Upper Piney River Falls Trail

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Eagles Nest Wilderness

Upper Piney River Falls Trail is a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Vail, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.9 miles Elevation Gain: 731 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

cross country skiing

hiking

horseback riding

snowshoeing

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

snow

Please note: As of May 2020, the road leading to the trailhead is closed. The first few miles undulate gently through meadows with good spots for lunch, relaxation, and great views. The trail climbs through aspen and mixed conifer forest, crossing numerous little creeks before switchbacking downhill.

hiking
3 days ago

Road to lake is closed to vehicle traffic til June 20. It is a 5 mile hike down the road to get to trailhead.

hiking
closed
11 days ago

Road to trailhead is still closed as of 5/26/2020

hiking
13 days ago

Simply beautiful and photographic nature. Add this area to your list. Hiked 9/2019.

hiking
19 days ago

Can someone please post if this trail is still closed? Getting different information from two different sources! Thanks

hiking
1 month ago

It’s a nice hike, but the road to the ranch is closed as of 5/2/20

1 month ago

Road was open and OK until the first half. The second half becomes so bumpy so I quit and returned. Wish I had a 4x4.

snow
6 months ago

Driving was not easy due to snow/muddy condition, but breathtaking view was waiting for me. + Very nice trail!

hiking
snow
7 months ago

hiking
snow
7 months ago

The hike was beautiful! But the dirt road to get up the mountain was pretty rough, bumpy and snowy. A little scary at times even in an SUV

10/7/19 Great hike anytime of the year! Absolutely beautiful views in the valley by the lake and the aspens still have some gold. A lot of the trees have lost their leaves from the wind, but there are still gold patches.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike! Got to the parking lot around 8:30am on a Saturday and was able to park without issue. A lot of the previous comments about parking made me nervous about showing up to a super small lot, but there’s more room than I thought there would be along with some roadside parking. The dirt portion of the road up/down was rough, definitely bumpy. Having clearance made me feel more comfortable. Never used my 4wd. This was a gorgeous, mellow hike that lets you earn some mileage without a ton of gain. I tracked this hike as closer to 6.3 miles from start to finish. There are some good spots to stop and have a snack or picnic and it was hard not to stop and admire the changing aspens all along the way. They looked slightly past peak when I went yesterday (10/5). There were a ton of people starting the trail as we left (11:45), not too much traffic when we started.

Great hike with some amazing foliage. Great for dogs as there is plenty water and also plenty shade.

hiking
8 months ago

The drive up to this trial was a bit scary for me - I prefer guard rails and paved roads! The directions on this site did not take us to piney lake so continue to the end! Got the last parking spot. Didn’t make it to the falls due to time constraints but hiked for a few miles. What we did was very easy hiking!

hiking
8 months ago

Really great hike! As close to perfect fall aspen colors today as one could expect. Don’t be discouraged by the warnings about the dirt road if you only have a “normal” car but be prepared to take it slow and let others pass in that case (disclaimer: we drove an AWD SUV

hiking
8 months ago

Good things: Beautiful hike! Perfect incline for friends from out of town to take on easily. Not so good: You're a guest to this place, be kind and keep your trash and pet waste with you- and keep your pet on a leash, your pet isn't special so follow the rules for safety of other hikers who might be afraid of pets. Also, out of towners, just a polite reminder that if you're uncomfortable driving this road and you have a line of 5 cars behind you, kindly pull off to the side and let them pass - a ten mile drive at 2mph isn't fun for any of us. Notes: Drive up is incredibly bumpy, use 4WD (or a high clearance vehicle) or do not consider this one. Arrive early, the parking lot isn't huge and there is nowhere else to park outside of the area where your car won't get scraped by others driving on the narrow roads. Leaves were nearing peak this weekend just an FYI. Totally gorgeous.

recorded Upper Piney River Falls Trail

hiking
8 months ago

The upper path is where the Aspen are. Next time I would stay on the upper path. The lower path can connect to the upper, but it’s not maintained. There are two entrances one outside the private property and one inside. Great hike for aspen grove.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike but super busy. Aspens are changing.

recorded Upper Piney River Falls Trail

hiking
8 months ago

LOVEEDDDD THIS TRAIL. Perfect distance, you get a sweat on but it’s not awful. Gorgeousssss the whole way. Aspens were changing and so pretty. Creek and some rapids at the top, didn’t really see “the falls”. Would love to come back and spend the night at one of the cabins and canoe the lake. Would also love to come back and backpack up to the “glacier”. Dirt road seems like forever but doable in our Subaru. Also there’s a parking lot right at the lake.

hiking
8 months ago

Looks like last five or six miles of road is dirt and kind of slow going which is why I gave it only three stars.

Great views throughout. Small elevation changes and lots of sunlight. Great 6 mile hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike with lake and mountain backdrop. This is amazing during the fall as you hike through aspen groves for much of this hike. We hiked 2 days ago and found that the aspens hadn’t started to change yet. Give it a few more days!

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike! Aspen just starting to change.

hiking
8 months ago

Great little trail with gorgeous views! The drive to the trailhead is a long and pretty rough dirt road, but it was worth it! Bring water and a snack for once you get to the top.

hiking
8 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous! Just an FYI it’s more like ~4 miles in to the falls, Don’t stop at the rapids like most people do, keep going a little further and you’ll see the falls. They’re not very big though. Then ~4 miles back out. We totaled at 9 miles. Also, there is surprisingly a nice restaurant/store at the trail head, it’s also a wedding venue.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice moderate to easy hike. My wife and I both enjoyed it!

hiking
bugs
rocky
9 months ago

3.1 miles one way to get to the falls. Beautiful views!

hiking
9 months ago

Great views and lots of scenery change. Heads up if you’re allergic to bees, they’re everywhere on the wildflowers this time of year, but not bothersome. Bring plenty of water. The drive to get there is a little nerve wracking if you’re afraid of heights and drop offs, just take it slow and easy!

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing trail! Not horrible dirt road, just take your time o the drive and you will be fine. Plenty of sedans making the drive.

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