Deluge Lake Trail

HARD 71 reviews
#31 of 193 trails in

Deluge Lake Trail is a 9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Vail, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

9.0 miles
3,444 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



18 days ago

I hike a fair amount and this hike is the hardest (lake destination) hike of the East Vail trails in my opinion. It's steep like a 14er and tops out at the lake around 12k feet. if you can do Mt of the Holy Cross trail then you can do this one but it is still a good workout. Be aware that there is little relief descending because the trail is so steep and loose and you won't be able to relax unless you are super fit. That said, the trail has very few hikers. Its a beautiful trail but not for the faint of heart!

1 month ago

Just did this trail w my 10 & 14 year old and dog. Fairly steep but 3/4 way it levels out more. Boys did great. Footing generally stable throughout hike. 4.5 hours up and 3 hrs down w our backpacks.

1 month ago

I go hiking a TON and absolutely love it. This trail... it was harder for me to complete this than a 14er lol. I read all the reviews before and thought, “how hard could those first 2miles really be”. Oh ya. My dog and I are pretty beat. It’s very pretty at the top, yes, but I wouldn’t recommend to anyone

1 month ago

This hike is okay, the second you step on the trail you head directly vertical. the trail literally goes straight up the mountain. It's incredibly steep and if you aren't in shape then forget it. The trail is also very rocky so you don't get much chance to enjoy the scenery, your eyes are glued to the ground so you don't faceplant. I only did the first mile then turned around, it wasn't enjoyable.

1 month ago

We started the hike at 10 a.m. and finished in 5 hours, with a 30-minute lunch break at the lake. The first 2 miles are quite literally STRAIGHT uphill. If you're not used to strenuous inclines consider a different hike. And the decent downhill is just as difficult! It's incredibly steep so again, not a hike if your legs aren't prepared. The last quarter mile to the lake is just as steep as the first two miles. All in all this hike is a blast! Gorgeous and challenging.

1 month ago

We were on a time crunch so only hiked first couple of miles, very nice, through a forest. Explored other trails near Deluge as well. Very nice hiking area. Only saw a couple other people on the trail - surprised at that since we were there July 2018, peak summer season! Lovely stream right by the trailhead, nice photo op.

rock climbing
1 month ago

It was awesome trail! It took me about six hours. Roughly 2 hours to get to the lake and that I decided to hike to the summit of the tallest mountain. Altogether it was an amazing hike worth the difficulty. What an amazing feeling and challenge! I would do it again in a heartbeat! Such awesome views!

1 month ago

Map showed 3.6 mi trail to the lake, but it was WAY farther than that. My tracker said 4.4 mi when I must have been almost a mile from the lake. Not particularly difficult, but it is strenuous. The trail is well worn, easy to follow. While the slope it climbs is steep, the trail makes enough switchbacks and traverses that it isn't especially steep. The lower part of the trail meanders through aspens and would make a nice Fall foliage hike. The middle third in the fir/pine forest was loaded with wildflowers. Upper third is the open wild-flower filled meadows leading to the lake, but there's still plenty of vertical. Take time to wander around the lake and through all the hummocky terrain above it. Fabulous views. If you still have energy, you can scramble up to the ridge above and look into Snow Lake. (I didn't). Only real downer is the highway noise for the first couple miles up, last couple miles down. (Met a father and teen daughter on the way down who had made a loop up Gore Creek, off trail to Snow Lake, over the pass, and at Deluge Lake picked up the trail down. Now that's a hike!) Rating takes road noise into account.

2 months ago


2 months ago

Great hike! The beginning is very steep, so be prepared for a strenuous incline for 2 miles. You’re in the woods for majority of the hike and will come to a meadow before the lake. The last mile in the meadow is a steep climb to the lake, but 100% worth it.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Definitely strenuous and not a log of water for the first half so bring plenty. We camped one night about a half mile down from the Lake. Just a few other people. Trail is very well maintained.

3 months ago

This trail has spectacular views. It is a challenging hike. If you are coming in from out of town, make sure you give yourself a chance to acclimate to the altitude.

The trail is beautiful. As others have mentioned, the climb at the beginning is tough. After that, you stroll through beautiful meadows and forest, only to be punched in the gut by the last ascent to the lake. Fear not, the top of the trail is well worth it.

Not to be taken for granted, the bottom descent is challenging with some loose rock and dust.

As of 6/23/18, the snowpack at the top of the trail is melted. Enjoy!

3 months ago

Attempted to reach the lake on 6-5-18, but the snow was too deep at around 2.8 miles. The climb to that point was beautiful and challenging so we will definitely go again later in the season. We did see two deer and very few people.

9 months ago

I hiked almost to the lake with a friend today. I say almost because we lost the trail somewhere within a mile of the lake, and decided not to risk bushwhacking.

Conditions at the start of the trail were mostly dry with a few patches of snow. Mostly dry over the steeper middle section. Towards the top of the steep part things transitioned over to snow, which was about 6 inches at the deepest.

Like I said, we lost the trail before getting to the lake. We were following someone else's snowshoe trail, but eventually it got powdery enough that we could no longer find it. We pushed on a little to see if it cleared out, but ultimately decided to turn around and try again another time. It seems like we strayed a bit too far to the north-west.

So, if you see some tracks, and you find they don't lead you to the lake, sorry! :)

Overall, great hike. Almost all of the reviews here seem to indicate this is a very difficult hike, but it didn't seem any different than Gore Lake, or Booth Lake, or the other hikes in this area. The "steep" part wasn't very steep, it was just a long stretch of uphill.

We brought microspikes but didn't need them. We didn't bring snowshoes, but wouldn't have used them even if we had.

10 months ago

This is a tough hike. My GPS said 9.9 miles round trip and 3100 feet of elevation. We’ve hiked Quandary, Gray and Torrey, and Sherman in the past month and this is every bit as strenuous. First 2 miles are straight climbing. Then it flattens out until the last 3/4 mile (more climb to the lake). Some snow, but not bad. Awesome views and worth the effort.

Monday, September 18, 2017

it's awesome. it's tough

horseback riding
Monday, September 11, 2017

We accidentally ended up on this trail, it was beautiful!!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Takes about an hour to get completely out of the vicinity of the freeway. Beyond that is amazing. Quite steep and rigorous through the first 1/3 of the hike (2000 of the 3000 ascending feet are covered in the first 1.5 miles). The last 2/3 is considerably easier on the body with breathtaking views of peaks to the right and beautiful forest to the left. Once you follow the stream it opens up to fields of wildflowers and amazing close ups of the near approaching peaks surrounding the lake. We did this in August and the wildflowers following the stream are beautiful. The lake and the view back after reaching the top is incredible. Your echo will reach miles. Bring plenty of water. 4 liters for two was a bit short. I would recommend 3 liters per person.

Monday, July 24, 2017

First few miles are above I-70 and kind of sucks, but then the last couple of miles are absolutely stunning high alpine goodness.

Monday, July 17, 2017

My first hike -'s hard. It's gorgeous at the top, of course, and you get a full range of terrain. Don't know that I would do it again just to go it and experience other trails. My more-experienced roommate said it was in her top 5 most difficult trails of this summer and last (sans 14-ers).

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Really steep off the bat, we were able to get about 2-2.5 miles in before everything was covered in snow...turned back at 3 miles as we were sinking deep into snow with every step and having trouble following the trail. Caught some beautiful views on the way up but even without the snow, I think there are better hikes in Colorado so probably won't be back to try this again. Went on 6-3-2017.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Beautiful views.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

One of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done! Amazing views along the entire way! We kept up a good pace and finished in 5.5 hours round trip.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Great hike.. Don't let the app fool ya the trail is a solid 5 miles in of steep grades.. Worth the struggle thoughts awesome views of my holy cross, grays peak, and Torres!

Friday, August 26, 2016

This trail was not a good choice for our first hike arriving in Colorado from Texas. The goal was the lake and we didn't make it. The elevation effected my husband and we decided to come back down. Maybe another day. Upside the weather was great and views along the way were beautiful.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Up. Up. Up. More up. Then up.

The last 1/4 is especially spectacular.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

fantastic trail offering all you want from mother nature, demand of all your body , scenic views all the way up, over and best reward at the end,the lake nestled at the foot of the walls. yes a demanding hike ,well worth every step.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sensory overload. Trailhead parking lot was packed on a Wednesday morning when I finished around 10 a.m. Definitely a great hike with lots of wildflowers and wildlife. Only took me 4 hours to finish the entire trail, while taking lots of breaks along the way up and pictures along the way down. The trail is tough but once you're done the switchbacks and are actually up in the pine forest, its a breeze to get to the lake.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pretty steep about 2/3 of the hike (3 miles). Nice vistas all along but the lake itself was a little disappointing. It's above tree line, so barren, and I saw no fish along the shoreline. Of all the trails I've hiked to lakes this was the most work for the least reward. Good workout, though.

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