Great Adventure and Hiking the Vail Valley

Adventure awaits in one of the most beautiful places on earth: hiking on Vail Mountain. This place is an ideal option for traditional and pleasurable ways to enjoy the splendor of nature in the summer. Vail Valley is a hiking paradise with its dozens of trails just minutes from Vail & Beaver Creek.

For directions, there are maps available at the Hiking Center in Beaver Creek or ask for trail information at the U.S. Forest Service office in Minturn.

Vail is easily found as it is right on Interstate 70 corridor. From the east (Denver) or w3est (Grand Junction), take exit 176. For a more direct route from the south, follow U.S. 24 through Leadville as this Tennessee Pass road joins I-70 5 miles west of Vail. Beaver Creek is located 12 miles west of Vail, just off I-70 exit 167.

Visitors could directly go to Eagle County Airport, located 35 miles west of Vail between I-70 exits 140 and 147. Most visitors fly to Denver International Airport and continue to Vail Valley availing of the eco one-way rates. Vail Valley is just a hundred miles west of Denver International Airport. It is accessible in one of 3 exits off at Interstate 70.

Vail Valley boosts of several miles of scenic hiking trails for all ability levels: for the young, adult and seniors. Start from the apex by taking the gondola to the uppermost height while exploring the miles of trails, or begin trekking at the base and hike all the way up! Hikers of Vail Mountains are offered the most awesome views of Colorado’s 14,000 ft. peaks, wildlife, wildflowers and of course, therapeutic fresh mountain air. 

There are various trails for every type of hiker in the Vail Valley. Opt for a gentle-grade of trail through the woods to the intense and challenging summit of a “14er” that is a mountain that peaks at 14,000+ feet in altitude.

Here are some of the famous and iconic Mountain Trails surrounding Vail for your great adventure escape:

Bighorn Creek (4 miles/ vertical moderate)

Bighorn Creek Trail is the least exhausting trail close to Vail—with the exception of at the onset. Including in the ballpark of eighty wildflower species along its initial two miles, this is a decent kept up zone starter trail for Vail climbers. Except for the introductory sharp half-mile rise, the trail leads up a long picturesque valley, switching between shade and sun. Shaking aspen trees rule the course and in pre-winter a trek under the aspens is similar to an adventure in the center aisle of a characteristic house of God spilling with brilliant, encompassing light. A lovely, must do climb in fall.

Guide: From Keystone, take Highway 6 towards Dillon and jump onto I-70 going west towards Vail. Exit I-70 at the easternmost way out (180) and take a prompt left onto Big Horn Road to go under I-70. Take after Big Horn Road back east for not as much as a mile to Columbine Drive. Take a left on Columbine Drive and retreat under I-70 and up the slope two or three hundred yards.

Booth Falls (3.8 miles/ vertical 1800 ft.)

Another must-do trek in Summit county, Booth Falls is more difficult than most of the others, yet definitely justified despite the challenge. The trail is littered with wildflowers and stupendous views, with the falls as the great finale. For those so inclined, an extra four miles past Booth Falls proceeds up to Booth Lake. The principal part of the trail rises steeply before weaving through colorful meadows and after that keeps rising, most pointedly as it nears Booth Falls itself. At the end of the day, there is an absolute joy to hiking in Summit County.

Guide: From Keystone, take Highway 6 back towards Dillon and bounce onto I-70. At that point take the East Vail (Exit 180). Travel west 0.85 miles to the Booth Falls Road. Turn right and continue on this street for 0.2 miles to the trailhead stopping region.

Surrounding Vail Village and on its pinnacle are countless picturesque hiking trails that could be a challenge for all types of hiking enthusiasts. Explore, enjoy and experience the regional flora, fauna and wildlife that Vail Mountain Hiking offers. 

What to bring:

After finally deciding to trek the trail, prepare the following essentials:

1. Water essentials – At least bring three quarts of water per person per day after considering the length of the hike, pay attention to the weather conditions, and your personal level of fitness;

2. Body protection essentials – Bring extra clothing including a especially strong pair of socks; sturdy walking shoes, reliable rain gear; sun protection of 30 SPF at minimum;

3. Essentials for survival – Your first aid kit:  food/snacks; flashlight & backpack;

4. Essentials for direction – You will never get lost with a cell phone; compass; GPS and camera

5. Walking essentials – Since you are likely to hike above tree line or on any trail, it is practical to use a solid hiking boot. 

Safety along mountain trails:

Safety is top priority in Vail Valley as there will always be certain risk is involved. Hikers walk along the trails for hours carrying a heavy backpack of supplies. Precautions are paramount at all times.

Prior to the trek, both newbie and veteran hikers should look for  a good Vail hiking guidebook – there are several that easily fit in your pack with detailed directions, tips and full-color maps to help you find your way and be prepared for any eventuality.

Hiking as an exhilarating cardio workout

If sometimes you need to be reminded  about the wonders of  hiking and you need a boost of motivation, don’t forget that :

Hiking as a powerful workout for cardio can lower the risk of heart disease and improve sugar levels and blood pressure. It has strengthening powers to upgrade bone density, to build-up muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings, and to fortify the fibers in your hips and lower legs. Aside from controlling your weight, hiking improves balance and enhances your mood.

Studies showed the positive impact of hiking in alleviating symptoms of anxiety and stress.

Summer hiking has plenty of perks: nice views, fresh air, and the sounds and smells of nature. With the grandiose Vail Valley as your setting, hiking will be an unforgettable experience this summer.

Enjoy it!

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