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Booth Lake

HARD 276 reviews
#5 of 42 trails in

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
snow
21 days ago

hiking
snow
1 month 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
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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
2 months ago

hiking
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 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
2 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
2 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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

backpacking
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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.

hiking
3 months ago

Lots of people playing their speakers out loud today which was a shame. Other than the people, fun hike! Trail is easy to follow and the wildflowers are amazing right now! the Gore Range is relatively unknown.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail with scenic view and very well kept. We chose it for a good level of difficulty, views and distance, for which it was perfect! The only thing will be to enforce the leash requirement for dogs; and also to warn hikers on wild animals on top of the lake that can be aggressive. Other than that, it was amazing!

hiking
3 months ago

Don’t underestimate the elevation gain, it’s a tough one. But so so so worth it. Took me a little over 5 hours, with a 30min lunch break at the lake. Gorgeous wildflowers and no bugs. I finished my entire 2L Camelbak with one mile to go. Definitely bring at least 2L.

hiking
bugs
no shade
3 months ago

definitely bring bug spray and sunscreen especially if you are starting out any later than 7am. started at 7am and finished at 2pm. This is a tough hike! the 3000 elevation gain was no joke either. But the views... fields of wild flowers the whole way, views of 14ers to the South like mount of the holy cross, and the lake at the end is absolutely epic. would definitely recommend but be warned, this hike is no joke

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail, beautiful lake up top with a family of goats and wild flowers galore. Hiked the trail on a Tues afternoon to avoid the Booth Falls crowds. Trails was moderately packed to the falls, then had the lake to myself. Quick reminder to tourists and locals- uphill has the right of way, so make sure to step aside when you’re coming down for the person who is grinding up. Trail etiquette goes a long way! My GPS showed 9.2 miles round trip from the upper lot. I did not do a lap around the lake as I did not want to disturb the goats.

hiking
3 months ago

Trail is in great shape! 9.4 miles round trip directly to the lake and back. Another GPS registered 9.7 without turning it off at the lake, and walking around the lake. Not sure where some of the reviews are getting 10+ and even 12/13, definitely not! Wildflowers are peaking right now and there's still quite a few goats hanging around the lake!

hiking
4 months ago

Left at 7:30 with cool temps and blue sky. Became cloudy mid afternoon. Enjoyed the large meadows of wildflowers - especially above the falls. Being 62 yrs young, the thinner air made my wife & me take breaks. Views are spectacular plus we enjoyed a mix of wildlife. Highlight was goat up at the lake, took a drink at far end then walked within 10 yds of us. Suggest boots, lots of water, sunscreen and bug repellent if your want to stop for lunch. Nice trail layout

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