Favorite Hikes in the Vail Valley

We asked, locals answered: what’s their favorite hike in the Valley? If you’re a hiker, you’ll want to check out these trails.

Matthew from Highline Vail: “Booth Falls (with Booth Lake) in East Vail is a perfect trail for both beginners and advanced hikers. You can hear the sound of Booth Creek all the way up to the Falls, and there are several views of the Creek and smaller waterfalls along the way. You can stop there and turn around, or keep going all the way up to Booth Lake.” Our tip: start early – this trail gets crowded. There is no parking at the trailhead; you’ll need to “bus it to hike it”. Park for free in the Vail Village parking structure and take the bus from the top level of the Transportation Center.

Magda from Antlers at Vail: “My favorite hike is around Sylvan Lake State Park in Eagle: the Ironedge Trail (pass the 10th Mountain Division hut and go to the top). It’s not that difficult and the flowers are incredible!” Our tip: take plenty of water whenever you go hiking in Vail Valley, and don’t drink from the creeks and streams.

Matt from Inn at Riverwalk: “The Eagle-Vail Trail. This pet-friendly trail starts out relatively flat for a half mile, then gains some elevation after that. If you go in the summer you’ll see wildflowers lining the trail, but going in the fall is my favorite to see the changing colors of the Aspen leaves.”  Our tip: pack a snack or light lunch.

Ineke from Town of Avon: “The West Avon Preserve offers winding trails of all levels of difficulty from easy to strenuous. Hiking, biking and horseback riding are all allowed uses. It’s easy to wrap up your day in the West Avon Preserve with one of the best sunset hikes in the Vail Valley.” Our tip: some of these trails can also be enjoyed on a mountain bike. Stop by a local rental shop to get fitted and hear some tips from the pros about what paths are best.

Chris from Sonnenalp Hotel: “My favorite hike is the Upper Piney River Falls Trail. It starts out at Piney Lake with stunning views of the Gore Range and is just under 3 miles to the waterfall. It’s about a 45-50 minute drive to the lake, but well worth it.” Our tip: the road to Piney Lake is not fully paved; best to take a car that’s built for back roads.

Joanna from Edwards Metro District: “The Missouri Lake Trail in the Holy Cross Wilderness area. It is absolutely gorgeous. The hike is parallel to the water in your route up to the top where there are beautiful pristine mountain lakes. You can enjoy just a leisurely walk along the creek or you can go to the top. The entire trail is beautiful.” Our tip: you’ll need some time to drive to the trailhead, so allow time for travel. Map it before you go.


This blog was made possible through a grant from the Colorado Tourism Office.