The Beaver Creek area is home to some of the best hiking in Colorado. It lies in the Vail Valley, where you can find hidden waterfalls, rivers, streams or dozens of hiking trails to explore. Most trailheads are located just minutes from downtown.
The Gore Range consists of rugged and pristine mountains, interspersed with high mountain meadows, which offer challenges for hikers of all skill levels. Whether you plan to attack one of Colorado’s “fourteeners” with summits over 14,000 feet, or want to wander along one of many trails leading along mountain lakes or scenic viewpoints, you’re sure to be satisfied.
The chairlifts and gondolas from Beaver Creek and Vail operate all through the summer, so take one up to the top at Eagle’s Nest, where you will find the start of many wonderful trails that weave their way through beautiful country flowers, fields of wild strawberries, and spacious open meadows. Or take the three hour hike from the top of the gondola back down the mountain. If you’re looking for a rigorous day enjoying the mountain scenery, hike up the mountain, and ride the gondola down.
Wherever you decide to hike, remember to take in all the wonders around you: mountain peaks, streams, waterfalls, wild flowers, and more. The Forest Service asks that you to consider buying a hiking certificate which goes toward maintaining the Vail Mountain Rescue Team, a great group of people who will come to your aid whenever you need them! If you buy this card, your rescue is free!
Less steep than the other East Vail trails, Bighorn Creek Trail passes beaver ponds, old mining camp remains, as well as Bighorn Falls. The trail ends at an old homestead cabin located on private property, which offers shelter for hikers who respect this private cabin. 3.6 miles one way, rising 2,200 feet.
One of the most popular hiking trails in the district, Booth Creek Falls is a popular destination for short hikes. Or continue on, through conifer forests and meadows filled with wildflowers, ending up at Booth Lake. 6 miles one way, rising 3,080 feet.
A long distance hike, ranging from easy to difficult, this trail goes through meadows, by water, within view of Mount of the Holy Cross (a permanent snow field in the shape of a cross), passing by mining cabins, ore mills, and old mines, finally ending at Treasure Vault Lake. 15.5 miles, rising 3,300 feet.
One of the steepest trails in the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness, this hike offers panoramic views of the Vail Valley and Gore Range. It comes to an end at Deluge Lake, lying at the foot of towering granite peaks.
This trail requires about 8 miles of travel on a very rough jeep road, before getting to the trailhead. The trail climbs to Lake Constantine, crosses Fall Creek, then drops down to Seven Sisters Lake, and continues to Hunky Dory Lake. Several side trips can be taken to Notch Mountain, Tuhare Lakes, and Holy Cross City site. 9 miles, rising up to 2,200 feet.
This trail runs along Fancy Creek, climbs through mature spruce stands, and then climbs to Fancy Lake. Continue on to Treasure Vault Lake. 3.25 miles, climbing 2,320 feet.
A mile into this hike, the trail crosses Cross Creek at the mouth of a miniature canyon, creating a breathtaking view. The trail then winds through stands of conifers and traverses the creek several more time, finally emerging into a large lush meadow. After a short, steep climb, you’ll be in the basin that holds the Missouri Lakes. 3 miles one way, rising 1,500 feet.
Starting at Fall Creek trailhead, this trail passes through spruce and fir stands. A the fork, take the right path, which climbs quickly and steadily past the timberline to Notch Mountain Shelter, built in 1924. This trail offers access to the western ridge of Notch Mountain, and provides a close-up view of the snowy cross on Mt. of the Holy Cross. 5.3 miles one way, gaining 2,940 feet.
Beginning at Hwy 24, this trail climbs alond West Grouse Creek, eventually entering dense stands of pine, fir and spruce. The climb is steep past Waterdog and Olsen Lakes, crossing the north ridge of Grouse Mountain. It then drops down to Turquoise Lakes and the headwaters of Beaver Creek.