Explore the most popular trails near Vail with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Vail, Colorado Map
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hiking
20 days ago

Great hike on Thanksgiving Day. Went up to the falls and a bit beyond but there wasn’t a clearly defined trail and my GPS wasn’t cooperating so instead of snowshoeing our way around, we just turned back. Beautiful day to hike. Traction devices for your boots would be helpful but not completely needed. Snowshoes would certainly be necessary to reach the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Yak tracks were required to make to the falls. This was my first time doing this trail in the winter. The change in the season threw me off and the waterfall snuck up on me. I may have missed it had I not been there in the summer. Waterfall is totally frozen over, but you know its there from the huge slot canyon. If you are hiking passed the falls to the lake you will need snow shoes.

Road was open to the trail but you need 4x4 or AWD. We broke trail snowshoeing. We made it two miles in before turning back. Fun first snowshoe of the season.

Gorgeous little area, nice view from the top! Had my blood pumping but was still easy for sure.

1 month ago

This is not easy!!! This trail should be marked as moderate. With that being said, it was spectacular! Very well marked. We didn’t get to the lake because we reached 10,300 ft and looked down...the hike was too strenuous at that point to continue. Would love to do it again with more time and in better shape.

hiking
1 month ago

As of 10/28/2018, the trail is almost totally clear of snow, except for a very small patch nearing the end. At a slow pace, took me about 80 minutes to hike to the lake. Agree with Janis that there has been quite a bit of devastation, most notable in the first half of the trail. You will see many dead and fallen trees. This makes the view, especially to the south wide open. There is also a cutthrough to Piney Lake if you want to hit both trails in the same day (I had already done Piney). This was also suggested to me as a trailrun or bike route (trail itself in excellent condition).

hiking
1 month ago

Great Hike - trails are snowpacked up high, there are steep trail sections that are snowpacked and icy. Bring your yaktrax. Almost made it to the lake by my partner forgot her sunglasses and didn't want to risk getting snow blind up high due to the wide open areas of snow we had to cross - bluebird day - high sun. Either way - great hike. Would do it again in fall. A lot of climbing right out of the lot, actually climbing all the way. Fun Hike - bring water and some snacks as you'll burn a ton of calories climbing

backpacking
1 month ago

Really steep beginning after that the steepness levels out somewhat. It’s definitely a trek with a pack. It’s a beautiful hike and great fishing in the lake. Many places to camp and there are other lakes nearby

Road was good and clear of snow. The hike took me about an hour and forty minutes one way. In a season with less snow, I would have definitely continued on as the trail is beautiful. I enjoyed the last portion best as I neared the creek. Also, I found quite a few scenic options and ended up walking up the boulders to get a better view of the valley and peaks ahead. Met about 7 people on the trail and a few more that came to see the lake. Nice moderate hike. I packed poles but did not need them.

hiking
1 month ago

This place was absolutely amazing when the aspens were out (see pictures). Like walking in a sea of yellow! Second time I've hiked this, and it's pretty easy. The trail doesn't really have a definite ending, so once you see the waterfall, you're there!

hiking
1 month ago

Spectacular in the glacial cirque. Snow above the falls but followed the footprints and used poles. It was 5 miles to the lake - not sure why All-Trails map says 4.4. We hiked on 10/26 and saw no one above the falls.

hiking
1 month ago

My first Colorado hike, back in August. The whole experience was nothing short of amazing! The views were impeccable, and the journey to the summit was clear, with views for days!

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful hike, even at the end of October. It is a long one...took about 5-6 hours (we are Flatlanders) to complete the 10 miles. The snow slowed us down. Bring Yak Traks for the last 3 miles up...ice and snow. There were some hiking sticks left at the trail head and they really came in handy on this hike. It was hard to follow the trail on the way up with the snow but as long as you are going up you will catch the trail again. Alot easier to follow the trail on the way down. If you are looking for a good moderate legnthy hike, this one is great!

hiking
1 month ago

This was my first day in town and I misjudged the time it would take to hike through snow and turned back at around 3,500 meters. I started late around 11 AM, and had enough time to make it but it would have had me with a potential return after sunset. The trail was still quite passable with poles (a couple of other groups made it up, albeit slowly). It was a great overall experience for me, even though I did not make the lake. First day I realized that I really enjoyed hiking in snow this season. Very much like a winter playground at the top. Will be back to the area.

hiking
1 month ago

I also started in the village. Snow towards the top but it is easy to route plan around. Poles recommended. Quite slippery when wet (I had relatively dry conditions). The adventure center was a lot of fun to run around. Lots to do, lots to see at the top, big playground. Met a few hikers along the way but not many (4 to be exact).

Agree with other reviewers about the road. If it's clear with no snow, you're fine in a basic passenger vehicle. Just go slow. Anything more and a 4x4 is strongly recommended. With that said....

The trail is so worth it. The Gore Range is spectacular. I heard about the crowds, heat, etc. and must have lucked out. Thursday afternoon and not a soul in sight. Perfect day to hike. I started at 12:30pm and finished about 4:00pm with plenty of down time for photos, stop for water, etc. I lost sight of the trail at the falls (even though I could hear them) and ended up on the trail to climb Powell. I didn't have the time to keep going, so turned around and hustled back (got nervous about the weather). But the aspens, pines, falls are worth it.

I just came from sea level and took this trail slow given I've only been at altitude for less than a day. Did fine. I'm in above average shape, so lots of water and a good nights sleep the day before probably helped. I chose this for the limited elevation gain on the trail - think that was the right call.

Strongly recommend.

Trail is currently snow covered. I suggest wearing boots and taking your time. Will be well worth it. Some of the best views in Colorado.

hiking
1 month ago

Took me about 2 hours and 15 minutes to the cabin. Enjoyable hike overall. The trail is still mostly clear of snow right up until the last portion. As another poster mentioned, it pays to do a little more work and go up the boulder field for better views. I would rate it, as a few others have, as very high moderate or low hard.

hiking
1 month ago

Very good hike with substantial natural variety along the way. Snow in the higher elevations (poles are handy). Still very accessible. Took me about 3 hours and 15 minutes. I lolligagged substantially at the start of the hike enjoying nature and was slowed down considerably right at the end due to snow (hard packed though and not bad to traverse). Round trip 11 AM to 5 PM, 6 hours. Third day in a row I have loved hiking in snow. Temperatures were very reasonable (had plenty of gear but hiked 100% in summer gear).

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite hikes, but the beetles have devastated the pine trees so it has lost a lot of its beauty, but... baby pines are rising up! We couldn't make the final descent down to the lake today because there was too much snow and our hiking boots just didn't have the best traction.

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent hike. Agree that 3 hours to the lake is a good time estimate. Gorgeous lake, especially this time of year with the snow. 10/21/2018, intermittent snow above the falls (about 2 hours from falls to lake, I am a slow/moderate paced hiker). Snow is hard packed and surprisingly very manageable. Poles are useful nonetheless. Weather was warm all the way up to the lake. Trail visibility excellent.Highly recommend going on from falls to lake if in doubt. Trailhead parking lot almost filled up on a Sunday (my start time was 11:00 am, very late). Was back at the car 5 PM easily.

Slow incline on the way up. We took our time. The hike down went much faster. The road here was sketchy. We rented a car, booked a Jeep, ended up with a HYUNDAI. Even the front wheel drive vehicle did fine. If it snows you will need four wheel drive. You get a bit of everything in this hike though. 4- of the 5 senses. Everything but taste:)

Good hike. Little disappointed trail went only to top of falls. Aspen leaves pretty much all gone. But interesting snow/ice in stream bed just above falls. I am 65 and over 240 lbs but in decent shape and very used to CO hiking so found it to be moderate difficulty. Went with adult niece & nephew who are not acclimated but they did fine. Took our time so spent about 4hrs altogether. Recommend this hike and if we started earlier would have definitely gone on well beyond Falls. By the way I think backpacking is allowed here.

We went during the week back in August to avoid the crowds. Bumpy road going up in a Jeep. Views are stunningly beautiful. Gentle stroll at first then slow ascent. I’d barely call this moderate.....more like advanced easy

A beautiful hike. Top of the falls is a great lunch spot. We didn’t scramble around enough (in the snow) to get a good view of the falls.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful, fun trail.

on Bighorn Creek Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Lovely hike but don't be fooled, this is hard, not moderate. I'm really not sure how All Trails rates trails but this one must have been rated by either an advanced hiker with perception problems or a crazy person. The first .4 miles are steep, the next mile is the only moderate section. Perhaps the rating is based on the first 1.4 miles? After that it is hard, very rocky, steep, 2 rock falls and very difficult. I'm an experienced runner & hiker and i cannot figure out how this is only rated moderate. There are quite a few hikes around Vail that are much more enjoyable.

hiking
2 months ago

I started in Vail Village, so I took the Strawberry Lane trail to Berrypicker up to Eagle's Nest. It is steep but beautiful patches of aspens everywhere even though the valley is past peak. It rained with a little snow on October 4th, so poles were necessary on the slippery terrain.

hiking
2 months ago

Short and steep - poles are handy, especially in the rain. I saw lots of visitors from sea-level who were struggling with this trail. I wouldn't recommend it for flat-landers unless they are already acclimated and/or in excellent shape! At the very least, come prepared for Colorado's changing weather. Falls are pretty and there were still pockets of golden aspens even though most of Vail Valley is past peak.

hiking
2 months ago

A perfect hike and the climb is well worth the views. I started in the morning on a Saturday and by the time I made my way down (near noon) the trail was much busier, so if you’re looking for less people on the trail, go in the morning. The road leading to the trail is a pretty well maintained dirt road, my small Toyota Yaris was able to make it driving slow. The incline is good, a nice workout. Towards the top the trail gets a little confusing and seems to branch off into different directions but they all lead to the top. Great hike and I will definitely do this one again in the future!

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