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Hiking & Backpacking

Vail summer activities offer miles of scenic hiking trails for all ability levels. Explore the wildflowers, catch a glimpse of wildlife, and enjoy the amazing views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Vail Mountain offers numerous hiking trails to be explored, both by foot or by Gondola. For more information download a PDF of the Vail Hiking Guide.

Vail Mountain Hiking | Vail Area White River National Forest Trails | Guided Hiking Programs

Vail Mountain and Gondola Accessed Trails
Vail Mountain is a great place to enjoy a hike, with trails starting from the base areas and trails starting from the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Short descriptions are listed below, and you can either download the Vail Summer Trail map or pick one up from a lift ticket office! Don't forget to stop up top at Talon's Deck at Eagle's Nest for a refreshment or lunch on the patio with amazing views of 14,000 ft Mount of the Holy Cross!

Vail Mountain 2016 Summer Trail Map


Epic Discovery Interactive Hiking Trails

Discover stories about native animals, plans and the environment and explore their abilities along Vail Mountain hiking trails. 

Eagle’s Loop 
Short ridgetop loop with great views of Mount of the Holy Cross. 1 mile (1.6 km), 15–20 minutes

Beautiful wooded trail between Eagle's Nest (Eagle Bahn Gondola) and Mid-Vail (Gondola One). 1 mile (1.6 km), 30–40 minutes, one way.

Hiking Trails

This intermediate trail winds down from Mid-Vail or Eagle's Nest to Vail Village or Lionshead. 3.2 miles (5.1 km), 2–3 hours one way

Grand Escape 
This trail offers an alternative hiking experience with spectacular views. 1.1 miles (1.7 km), 1.5–2 hours one way. Connecting Eagle's Nest to Wildwood. 

Ptarmigan Loop

Scenic trail through shaded woods connecting with Kinnickinnick at Wildwood to Ptarmigan Point and back. 1.2 miles (1.9 km), 30–40 minutes.

Beautiful trail connecting Wildwood to Patrol Headquarters. .75 miles (1.2 km), 30 minutes, one way.

Ridge Route 
Intermediate ridge climb from Adventure Ridge to Wildwood and back with spectacular views. 1.4 miles (2.3 km), 1.5–2 hours one way



Hiking Trails Surrounding Vail

A few beautiful hikes in National Forest Service land that are close to Vail are listed below.  Most are easily accessible through the free bus system.  For more information call the U.S. Forest Service 970-827-5715 or visit the White River National Forest hiking trails website.

East Vail Area Hikes
Bighorn Creek

Booth Creek

Deluge Lake

Gore Creek

Pitkin Creek

North Trail Sections
Cortina Lane to Buffehr Creek

Buffehr Creek to Red Sandstone

Red Sandstone to Son of Middle Creek

Trappers Run

Red Sandstone Road Acessed Hikes (Not on free bus route, require short drive up Red Sandstone Rd.)
Upper Piney River

Lost Lake

Guided Hikes in Vail - let a local expert lead the way! Walk ups available at ticket office or Adventure Ridge, reservations recommended! (970)SKI VAIL (754 8245) Pricing is based on your needs. (970)SKI VAIL (754 8245)

Nature Hikes with the Nature Discovery Center

Join a Naturalist for an educational hike through the forest atop Vail Mountain. Learn about summer ecology and animal adaptations as you take in the majestic mountain views. Most ages and abilities, FREE. Hikes run daily at the Nature Discovery Center at Adventure Ridge from 11:00am-12:00pm, 2:00pm-3:00pm daily. Evening Nature Hikes run Thursday-Saturday from 7:00pm-8:00pm. For more information and full schedule visit www.walkingmountain.org or call 970.754.4675.


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