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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.





May - Nov


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 Centers 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.

No parking at the Booth Lake Trailhead for the 2024 season. Parking in the surrounding neighborhood, park and school is also prohibited, violators will be towed.



Please park at the Vail Village or Lionshead parking structure, day parking is free, and take a Town of Vail bus to the trailheads (route map with trail access below). All buses to the trailheads leave from the western end of the top level of the Vail Village Transportation Center. If you park in Lionshead, take the in-town bus to the Covered Bridge stop in Vail Village.

For seasonal bus routes and times, visit or pick up a schedule at Vail Village Parking & Transportation Center.

Vail Transit will operate the “Hiker Express” again this summer to four trailhead bus stops in East Vail: Booth Falls, Falls at Vail, Columbine and Main Gore/Bighorn, as well as other stops along the way. Daily service will be provided from May 31 through Sept. 2 and then Fridays through Sundays from Sept. 6 through Oct. 13. The 30-minute service will run from 7:45 a.m. through 4:45 p.m.

Hiking in Vail goes hand in hand with caring for our pristine natural environment. Here’s how you can do your part!

No shortcuts – going off trail compromises trail construction, kills the vegetation, increases soil erosion and may result in reduced water quality.

Stash it until you can trash it – anything you bring with you, you must pack back out! Trash can hurt wildlife and contaminate water ways.

Do pick up the doo – pack out all dog poop. Don’t let dogs off leash – this is to protect them from wildlife and wildlife from them.

Give them space – observe wildlife from a distance and do not follow or approach them. Never feed animals as it can alter their behavior.

Take the trail less traveled – there are over a hundred miles of hiking trails in the Vail area! Use the trail guide to discover area trails and whenever possible ride a bike or take a FREE Town of Vail bus to the trailhead.

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:

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.

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.

Keeping your dog on a leash will minimize the likelihood of a negative encounter with another dog.

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.


Welcome to Vail, Colorado where the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace provide an easily understood framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting.  Whether you venture into the mountains on our trail systems, or are strolling in our villages, these principles when followed with help us all lessen the impact we have on our precious environment!

Although Leave No Trace has its roots in backcountry settings, the Principles have been adapted so that they can be applied anywhere — from wilderness areas, to parks, your own backyard and the streets of Vail! They also apply to almost every recreational activity. Each Principle covers a specific topic and provides detailed information for minimizing impacts.

The Seven Principles are well established and widely known, but they are not static. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics continually examines, evaluates and reshapes the Principles. The Center’s Education Department conducts research — including publishing scholarly articles in independent journals — to ensure that the Principles are up to date with the latest insights from biologists, land managers and other leaders in outdoor education.

We invite you to familiarize yourself with these seven principles (click on each below), share them with your family and friends and be in leader in displaying and implementing these while you are in Vail…..and back home.  Vail and the wilderness thanks you!


© 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:

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.