Booth Lake is a 10 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Vail, Colorado that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.0 miles Elevation Gain: 3,051 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

running

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

snow

This trail enters the Eagles Nest Wilderness. Wilderness regulations exist and are posted at the trailhead. Parking is very limited at this trailhead. Please consider taking the free Town of Vail bus from the Vail Village parking structure to access this trail. The Booth Lake Trail is a very popular hike and the amount of use has resulted in trail damage and widening. Please stay on the trail, carry all trash and dog waste out with you, and leave this beautiful place better than you found it so others may continue to enjoy. Booth Lake is a beautiful lake tucked away in an alpine cirque with fantastic wildflowers. The trail climbs through forest and meadows past Booth Falls, a 60-foot waterfall. Bring your own water as the creek is not always near the trail. The lake is near treeline - arrive early to beat afternoon thunderstorms. Hunters may use this area during hunting season. The trail is neither marked nor maintained for winter and crosses several avalanche paths.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
3 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

I made it to the lake on 5/22 and I was the only one there all day. Make sure you go early otherwise you will post hole on your way back down with the snow melt. I have to say it was really challenging making it to the lake and back since there’s not much of a trail after the big waterfall and you have to make your own trail to the lake. Only used micro spikes, gaiters are helpful too cause you will probably post hole a few times at least. I loved the hike still, definitely type 2 fun, and the scenery is so beautiful with the aspens having just leafed this past week! Can’t wait to do it once the lake melts!

hiking
9 days ago

I only made about two thirds of the trail to the lake, but even the views before the lake is incredible. The area is packed with snow a little past the half point, and I think microspikes and poles would be very helpful. At the point where fallen trees block the trail, you can climb up to get to the main trail, or you can also take the other side trail that takes you close to the big fall.

hiking
snow
22 days ago

Planned to hike to the lake, but didn't feel totally comfortable going the whole way without microspikes. There was a lot of avalanche damage this year, so lots of debris and lots of snowpack made the trail difficult to follow. Snow was well packed overall, but surprise post-holing was definitely still an issue in some spots as the day got warmer. Gaiters were a savior with the post-holing. With microspikes, we would have made it to the lake for sure! Other than that, love this trail. The falls are awesome and the scenery overall is gorgeous!

snowshoeing
snow
2 months ago

Need snowshoes after the falls. Amazing conditions. Packed trail most of the ways to falls. Need micro spikes for comfy ascent

hiking
snow
5 months ago

Just hiked/snowshoed the trail and it was gorgeous, snow had been falling the last couple of days and no one had been there since so I had to break trail. You will need micro spikes and snowshoes if you want any chance of getting to the falls in the winter. About .5 past the falls I encountered chest deep snow and even with snowshoes I sunk about 3 feet, impossible to carry on to the lake itself. I can’t imagine any one could get up to the lake after mid December through March.

hiking
snow
6 months ago

hiking
snow
7 months ago

Unfortunately couldn’t make it to the lake due to very deep snow, which also make the trail very unclear :( really nice and pretty hike otherwise!

hiking
snow
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

ain't no joke. a pretty steep climb, but well worth the lovely views and fresh lake at the top!

hiking
7 months ago

This trail was fantastic! It’s a bit tough at some parts past the falls but well worth it, the lake is stunning!!! Many of the reviews said past the falls wasn’t heavily trafficked, but we saw more people on our way to lake than the falls. Only downside to this trail is parking, very limited!!!

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome hike! I have two pups and they loved every minute of it. Get to the parking lot before 7am or there wont be any spots available. It was 25 degrees when we started and in the 60’s when the sun came out, so warm but breathable layers would be important. Don’t stop at the falls! Keep going until the lake, it’s worth it!

hiking
7 months ago

I absolutely loved this hike! Like other people said the parking lot is small but if you go on a weekday and earlier then 9 then there should be spaces open. This hike has everything!! Elevation, flat parts of the trail, aspen forests, pine forests, meadows, rivers, waterfalls, a BEAUTIFUL lake, views and friendly people. It was a good workout but not too challenging, just be ready to put in the miles. This week will probably be the last week to see the changing aspen leaves and they are stunning like shimmering gold! Enjoy!

hiking
8 months ago

Brilliant weather for a stunning location. Got there early for the very limited parking...6AM. This time of year, the sun doesn't reach into the valley until almost 11AM...so chilly. Once in the sun, tshirt weather. Fresh dusting of snow on the very highest peaks which was gorgeous. Shared the lake with only 3 other people. Stacks of people from the falls back to the car park.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing fall hike. The aspen groves were amazing. It was packed leading up to the falls. Once you get past the falls there was less traffic but still slightly busy. Should be expected due to the leaves changing color. One thing to be aware of is the parking situation. We got there at 730am and the trail head parking lot was full. There’s only about 10 spaces at the trailhead.Trying to be cute, we wanted to park on the next street over at the 3 hour lot for the Booth Park. A lot of hikers were already parking there. However we decided against it as a local lady was standing there taking note, no doubt to call a tow truck immediately once the 3 hours ended. We instead drove and parked at the Vail Village parking lot which is free in the summer. We then took a taxi with RideTaxi company for 13 dollars each way. Worth it as we didn’t want to get towed.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful fall colors on a well worn path. The lake was spectacular.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful views on the way in and on the way out. Gorgeous meadows. The Fall colors were wonderful. A good amount of uphill, but not too much. We hiked up to the waterfalls, ate lunch there, and explored the overlooks and on up the creek bed. We didn't hike all the way to the lake. Too much to see and enjoy along the way.

hiking
8 months ago

A great fall hike through aspen groves to Booth falls and to the lake. Trail has decent incline and is well defined. Great views of the Booth Lake and the Gore Range at the end of the trail. Trail has a decent amount of traffic later in the morning so arrive early.

hiking
8 months ago

One of my summer favs! Beautiful, peaceful and has incredible scenic views.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful and challenging hike, particularly the half above the falls. Still with lots of wild flowers. Loved it!

hiking
8 months ago

Great morning hike. Definitely challenging. Took about 5 hours start to finish with a quick break at the lake.

backpacking
8 months ago

Did a one night backpacking trip. Trail was quite difficult - steadily uphill the entirety of the trek, but seriously worth it. Fields were overflowing with wildflowers, and the beautiful lake at the end were a welcome sight for tired legs. Parking was atrocious. There is overflow parking at the school leading up to the trailhead, but no overnight parking - you must park at a Vail parking structure and bus in. Trail appears to be heavily trafficked only up to the waterfall - few people make it up to the lake it would seem. In addition to my duo, there were only 2 other overnighter groups at the lake and relatively few people were passed on the way down. Good chance to spot some wildlife - we saw your typical small critters, along with 10+ mountain goats and a couple of deer.

hiking
9 months ago

This was a great, challenging, hike! Took the bus from vail and started chugging along! The trail to the falls was moderately trafficked but the real views kick in after the falls. Only saw two people on the way up from here and two on the way down. CO never disappoints!

hiking
9 months ago

If you don’t hike all the way to the lake, you’re doing it wrong! Lots of reviews on here about it being crowded, but I only encountered a handful of people as I was hiking up, and once I passed the falls to get to the lake, there was no one! The lake is truly the most beautiful part, especially now during peak wildflower season. Challenging hike, but extremely rewarding!

hiking
9 months ago

As with many of the East Vail trails, this one gets lots of use, and has therefore been subject to abuse. Don’t expect solitude, or much wildlife.... but nevertheless, this is one of the prettiest and thus a favorite! Please everyone don’t cut corners - even just to pass slower groups.

hiking
9 months ago

great hike with beautiful wildflowers on the lower part leading to the Falls. While uphill all the way, not too steep for the average hiker . it took me 50' to the falls and 2h to the lake but at a pretty fast pace. watch out after the falls as trail gets a bit confusing. Avoid the trail access close to the ridge/falls as it is dangerous and slippery, take the trail to the right when you look up from the falls. the last half mile to the lake is a bit more challenging but you will enjoy a well deserved and peaceful time at the lake. 10.2 miles roundtrip exactly.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

We started out a little late at 10am, but got back to the car by 3pm. The trail is easy to follow and the people we encountered were all very friendly. On-site parking was very convenient. Bring bug spray, sunscreen, and lots of water. There were about 25-30 mountain goats up at the lake, which was an awesome bonus site. Highly recommend this hike. It’s a strong workout for the casual hiker, so be aware if you are new or visiting.

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