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A group of people walkthrough a grassy meadow with mountains in the background. The setting sun creates a golden glow on the grass.

At-A-Glance

Summer
Season:

Summer

Months:

May - Nov

Hiking

Hiking in Vail, Colorado, offers an unparalleled adventure amidst stunning mountain landscapes and pristine alpine beauty. With trails accessible from almost every neighborhood and village, the mountains of Vail beckon enthusiasts to explore its diverse terrain. 

Whether embarking on a leisurely stroll through meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers or conquering more challenging routes leading to cascading waterfalls and iconic vistas, there’s a hike catering to every preference and skill level. Before setting out, adventurers can stop by the Vail Welcome Center to pick up a hiking map, ensuring they’re equipped with essential information for a safe and enjoyable trek. If starting out of Vail or Lionshead Village, visitors can explore Vail Mountain Trails, or purchase a scenic gondola ride ticket for quicker access to trails at the top of the mountain.  

It’s important to note that portions of trails may be closed or rerouted throughout the summer, and visitors are kindly asked to adhere to all posted signage, ensuring a harmonious coexistence with nature and fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

 

Difficulties:

Hiking with Dogs

On all trails that enter the Eagles Nest Wilderness, as well as on the North Trail, dogs are required to be on a physical leash.There are four main reasons for this:

PROTECT YOUR DOG FROM WILDLIFE
Many wildlife such as moose, coyote, mountain lion, and elk, see your dog as a threat and may attack your dog to protect their young or themselves.

PROTECT WILDLIFE FROM YOUR DOG
Remember that you are visiting wildlife’s home while on your hike. Many of these species are very sensitive and, given the short summers and heavy traffic in our area, are often doing all they can to survive. Being chased, or even feeling threatened, by a dog can have long-lasting negative effects on our wildlife populations.

PROTECT YOUR DOG FROM OTHER DOGS
Keeping your dog on a leash will minimize the likelihood of a negative encounter with another dog.

PRESERVE THE EXPERIENCE FOR OTHER TRAIL USERS
Not all trail users are fond of dogs, even the nice ones! Keeping your dog on a leash will ensure that other users do not feel threatened or anxious about encountering your dog

If you would like to hike with your dog off leash, there are several areas you can go, such as any trail, aside from the North Trail, that does not enter the Eagles Nest Wilderness, as well as dog parks within the Town of Vail. Remember that, no matter where you are, when in public, your dog needs to be under verbal control. Also, if you use a provided dog waste bag, please remember to carry it out with you. The bags are not biodegradable.

What To Bring

Items you will want to bring on your hike:

  • Water
  • Backpack
  • Rain Protection (waterproof jacket/pants)
  • Sturdy, Waterproof Shoes or Hiking Boots
  • Sunscreen – 30 SPF minimum
  • Food/Snacks
  • First Aid Kit
  • Camera
  • Cell Phone
  • Compass/Map/GPS
  • Hat/Ball cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Flashlight/Headlamp
  • Extra Clothing (e.g., shirt, socks)

Eagles Nest Wilderness

Several trails around the Town of Vail enter the Eagles Nest Wilderness, which was designated by Congress in 1976 as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Eagles Nest Wilderness is a special place managed for solitude, physical challenge, naturalness, and a primitive visitor experience.

Remember that you are just a visitor in the wilderness, so treat it with respect. Special regulations apply and are posted at trailheads. For more information about Wilderness, click here. For more information specific to the Eagles Nest Wilderness, click here.