Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

hiking
6 days ago

We went as one of our second hikes after coming to coloradio from alabama. We prolly weren't fully acclimated to the elevation -nonetheless it was a challenging hike. We made it to about 1/8 of a mile from the lake and couldn't find the trail because of snow. Luckily, there was a solo hiker who found us sitting on a rock eating reeses pieces before we turned around and went back and explained we were super close to the lake just go straight over a couple of false summits and we were there. Was so grateful he told us that because the lake was definitely worth checking out. It was still mostly frozen but still cool and considering we weren't yet acclimated to the elevation quite a feat that we made it. We did that hike around the 9th or of June i can't remember the exact date.

hiking
7 days ago

The road to the trail head is not open yet so we had to hike on the road to the trail. Even the road afforded some great views. The walk through the woods is peaceful and the wild flowers are abundant. Snow is still on the mountain but adds to the beauty.

I went in early June which is to early ... loved the experience and the views but couldn’t make it to the lake due to snow and loosing the trail about 1 mile away. I left my handheld gps on accident and was having problems with my compass and the map from the trail head at the falls. The snow starts about .5 after the falls. It can be packed down but if you fall through expect it up to your waist. It goes by rapids that have steep drop offs and icy slippery spots. Difficult to maneuver with the dogs. It continues just as steep but more technical than the path to the falls. The trial becomes a stream and thankfully I had my chacos or I would have been walking in soppy socks for awhile. We finally made it about a mile away around 5:30pm. It was starting to get dark in the valley and then I saw a cougar run the valley and jump a boulder I thought was next to the trail I had to take. I decided to call it quits. I got back to my car with minutes to spare before dark set in. I passed about 5 groups that attempted the trail on my way up and only one had made it to the lake. It was beautiful and difficult hike so just be prepared and start early. Go in a group and bring extra socks and/or water shoes. Map the trail out before and have a back up way to navigate. The app gps was skipping around on where we were in correlation to the trial. We were stuck in the large valley for over an hr trying to find the trial and then find where we came from due to the zigzags the gps was taking us on.

hiking
10 days ago

This trail is super nice and as of yesterday (6/11/2018) there is basically no snow until you are almost to Gore Lake. I stopped about 1/4 - 1/2 mile from gore lake because the snow became a pain but did run into several hikers that made it all the way to the lake, so it is doable. They were definitely tougher than me! People kept mentioning The Graves as the junction to the lake but I didn't get it until I was there that The Graves are two actual graves from the early nineteen hundreds. Pretty cool that they have kept them marked in honor of the deceased. This is a winner of a trail and I highly recommend it!

Beautiful trail. Breathtaking views at the lake near the start. The parking lot closest to the trial head is closed until 6/21/18 so we had to hike the 4 miles in from the lot at Lost Lake, but even with that extra mileage it was worth it.

hiking
20 days ago

This is one of our favorite hikes. We hiked on 5/31. Road to trailhead was closed. It’s about 2.2 miles from the rest stop parking lot to the trailhead. Road to trailhead was mostly dry with some snow coverage. Trail itself is very muddy with significant snow drifts still remaining. Only a few wildflowers at this point. We did not make it to summit, but have before and it’s beautiful if you do.

walking
20 days ago

Well the trail looks amazing. However it is closed until June 30th 2018. It’s just a seasonal closure.

Only did a bit 2.5 miles as we went with family (3 kids). Perfect difficulty for a 4 yr old.

Trail closed until June 20

hiking
25 days ago

Attempted to hike to Booth Lake today. Trail is free and clear of snow until the falls. Past the falls it gets snowy and after 12 PM becomes a posthole mess. We made it to about .3 miles from the lake. It was absolutely beautiful however. Totally enjoyed the hike, but again definite postholing.

hiking
25 days ago

I really loved this hike. It's moderate with tons of wildflowers and 360 views of the peaks. A little soggy in spots but no real issues. I recommend you not miss this one if you're in the area! Majesty!

hiking
1 month ago

Still pretty snowy, overall. The first mile was pretty dry. The next mile was wet but no snow. By about the 3rd mile it was getting getting snowy, and we turned back a little before mile 4. The snow wasn't too bad, and traction wasn't needed, but there was a bit of postholing.

Snow packed about a mile in. Still fun. Be careful!

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Easy to access off I70.

Snowshoed. Very different experience in summer.

The trail up Shrine Pass Road was easy to follow. There were very few hikers. Once you pass the Shrine Mountain Inn huts there is not a defined trail. There are lots of snowmobile tracks, but no defined snowshoe route. You will want your gps to follow a route. We bushwhacked as best we could through the trees and up the final slope. The final slope is very steep. I loved it, but some in our group weren't ready for anything that strenuous.

The snow is starting to crack on some slopes and may give soon. Pick your route carefully.

The snow was passable, but the hot sun made it very soupy by the end of the day. It was miserable on the way down. You will need snow shoes. One of my compatriots took his off because the snow was sticking to his snowshoes pretty badly. He couldn't make it 100 yards without severe post holing.

I think this was my last snowshoe excursion for the year. The snow is not a lot of fun to be in these days.

Great views at the top.

3 months ago

The only reason it get 4 stars instead of 5 is because I couldn’t make it to the lake due to the snow conditions. Just to early in the season to expect to make it to Gore Lake. Regardless, this was a beautiful hike. I had to start cutting my own trail after about 2 miles, so be prepared with snowshoes if you plan to get very far. I can’t wait to be back in late summer to attempt getting to the lake again. The views across the valley are breathtaking. Very impressed with my first hike in CO.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing hike through beautiful alpine meadows with wild flowers and marmots. The lake is stunning!

great views. wildflowers almost at peak

hiking
6 months ago

Warning: as of 12/3/17 the road to get to the trial is closed.

Went here to hike but the road to get to the trail was closed. Will try again another time as it looks beautiful!

I'm sure it's gorgeous, however, the road was closed to get to it.

hiking
6 months ago

Was up there this week on Wednesday the 22nd of November. I hiked up to the falls at first and that was a piece of cake. The falls around about 4km one way and then I hiked towards the lake. Did not need any special gear. Had solid 3 season La Sportiva waterproof booths and great hiking / also use them for skiing north face summit series pants. Since I forgot my gaiters a taped my ankles with a lot of masking tape. All he Way from the shoe up to my knee. This served as my gaiters. Past the falls I was was the only one and also the first to do a snow pack. There was no need for crampons (maybe snow shoes) and I did struggle in terms of a more strenuous effort of going up. It was heavier on my stamina. I turned around about 0.4 miles from the lake or so. Like someone in the comments below suggested they saw the trail end there lol! I turned because it was 3pm and I needed time to go get down + room for extra light in case of an injury. I had a drone with me so I flew up from the spot I was in and got to see the lake that way :) I was really close but at the end it was just snowing + getting dark + the snow in some parts was chest deep without any trail or snow pack to follow. Kinda bummed out since I was so close but all an all great hike. I think this hike in the summer is a peace of a cake. Curious if you can hike from the lake to one of the peaks? Does anyone know ? Cheers! My time was 3 hours up (including a lot of photography) and 30 minutes down (full on running)

hiking
6 months ago

Completed this hike in both the summer and winter. Yesterday I attempted to make it to the lake but there was a lot of snow, I was not properly prepared. The trail to the falls was snowy but doable without spikes/traction devices. Past the falls the trail was barely trafficked and my spikes were necessary. The trail disappeared about 0.25 miles from the lake and the snow was thigh high in some places. Trekked through it for a bit but I eventually had to turn around (no snow pants or snow gear with me). On the way down I saw a lot of people struggling to make it to the falls without spikes/ traction devices. Highly recommend them for the second half of the trail in the winter months.

Awesome trail!

hiking
7 months ago

Lots of wet and thick mud in the first and last half mile. Most of the trail is covered in pack snow, but it was up to 2-3 inches in some places. The views on the way up were just as pretty as the ones at the top!

hiking
7 months ago

Great views all the way up, crowned by the stunning 360 view up top. Most of the mud was frozen. Only very light snow on 11/11/17

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked this 11/9/2017. Beautiful views every step of the way. Don't let the mud at the beginning discourage you. Most of the trail was snow covered but rarely over ankle deep. One of our favorites.

8 months ago

We mistakenly took the trail head and lower Piney lake and then Meadow Creek Road. Still pretty but the 9-mile dirt road made me like it less than others.

8 months ago

A beautiful place to be, conveniently close to town as well. If you've got the stamina to rock this trail then do it...great view of holy cross while going up to the lake. Most people stop at the falls a few miles in - it's very worth it to keep going. Big family of marmots live up top at the lake and they will surely be scoping you out and talking to each other!

I wouldn’t consider this one “easy”, although I imagine weather/trail conditions had a lot to do with my experience yesterday. 95% of the trail was either mud, slush, snow, or some combination thereof. Very slippery! The views were gorgeous! I’d like to come back when the trail is a bit more dry.

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