Deluge Lake Trail

HARD 55 reviews
#31 of 196 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



10 days ago


14 days 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.

14 days 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.

25 days 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!

1 month 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.

7 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.

8 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.

9 months ago

it's awesome. it's tough

horseback riding
10 months ago

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

10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

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.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tough and longer then expected. Wonderful flowers in meadows the whole way. Worth getting to the lake at the end

Monday, July 20, 2015

This hike is absolutely beautiful during the entire climb. However, the first time
I did this hike I thought it felt longer than what the forest service said it was (3.8 one way.) So this time I wore a mileage and elevation counter. I wear it now for most hikes and it's usually accurate. It reported 10.6 miles round trip and 3400 in elevation gain. I did hike over to the cabin, which probably added about a mile to this number, but even still, it's longer than what it claims to be.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Consistently beautiful and challenging trail. Hiked in early June and snow at the top of the mountain made it hard to stay on the trail. Will do again for sure.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Difficult Hike. Fairly steep 1/2 half of the hike. 2nd half can be fairly muddy with lots of little stream crossings. This hike has a couple good photo opportunities along the way. Mostly hiking through a beautiful forest until you get above tree line for the final push. US Forest service has it listed as 7.6 miles round trip. Definitely feels more the the 9.1 miles listed by other sources. Worth doing, but the steepness you start the hike with gets the knees pretty good at the end. Bring poles, take breaks, and have fun.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

This hike gains over 3000 feet in 8 miles. Steep and relentless at times, but stunning views from the lake of Mount Holy Cross and the Sawatch Range. Be prepared for this hike -- trekking poles are highly recommended for the descent. Start early, as afternoon showers are common. Wild flowers were abundant in mid July.

Friday, August 01, 2014

This trail is 9 miles round trip with a 3,000 ft elevation gain that takes you from the aspen and pine levels all the way to above the timberline where the lake is located. This is a fairly steep trail most of the way up. Many types of small mammals can be found here, including pika. The first part of the trail is slightly overgrown with vegetation, and can make you very damp if you are hiking after rainfall or early in the morning. There are several little streams to cross and the path can get extremely wet and muddy, in addition to sections of trail where rockslides must be crossed. Strong legs, ankles, and waterproof hiking boots and clothes are recommended. It is a gorgeous and demanding trail.

4 days ago

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