Gore Lake

HARD 24 reviews
#11 of 22 trails in

Gore Lake is a 11.5 mile lightly 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, camping, and horses and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2874 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

trail running

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

Hunters may be in this area during hunting season. Be aware that this trail is neither marked nor maintained for winter use, and it crosses several avalanche paths. From the trailhead you rise in elevation pretty quick, so be ready to start with a climb. After about a mile you get to a more moderate incline all the way to "the graves" which is around 4 miles total. You are in and out of the trees that first 4 miles with good views. Once you get to the graves you follow the signs and take a hard left towards Gore Lake. The next 1.8 miles are steep. This section is why this trail has a hard rating. Keep pushing and get to the lake! It's worth it. There are dispersed camping spots around both sides of the lake. Remember DO NOT camp or have a fire within 100ft of the lake. Amazing views, good fishing and crips air. There is a high possibility you may be visited by between 1 and 30 mountain goats. They are curious creatures but are harmless. DO NOT FEED THEM!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

My GPS said 14 miles round trip to Gore Lake and back. Magnificent colors, well worth the hike. The last 1.8 miles is steep.

backpacking
3 months ago

From the trailhead you rise in elevation pretty quick, so be ready to start with a climb. After about a mile you get to a more moderate incline all the way to "the graves" which is around 4 miles total. You are in and out of the trees that first 4 miles with good views. Once you get to the graves you follow the signs and take a hard left towards Gore Lake. We actually camped one night at the graves and made the push to the lake. We didn't start hiking until 2pm so that was the plan all along. The next 1.8 miles are steep. This section is why this trail has a hard rating. Keep pushing and get to the lake! It's worth it. There are dispersed camping spots around both sides of the lake. We found a great spot and stayed 2 additional nights at the lake. Came into the lake mid day Friday and only saw 1 other group camping. Was a little more crowded on Saturday night, but not bad at all. Remember DO NOT camp or have a fire within 100ft of the lake. Amazing views, good fishing and crips air! Now, let's talk about the goats. There is a high possibility you may be visited by between 1 and 30 mountain goats. We were visited by 30, for about a 4 hrs stretch on Saturday morning. They are curious creatures who will keep coming until titles see what they want. They are harmless. We made some noise and kept them at bay just enough to keep them out of our immediate camp and just let them hang out and do their thing. They really didn't like my dog so that kept them from coming, well within 10 feet. Ha! Don't be scared of them, but DO NOT FEED THEM!!!! Overall Gore Lake was a great spot and we would go back. Goats be damned! :)

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

Pretty easy trail, even a few steep sections before coming to the lake were a breeze. Pretty monotonous trail going through the forest with suprisingly little shade. Gorgeous shades of green everywhere though and the meadows were full of beautiful wildflowers.

hiking
4 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

Was an awesome trail. I was up there on business and brought my back pack. Took me over 6 hours to climb up and 4:15 to get down while carrying a 45 lbs pack. Ended up staying two nights.

Pretty consistent trail pitch until you hit the grave site. The next steep section is what we nicknamed the "hurt locker" as it wasn't a lot of fun and very challenging. Then you hit a beautiful little valley with amazing wild flowers and scenery. Followed but some more steep terrain to get to the lake we called the "Hillary Step."

Being a flatlander it can be challenging with the altitude, but over all one of the best backpacking trips I've done. Be sure to say hello to the friendly mountain goats by the lake. We camped on the south side of the lake by a fire pit and were visited twice a day by the goats, thus naming this spot "goat camp" as they came in and grazed by us in the morning and evening.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

The lake is worth the hike. We had a fun encounter with a marmot. This hike has a several different ecosystems throughout the trip. This makes it a really interesting hike. It is not an easy hike. We used the app, and it said 6.2 miles to the lake. The trail is difficult from the split off of the Gore Creek Trail. We are casual hikers. It took us about 4 hours to ascend and about 3.5 hours to descend including breaks. We recommend bug spray. At this point in the season, the trail is clearly visible and everything is passable.

5 months ago

Been here before in winter

hiking
5 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

This was a beautiful hike. My 17 year old son and I flew up from Tampa FL to do some backpacking and found this one on AllTrails. The hike to the lake was a constant uphill with a few flat parts followed by a steep last mile and a half just after the grave site trail junction. There were plenty of places to filter water so looking back we could've lightened up our load a bit by not carrying so much extra water. We were pretty slow to get up to the lake but eventually made it around 6:30pm the first day. There was one other small group that packed out the next morning. We were planning on staying 3 nights but ended up packing out the 3rd day due to altitude issues. We had the whole lake to ourselves until we left Saturday. The scenery was absolutely beautiful. Very very small amounts of snow on the last bit of trail with a little mud in some parts but all the down trees were cleared and the path was very easy to follow.
We had some mountain goats come into our camp the first morning and pretty much hung around the whole time we were up there. We never fed or touched them but they were extremely comfortable grazing within feet of our camp. They are very quiet and can spook you sometimes when you're not expecting it and look up and one is 5 feet from you staring at you. I did some research when we got home and learned they can sometimes be aggressive but we had no issues. They had some nursing baby goats in tow that were adorable. I think people have been feeding them which is not a good thing for them as they had zero fear of humans.
The weather was really good with only a few short showers and really light hail that lasted 10 minutes on the second day.
All in all it was an amazing hike and I highly recommend spending at least one night up there to fully enjoy the area and views.

camping
9 months ago

Monday, October 17, 2016

Incredible hike.one of the most scenic and beautiful hikes I've ever done. All of the views are amazing. It took me about 6 hours to do the 13 miles round trip to the lake. It was more difficult going down for me because the ground was covered in snow. It's not too strenuous but definitely an intense hike. Lots of incline, but a nice balance. The lake is gorgeous and its worth the hike up to it. Great hike for the fall.

hiking
Saturday, October 08, 2016

backpacking
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Gore Lake is in a gorgeous basin, and definitely worth the hike. We backpacked in on a Friday afternoon and stayed 2 nights at the lake. Saw several groups of day hikers going in, but no one at the lake Friday night. Saturday a couple more groups showed up, but there are enough somewhat secluded places around the lake - we didn't notice the others at all. Took the relatively short hike to the upper lake in the area, Snow Lake. Beautiful spot at the top of the pass over Snow Lake, and relatively easy to get there. Decent amount of elevation gain to Gore Lake, and quite steep after the junction. Took us about 4 hours with the big packs.