Explore the most popular forest 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.

We love this trail. The dirt road to get there from Vail is not always well maintained but this year in August of 2018, the road was passable with my Impreza sedan. It took us 2 hours to hike to the falls, enjoyed beautiful views from the well-maintained trail. We sat on the rocks by the falls and rested. saw a scampering animal that may have been a marmot?? Some very friendly folks eating their lunch (which they offered to share) near us asked if we'd seen the beaver but it was not likely that. The weather yesterday was absolutely perfect, no need for extra layers or rain coats, which I brought. Took us 1.5 hours to walk out. My daughter wore tennis-type shoes, I wore my hiking boots. Both of us we fine. The elevation gain on this trail is not significant but there are a few easy places where you pick your way across stones and a little trickle of water crossing the trail. Always good to start with a full water bottle to stay hydrated. This trail is a real treat for us, have hiked it several times, always delightful.

It's too late in the season for this trail. Wildflowers are gone, and the falls don't have enough water to be impressive. However, the walking surface is good, and the lake is pretty.
We had no trouble with the rough road in a Malibu. It took 30 minutes at 20-25 mph.
This looks like it would be a nice hike earlier in the season.

Great hike! Leads you up Vail mountain through beautiful patches of aspens and pines and through meadows. Once we got to the top of Eagles Nest we traversed the mtn on Grand Escape trail and down Kinnikinnick trail to the mid-Vail gondola. About 6 Miles all together and was amazing. Great views and a variety of landscapes. Not very busy on a Tuesday. The only downside is that the first mile is really steep and you hear the highway until about 1.5 miles into the hike. Don’t let that deter you. Was the only hike we did while in two for two nights and was a memorable one!

hiking
3 days ago

Probably the easiest trail around Vail. Very moderate incline and rewarding, beautiful views. If you're looking for an easy, pretty hike while visiting, I would pick this over Booth Falls! This trail is normally extremely crowded, but I went on a cloudy Friday evening around 5 PM, and there was only 1 other car at the trailhead. Please don't feel the wildlife and no there is no designated picnic area at the bottom.

As someone from Michigan, this hike was a little difficult for me. There were some flatter areas but overall it was an incline. Took me about 3 hours to get up to the lake and 2.5 to get back down. However, it is pretty rough on the knees going down. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks/lunch for the lake.

Is there a picnic area at the bottom for lunch after?

hiking
3 days ago

My wife and I did this yesterday. Nice trail with wildflowers and great scenery. It is a combination of open fields of wildflowers and areas with large shady aspens. There were also some wild raspberries and blueberries (or possibly huckleberries) along the trail of which I munched on here and there. I would recommend hiking shoes as the trail can be rocky in places although I did see many folks in tennis shoes along the trail. There were several steep places where a trekking pole came in handy. I'm 63 and about 220 lbs and I find a single trekking pole helps balance and knees on the steps. My wife and I made it to the falls in 1 and 1/2 hours. I'm from a southern low land area but we've been here about 5 days to get somewhat acclimated to the elevation. While getting a bit winded at times, it wasn't that bad. Would do this again.

hiking
3 days ago

Was absolutely gorgeous!! The views were amazing after the first 3 miles. Overall it was 12 miles.. Was definitely a hard hike. You could feel the elevation from the first few steps on the trail!!! Was just beautiful, would do again!

hiking
5 days ago

My husband and I arrived from Kansas City on Thursday and hit this trail on Friday. We had Quandary Peak on our Saturday agenda so wanted a scenic but reasonably high altitude hike to help us acclimate. This trail was very enjoyable with some moderately steep sections but lots of mild areas too. So many stunning views along the way. We found a ledge to rest at the top for a snack, and were greeted by a fat little chipmunk that shared our snack straight from my husband’s hand. Such a treat!

hiking
5 days ago

Says Hard but I don't think its hard. Beautiful trial.

hiking
5 days ago

An amazing trail with breathtaking views, especially for those from the flat Midwest. The first 1.5 hours gets you to Booth Falls, which are pretty small this year due to the lack of snow and rain. This is where most of the inexperienced hikers will stop, but beyond that is the true beauty of this trail. Highland meadows with wildfires, marmots chirping everywhere, and oh yeah....a pretty sweet mountain lake at the end. Plan for ~3 hours each way with plenty of water for the elevation change. Also this trail isn’t the most remote after the falls, as I ran into people every few minutes, but it’s also not so overcrowded you can’t escape. If you find yourself in Vail I hope you find time to do this awesome trail!

I am in Vail for a 9 week post-surgery checkup for my hip. I had a personal goal to do some hiking while in Vail. This trail was steep but had enough shade and flat surfaces that I was able to complete it! The hardest part, for me, is getting used to the elevation. Make sure to pack plenty of water and healthy snacks. I found a walking stick, which was very helpful. We took alot of breaks and completed the trail in and out in 5 1/2 hours. Great scenery and plenty of friendly, encouraging hikers along the way.

hiking
7 days ago

It’s not a hard hike but you need to be in shape to tackle it! I started from sandstone and went over to Lionshead Loop street. I then walked back to the condo I was staying in. Lots to look at. Nice patch of raspberries.

Awsome !

hiking
8 days ago

Another note:
Geo Markers (2) located at 39.53518, -106.25963

hiking
8 days ago

First of four hikes we did in the area around Vail and still the best. Beautiful hike with lots of variation and great views. It was also the first hike after spending a week at sea level. Jumping up to 12k ft without acclimating was a challenge. Also, this hike was done on a Monday morning around 0845, and there were about 8-9 cars at the trailhead. By noon, it was a zoo, WAY TOO MANY people on the trail and probably 35-40 cars in the parking lot and along the road. Do it, but do it early.

Amazing views along the way with lots of wildflowers. There are parts that are steep but manageable. There are plenty of places to rest on the way up that are shaded. Enjoy the gorgeous views of the falls at the top!

hiking
8 days ago

Very nice hike up the slopes. The elevation makes it pretty challenging, but it was doable for our 11 year old. Mix of forest and crossing the meadows on the ski slopes. Saw lots of berries (both edible and not). Had a nice lunch on top at the Eagles Nest. On the way down we diverted to Strawberry Trail for the last stretch to mix it up, which was nice. That feeds out into Vail Village about 10 minutes from the trailhead in Lionshead.

hiking
8 days ago

Terrific hike. The elevation is challenging but was quite doable for us and our boys, who range from 11 to 17. Took five hours total. 8am start was perfect to miss some of the traffic and get a cool start. Look for the goat at the lake.

Beautiful hike! Loved the changing landscape. Was definitely closer to hard trails I have hiked rather than moderate, as rated by AllTrails. The cabin was at 3.85 miles by my GPS and I went another 1/3 mile (mostly uphill) to the bowl and turned around at 4.2 miles. Started at 8 am and didn't see anyone until I was coming back down and about 2 miles from the trail head.

Excellent hike! It took us 2:.5 hours to reach the lake at a good pace....and then a nice dip in the lake!!

walking
9 days ago

This trail was a great option for those looking for something with little elevation changes and scenic views. It is paved and well maintained along the entire path. If you go a little further for your “out and back” then there is a nice picnic spot set up on a small island near the golf course. The island, which is about 2.25 miles in, has shade trees and a couple of picnic tables. Just watch out for the goose droppings because it is a nesting area for the local geese. We ended up walking just under 4.5 miles after having lunch with the geese and then heading back to the parking lot.

hiking
10 days ago

Great short hike. Definitely very steep but the ropes make it manageable. It rained heavily this morning, so it was a bit sketchy coming back down. Awesome views of the falls. Fun quick little hike. Definitely recommend stopping here if you're in the area. One of the falls has a large cave like rock overhang that would make a decent spot for a lunch break. I'll be returning.

As far as difficulty, I have very little experience with technical hikes but found this to be fairly easy. The descent is the part where you must exercise the most caution. Take your time!

hiking
10 days ago

Great trail for kids and an easy bike ride too. We thought the trail was closed until you walk down a little further and there is another entrance to the trail.

Amazing view! Our 3 boys loved it and one is 4 years old. Don’t miss this trail.

12 days ago

Up hill all the way plus high altitude does make this trail hard, but the trip to the lake is amazing. We even got to see a goat.

Great hike. Well maintained trail and beautiful flowers and views the entire hike. However this should say HEAVILY trafficked trail. I don't think I have ever hiked any trail with that amount of people on it. Parking lot full and cars parked for 1/4 mile down the road in both directions. Great hike, just expect to be hiking it with a lot of other people.

hiking
12 days ago

Views are absolutely stunning!! Would 10/10 recommend this hike and will have this high on my list to do again in the fall. Definitely get there early. I showed up at 8:15 on a Saturday morning and pretty much had the trail to myself. By 10:30 when I got back to the lot it was nuts!

Easy dirt road to drive. Most of it is like a graded county road, though toward the end it is a little more bumpy. A sedan can make it, though smoother in an SUV. At the end of the road is a "resort" with a restaurant, lake for paddle boarding and horses. Since it takes 30 minutes to get there on the road (45 minutes if you get behind someone slow), make a day out of it.
The hike is easy. Starts through a meadow. Wildflowers are weak now. Aspen groves would make a great fall trail. Light incline for a while, then a few long switch backs. It appears most people stop at the first area that reaches the creek with a tiny waterfall. However if you go downstream there is a less traveled, steeper trail that leads to the bottom of a much taller cascade. For pics and more info: https://etbtravelphotography.com/2018/07/31/a-weekend-in-vail/

hiking
12 days ago

Wow! One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever experienced! Lots of wild flowers and birds to enjoy on your trek up. The views from the top were unbelievable and definitely worth the hike. I would recommend getting there early as it got pretty crowded by the time we left. The trail was listed to be 4 miles, though my Fitbit logged 5.2 total.

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