The Best Trails for Hiking in Vail, Colorado
Nothing revives your spirit like breathing in fresh air while surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. Hiking is one of the most wonderful ways to experience nature up close as you exercise. There is an endless supply of gorgeous hiking trails in the country, but some of the most memorable sit right here in Vail, Colorado.
After living in Colorado, it’s easy to become accustomed to seeing mountains and foliage in your day-to-day life. However, it’s important to take time to truly explore what the area has to offer and visit places that you don’t get to encounter during your daily routine.
Once you take a few days to walk along the grandiose trees, rushing streams, and remarkable wildflowers of Vail, you will feel incredibly grateful for the wonders in your home state.
What To Pack for a Hike
Before you begin your outdoor wellness journey, it’s important to prepare properly. Here are some reminders for what to put in your duffel as you prepare for your trip.
No matter the time of year, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s harsh rays and the prickly bushes on the trails. It’s best to wear pants that are breathable yet sturdy, like a pair of track pants or yoga pants.
Invest in a high-quality pair of hiking socks as well to support you along your journey. Lastly, a wide-brimmed hat can help protect your face, eyes, and skin from the sun.
There are a few essentials to help make your hike more comfortable and enjoyable that won’t take up too much weight in your bag. First, your skin and body will thank you if you avoid a day of dehydration by packing a water bottle for your journey.
You can also make sure your phone is charged for emergencies (and photos) and pack a mini first-aid kit for any accidental scrapes.
Our Favorite Trails
Now that you are packed and ready to go, the gorgeous Colorado trails await you.
Upper Piney River Falls
This trail is an out-and-back hike that takes you into Eagles Nest Wilderness, a wilderness area nestled in the Colorado mountains. The trail is 5.9 miles long and is generally considered to be a moderately challenging trek, so this will be a satisfying choice for hikers with some experience.
After walking through Piney River Ranch, you will stroll through large, open meadows with space to rest and soak in the views before finally climbing through aspen groves and discovering a wonderful view of streams that lead to a cascading waterfall.
Lost Lake Trail
For lovers of waterside views, the out-and-back Lost Lake Trail is a lengthy but easy route that is sure to satisfy. The trail stretches seven miles over flat terrain and has the best scenery from May to October.
After hiking through bunches of beautiful trees, you will end at the lake, with plenty of spots to sit, enjoy some food, and breathe in the views. If you are lucky enough to hike on a day with clear skies and no breeze, you will have the unparalleled experience of seeing the mountains reflected in the glassy water of the lake.
A wonderful option for thrillseekers and hiking pros, Berrypicker’s 7.9-mile out-and-back hike is a more challenging trail that offers stunning views. As you hike, you can look around you to admire the gorgeous aspen trees and the slopes of the mountains around you.
If you want to experience the wonder of the area without the strenuous uphill walk, you can take a gondola ride up past the steepest portion of the hike.
North Vail Trail
The North Vail Trail sits just a few miles off of the highway, making it easy to find and the perfect way to stretch your legs after driving. It stretches just over three and a half miles and is ideal for hikers of all skill levels, including beginners.
This hike will take you along open spaces with wonderful views of mountains and valleys. Rather than walking through forested areas, you will have the chance to soak in panoramic views and plenty of sunshine.
Booth Creek Falls
The Booth Creek Falls trail is one of the most popular trails in Vail due to its variety in scenery and terrain. The trail is 4.2 miles long and is moderately difficult, thanks to portions with steep elevation.
However, the walk uphill will be worth it as you get to take in sights of rivers, valleys, aspen grove forests, and the steep rocky peaks of the Gore Range. Additionally, the expansive foliage shines bright with autumn colors when the leaves change, so try to plan your trip accordingly.
The trail ends with jaw-dropping views of a rushing waterfall and a natural swimming hole. If you are prepped with the proper shoes, you can even climb down towards the water to feel the wind from the rushing waterfall and splash your face with clear, cool water.
The Meadow Mountain trail is a wonderful option and can be customized to your interests and skill level. The trail is 9.6 miles long, but hikers are welcome to stop at any time along this out-and-back trek.
Meadow Mountain truly takes you through many of the natural wonders of Colorado, including forests and, as the name implies, meadows. Additionally, while the entire stretch of the trail is lengthy, the terrain is generally smooth, making it a great choice for hikers of all skill levels.
If you decide to walk along all 9.6 miles of the trail, you will have the chance to explore ruins of old cabins and homesites, giving you a peek into Colorado’s long history.
Designed to bring you adventure and peace simultaneously, the wellness trail located on the Collective Retreats ranch is sure to calm your mind and body. The short hike also features designated areas for meditation and breathing exercises, helping you make the most of your journey.
Where To Stay
Collective Retreats offers pristine accommodations that will provide you with luxurious amenities while immersing you in the surrounding natural wonders.
Our most popular option is the perfect example of comfortable indoor-outdoor living. Sip on your morning tea while watching the golden light from the sunrise reflect off of the mountains from your personal deck.
After a day of hiking, rinse off in a rain-style shower that comes with your ensuite bathroom before lying down on your king bed, dressed with high-quality linens.
As another option, the Journey Tent offers high-quality features and accommodations while bringing in the spirit of community. Relax on the queen-sized bed in high-thread count linens and step out of your tent to take in the expansive, beautiful views of the Colorado countryside.
When you book this option, you have access to private shared bathrooms with rain showers and spa-quality toiletries.
Time to Hike
If you are lucky enough to live in Colorado, try to regularly carve out time to explore the hidden gems and exceptional natural beauty that exists all around you. Taking a nice hike that will pump your lungs full of fresh air and give you picturesque, remarkable views will distress your body and mind while restoring your soul.