Booth Falls

Booth Falls is a moderately-trafficked 6.8-kilometer out-and-back path near Vail, Colorado, that has a cascade. The trail is best used from May to October and is generally used for hiking and nature visits. This trail is also open to dogs, although they must be kept on a leash. This trail passes through the Eagles Nest Wilderness, subject to strict laws designed to conserve natural resources. Dogs must always be on a hand-held leash, according to the rules. Camping is not permitted within 100 feet of any lake, stream, or trail. Campfires are prohibited above 11,000 feet, within 100 feet of any stream or route, within 1/4 mile of any lake, and during local fire bans. Overnight users are required to obtain a valid self-registration form, which can be acquired at most trailheads. Please practice Leave No Trace principles. For further information, visit the Forest Service’s Eagles Nest Wilderness Restrictions page.

One of the most popular hikes in the Eagles Nest Wilderness is the Booth Falls Trail. The location boasts breathtaking rivers, valleys, unspoiled aspen grove woodlands, and the Gore Range’s sheer rocky peaks. Visitors get the opportunity to see the spectacular autumnal foliage changes throughout the fall.

In the summer and fall, the trail can be very steep, with significant elevation gain throughout the hike, and it is regarded as moderately challenging. This is a demanding route in the winter and should only be attempted by experienced mountaineers.

Regulations for the Eagles Nest Wilderness are posted at the trailhead. There is also a scarcity of parking. Try using the free Town of Vail bus from the Vail Village parking structure to get to this trail. Keep in mind to pack your rubbish and leave no trace!

Upper Piney River Falls

Upper Piney River Falls Path is a moderately used 9.5-kilometer out-and-back trail near Vail, Colorado, that features a lake. The route is best used from May to October and offers a variety of activities. This trail is also open to dogs, although they must be kept on a leash. This trail passes through the Eagles Nest Wilderness, subject to strict laws designed to conserve natural resources. Dogs must always be on a hand-held leash, according to the rules. Camping is not permitted within 100 feet of any lake, stream, or trail. Campfires are prohibited above 11,000 feet, within 100 feet of any stream or route, within 1/4 mile of any lake, and during local fire bans. Overnight users are required to obtain a valid self-registration form, which can be acquired at most trailheads. Please practice Leave No Trace principles. For further information, visit the Forest Service’s Eagles Nest Wilderness Restrictions page.

The trail begins at the Piney River Ranch entry. It slowly undulates for a few miles through open meadows with excellent sites for lunch, relaxation, and views of wildlife, as well as the more excellent gore range that extends through Eagles Nest Wilderness. The trail then climbs through aspen groves and mixed conifer woodland, crossing many small creeks before descending on a series of switchbacks to a riverside cascading waterfall.

The trailhead and ranch entrance is about a 45-minute drive up a hilly, bumpy two-lane road. The picturesque upper Piney Lake and the start of the hike can be seen from the parking lot. On this out-and-back walk, take in the numerous spectacular views; the falls are finest in late spring and summer when the river has more runoff, but the leaves are best in the fall!

Booth Lake

Booth Lake is a 16.1-kilometer out-and-back trail with a waterfall classed as challenging and is located near Vail, Colorado. The trail is best used from May to October and is generally used for hiking. This trail is also open to dogs, although they must be kept on a leash.


This trail passes through the Eagles Nest Wilderness, subject to strict laws designed to conserve natural resources. Dogs must always be on a hand-held leash, according to the rules. Camping is not permitted within 100 feet of any lake, stream, or trail. Campfires are prohibited above 11,000 feet, within 100 feet of any stream or route, within 1/4 mile of any lake, and during local fire bans. Overnight users are required to obtain a valid self-registration form, which can be acquired at most trailheads. Please practice Leave No Trace principles. For further information, visit the Forest Service’s Eagles Nest Wilderness Restrictions page.

Beginning June 2, 2021, the trailhead parking lot will be closed for the summer season. To get to the trailhead, use the free bus. Visit www.hikevail.net for more information.

Booth Lake is a lovely lake nestled in an alpine cirque with spectacular wildflowers. The trail climbs past Booth Falls, a 60-foot cascade, through forest and meadows. Because of the high volume of visitors, the trail has been damaged and widened. Please keep on the route, carry away all litter and dog waste, and leave this lovely site in better condition than you found it so that others can enjoy it as well.

This trail reaches the Eagles Nest Wilderness. There are wilderness laws in place, which are displayed at the trailhead. In the Eagles Nest Wilderness, dogs must be on a leash, and dogs are not permitted on the bus. Please pick up after your dog if you go hiking with it. Backpackers can park for free at the Gore Creek or Red Sandstone parking garages and catch the Booth Lake trail bus for a small fee. Alternatively, you can pay $35 to park in the Vail parking structure overnight and take the free bus to the trailhead.

Because the creek is not always close to the trail, bring your water. The lake is close to the treeline, so get there early to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. During hunting season, hunters may use this place. For the winter, the trail is neither marked nor maintained, and it traverses multiple avalanche paths.

Gore Lake

Gore Lake is a challenging 19.5-kilometer out-and-back trek near Vail, Colorado that features stunning wildflowers and is regularly frequented. The trail is best used from June to October and is primarily for hiking, camping, and backpacking. This trail is also open to dogs, although they must be kept on a leash.


This trail passes through the Eagles Nest Wilderness, subject to strict laws designed to conserve natural resources. Dogs must always be on a hand-held leash, according to the rules. Camping is not permitted within 100 feet of any lake, stream, or trail. Campfires are prohibited above 11,000 feet, within 100 feet of any stream or route, within 1/4 mile of any lake, and during local fire bans. Overnight users are required to obtain a valid self-registration form, which can be acquired at most trailheads. Please practice Leave No Trace principles. For further information, visit the Forest Service’s Eagles Nest Wilderness Restrictions page.

This trail reaches the Eagles Nest Wilderness. There are wilderness laws in place, which are displayed at the trailhead.

During hunting season, hunters may be in the neighborhood. This track is neither designated nor maintained for usage during the winter, and it crosses multiple avalanche paths.

Due to a scarcity of dead/downed timber and to conserve the delicate alpine environment, campfires are prohibited at Gore Lake.

At Gore Lake, mountain goats abound. Please keep a safe distance from them, keep your pets leashed, and not approach or feed them.

You’ll quickly gain elevation from the trailhead, so be prepared to begin with, a climb. After about a mile, you’ll reach a more modest climb that will take you to “the graves,” a total distance of around 4 miles. For the first 4 kilometers, you’ll be in and out of the trees, with fantastic views. When you arrive at the cemetery, follow the signs and turn left towards Gore Lake. The next 1.8 miles are pretty tricky. This portion is the reason for the trial’s difficulty rating. Keep going until you reach the lake! It’s well worth the effort.