Booth Lake

HARD 75 reviews
#9 of 26 trails in

Booth Lake is a 9.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Vail, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, horses, and backpacking and is best used from July until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
9.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3070 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

horseback riding

trail running

forest

lake

wild flowers

rocky

snow

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
10 days ago

We went as one of our second hikes after coming to coloradio from alabama. We prolly weren't fully acclimated to the elevation -nonetheless it was a challenging hike. We made it to about 1/8 of a mile from the lake and couldn't find the trail because of snow. Luckily, there was a solo hiker who found us sitting on a rock eating reeses pieces before we turned around and went back and explained we were super close to the lake just go straight over a couple of false summits and we were there. Was so grateful he told us that because the lake was definitely worth checking out. It was still mostly frozen but still cool and considering we weren't yet acclimated to the elevation quite a feat that we made it. We did that hike around the 9th or of June i can't remember the exact date.

12 days ago

I went in early June which is to early ... loved the experience and the views but couldn’t make it to the lake due to snow and loosing the trail about 1 mile away. I left my handheld gps on accident and was having problems with my compass and the map from the trail head at the falls. The snow starts about .5 after the falls. It can be packed down but if you fall through expect it up to your waist. It goes by rapids that have steep drop offs and icy slippery spots. Difficult to maneuver with the dogs. It continues just as steep but more technical than the path to the falls. The trial becomes a stream and thankfully I had my chacos or I would have been walking in soppy socks for awhile. We finally made it about a mile away around 5:30pm. It was starting to get dark in the valley and then I saw a cougar run the valley and jump a boulder I thought was next to the trail I had to take. I decided to call it quits. I got back to my car with minutes to spare before dark set in. I passed about 5 groups that attempted the trail on my way up and only one had made it to the lake. It was beautiful and difficult hike so just be prepared and start early. Go in a group and bring extra socks and/or water shoes. Map the trail out before and have a back up way to navigate. The app gps was skipping around on where we were in correlation to the trial. We were stuck in the large valley for over an hr trying to find the trial and then find where we came from due to the zigzags the gps was taking us on.

hiking
28 days ago

Attempted to hike to Booth Lake today. Trail is free and clear of snow until the falls. Past the falls it gets snowy and after 12 PM becomes a posthole mess. We made it to about .3 miles from the lake. It was absolutely beautiful however. Totally enjoyed the hike, but again definite postholing.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing hike through beautiful alpine meadows with wild flowers and marmots. The lake is stunning!

hiking
6 months ago

Was up there this week on Wednesday the 22nd of November. I hiked up to the falls at first and that was a piece of cake. The falls around about 4km one way and then I hiked towards the lake. Did not need any special gear. Had solid 3 season La Sportiva waterproof booths and great hiking / also use them for skiing north face summit series pants. Since I forgot my gaiters a taped my ankles with a lot of masking tape. All he Way from the shoe up to my knee. This served as my gaiters. Past the falls I was was the only one and also the first to do a snow pack. There was no need for crampons (maybe snow shoes) and I did struggle in terms of a more strenuous effort of going up. It was heavier on my stamina. I turned around about 0.4 miles from the lake or so. Like someone in the comments below suggested they saw the trail end there lol! I turned because it was 3pm and I needed time to go get down + room for extra light in case of an injury. I had a drone with me so I flew up from the spot I was in and got to see the lake that way :) I was really close but at the end it was just snowing + getting dark + the snow in some parts was chest deep without any trail or snow pack to follow. Kinda bummed out since I was so close but all an all great hike. I think this hike in the summer is a peace of a cake. Curious if you can hike from the lake to one of the peaks? Does anyone know ? Cheers! My time was 3 hours up (including a lot of photography) and 30 minutes down (full on running)

hiking
7 months ago

Completed this hike in both the summer and winter. Yesterday I attempted to make it to the lake but there was a lot of snow, I was not properly prepared. The trail to the falls was snowy but doable without spikes/traction devices. Past the falls the trail was barely trafficked and my spikes were necessary. The trail disappeared about 0.25 miles from the lake and the snow was thigh high in some places. Trekked through it for a bit but I eventually had to turn around (no snow pants or snow gear with me). On the way down I saw a lot of people struggling to make it to the falls without spikes/ traction devices. Highly recommend them for the second half of the trail in the winter months.

8 months ago

A beautiful place to be, conveniently close to town as well. If you've got the stamina to rock this trail then do it...great view of holy cross while going up to the lake. Most people stop at the falls a few miles in - it's very worth it to keep going. Big family of marmots live up top at the lake and they will surely be scoping you out and talking to each other!

hiking
8 months ago

Came back to do this hike in the fall for the changing color aspens and was SO worth it. The aspens were still almost full blazing color changes of yellows, oranges, and reds it was so beautiful. It snowed earlier in the week so as we got higher up there was some snow to trek through and then the weather got funky so we headed back before we got to the lake but we will be back (probably next fall) for the colors and to try and finally get to that lake.

9 months ago

Hiked mid-September.Made it to the lake in 2hr 30min, spent 20 min at the lake, and 1hr 50min back to the car. I didn't really stop to take any breaks outside of taking photos. I was the 3rd car in the parking lot on a Friday morning at 7:30. Had the lake all to myself, but crossed paths with dozens of people on the return hike and the parking lot was completely full. Aspen leaves just starting to change but wild flowers are few and far between. Beautiful views and the lake is the highlight. The falls were nice but tough to get a good view or decent photo. Be prepared for a long climb!

hiking
10 months ago

Amazing views, long walk, go early, it's 4 hrs more or less to the lake and 2 hrs back, weather changes really fast so be prepared, lots of water and food and wait for when the sun hits the lake... just AMAZING and totally worth it!

trail running
10 months ago

Really pretty trail quite technical if you are going to run it. Plenty of wildlife up next to the lake including mosquitoes !
Start early if you want a quiet experience as the trail gets busy around 9am.
Enjoy

10 months ago

Excellent day hike. I took my wife for her first true mountain experience. It took us 2 hr 40 mins to get to the lake and a little under 2 hours to get back down. We did take our time at the lake cooking up some meals with my jetboil. It was very close to 10 miles based on my suunto. It also said about 3300' feet of vertical. We are flat landers and were only acclimated for a day, but we both in relatively good shape (run 1-2 marathons a year).

11 months ago

Awesome

hiking
11 months ago

Great trail but certainly challenging.

hiking
11 months ago

Went to hike booth falls and then decided to go a bit farther to the lake, it's about an hour and a half to get to the lake but was SO ABSOLUTELY worth it. Lots of incline

11 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous

hiking
11 months ago

This hike is awesome, but challenging! Wildflowers galore, marmots, and mountain goats by the lake (one came within four feet of us, which was a little disconcerting). Most of the views are past the falls. Lots of additional falls/mountain streams. Plenty of muddy areas, so wear hiking boots! Didn't really need bug spray. My knees hated me on the way down! Start early because lots of sun, plus parking lot is small.

11 months ago

Great trail through a beautiful mountain range. I think the hike to the falls is very highly trafficked, but the lake, not so much. Lots of bear scat after the falls, but zero before it.
I went up very early, and made it to the lake in 2.5 hours, so I didn't see anyone until I was almost back to the falls, but saw a ton of people on their way up. Many tired and asking how much further to the falls.

hiking
11 months ago

This was not an easy hike, but well worth the effort! The climb took us almost 4 hrs. to the Lake (with a couple of side trips, photo stops and snack breaks). Around 2 hrs on the downhill. We had the lake to ourselves until we were paid a visit by a curious Mountain Goat who walked up to within 6 feet of us and slowly circled us and then walked away! Spectacular views, creeks and waterfalls along the entire trail.

hiking
11 months ago

The trail between Booth Falls and Booth Lake is relatively vicious. It's much steeper than the trek to the falls but the views are significantly better. You actually get to hike along several streams instead of just hearing them on the way to the falls. There's plenty of wildlife: lots of marmots and chipmunks, we even saw a wolf from a distance. All in all, it was really tough to get up to the lake, but the lake was very worth it.

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Really enjoyed the hike. Had hiked to the falls a few days before and decided to do the whole thing today. 4 hours round trip. The last review on here is still accurate. Lots of snow after the falls but enough tracks to easily get up to the frozen lake!

hiking
Friday, June 16, 2017

Made it all the way up to Booth Lake on June 15. My wife and I and one other hiker were the only 3 people to make it all the way as far as I know. We started at 7:30am and got to the lake at 12:00, stopping for a fair amount of pictures and using the app more than occasionally to find our way. We did not see anyone at all until about 2.5 hours in when we a solo hiker passed us. We would encounter him about an hour later, he was lost an unable to find the trail without the app/map downloaded (little or no phone service starting about half way up). The 3 of us made the final approach together, which was very strenuous in the snow/ice which was heavily textured and melting. The snow starts maybe 30 minutes past the falls and there were no tracks/footprints to follow and we could only find the actual trail intermittently. After another 30-45 minutes, it is all snow and the trail is entirely lost. The general path is relatively intuitive if you have studied the map, but we definitely needed the app to keep on course and avoid some of the more dangerous areas. This was a difficult hike, especially the final ascent up the lake in the exposed steep snowfields. Be careful of running tributaries under the snow and postholing. Snow was still firm enough to hike all the way (micro spikes and poles highly recommended!), but a few more days of sun may make it very difficult until it has mostly melted out. Guessing this is why only 3 people even attempted this on a beautiful day. Hike and scenery were absolutely spectacular. Lake is surrounded by deep snow and just starting to thaw. There are pools of brilliant mineral blue that contrast against the all white. Don't attempt to get down close to the lake, as it's impossible to tell where it begins and there would be no way to get out or rescued if you fall through. Highly recommended, just don't go alone, have the map and right gear and be able to hike 10 miles at altitude and through snow/ice for half the time. Definitely not the best time of the year to attempt (given the late season snows and recent heat/sun), but great sense of accomplishment if you do. Amazing to have such a special (and apparently usually busy) place all to ourselves.

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

Great hike, tons of snow still up top. Be careful, this hike is strenuous with all the snow you'll be hiking through. The lake is still frozen up top. Hard to follow trail at times but once you get a sense of the general direction, you'll figure it out.

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Awesome hike! We went the 3rd week of June 2016 and it was stunning!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Stunning and great place to take a moment and look out at the views!

hiking
Monday, November 14, 2016

Beautiful and popular trail in Vail

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

I thought it was a great hike, not too long and I saw a bunch of mountain goats at the lake who were very curious and came within 20m of me.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hiked to the lake yesterday. Excellent hike with great views. Chiming in here to confirm what a few other reviewers wrote: it's 10 miles round trip, not 7.8 miles, and the last 1/2 mile is tough (especially due to the over 11k feet altitude) but well worth it. Bring lunch, lots of water, and wear layers -- warm at bottom, very cold strong wind at the top.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Awesome day hike in Vail! Just shy of 10 miles, if you are a faster hiker you can be up and down in 4 hours, but take your time and have lunch at the tip and it's a great time. There are gorgeous views of Vail mountain and mount holy cross as you hike up. If you're not use to the elevation it will kick your butt, the falls is only half way up, with the hardest part just before you reach the lake. Snow in the early season makes it very difficult and mud in the late season.

hiking
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Best hike in Vail. 5 hours.

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