saw a snake, creepy cabin. All in all, a good one to complete! Note: Trail continues past the cabin but I turned around and went the way I came up. Not sure where the trail goes past the cabin.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Very nice , we were the only ones on the trail. Fortunately we had rain gear with us as we got caught up in a heavy rain storm above the talus, but able wait it out under the thick pines. Nice spot about 2 miles around the creek; saw the falls from afar further up. Didn't make it to the cabin.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Really nice find in East Vail. Follow directions posted in review below, as AllTrails is a bit off.

Important: when you start the trail you'll take an immediate left and start climbing. It looks like you should continue straight but that is not the trail.

It's a decent, steady climb to start but then evens out for a nice, easy and beautiful hike. A couple side trials cut down to the river - highly recommend!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Fun! Easy. Not too crowded

Monday, June 02, 2014

Just an absolutely beautiful trail. Lots of waterfalls and aspens to look at and breathtaking views. Shame my dog and I couldn't get to the cabin. There was a slushy patch of snow on a very steep part of the trail so we had to turn around. But we will definitely come back!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Out of the four other trails we hiked in the Vail area, this was our least favorite. The directions from All Trails were off. Exit I-70 at the easternmost exit (180) and take an immediate left onto Big Horn Road to go under I-70. Follow Big Horn Road back east for less than a mile to Columbine Drive. Take a left on Columbine Drive and go back under I-70 (there's a one way tunnel) and up the hill a couple hundred yards. You’ll find a small parking lot on the left side of the street and you’re all set to go. I added this under "getting there" so people don't have a difficult time finding it like we did. We only made it 2.5 miles into the trail due to limited time. The first part is pretty steep with a lot of loose rocks that makes it difficult going down on the way back. Around the 1.75 mile mark we saw a waterfall which wasn't as spectacular as Booth Falls. There are plenty of wild flowers and the trail is mostly shaded by trees. You can hear the creek most of the way but don't see it too often.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Great trail and very easy access from Vail and i70. We had kids and elderly dogs and managed just fine. multiple trails here to choose from as well. Will be back again.

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