Vail Hiking Trails: Adventures for Different Skill Levels

When it comes to outdoor recreation, Vail delivers big fun. The Vail-Beaver Creek area welcomes more than a million people every year, and they don’t just come for skiing. Visitors flock to popular Vail hiking trails for exercise, fresh air and unforgettable views. To get started, here are some of the best, starting with the easiest.

6 Vail Hiking Trails for Exercise and Amazing Views

vail hiking best trail

Village Loop

The Village Loop in nearby Beaver Creek offers a short, easy hike for those who don’t want a strenuous journey. With only a slight elevation, Village Loop goes around Beaver Creek Resort and can combine with Buddy’s Way to make a loop. While hiking, see ski lifts, aspen trees and stunning foliage in the fall. Village Loop measures about a mile, and bicycles and pets are not allowed.

Shrine Mountain Trail

This raved-about trail attracts hikers who enjoy majestic mountain views and a shorter option. Shrine Mountain Trail measures 4 miles with an elevation gain of less than 1,000 feet. Most use the trail for hiking, walking, birding and horseback riding.

Families with children also find this trail kid-friendly, and leashed dogs also have access. While the trail is best from July until September, many recommend July so hikers see wildflowers in full bloom.

vail hiking trails summer fall

Photo: iTrip Vacations® Vail-Beaver Creek

Upper Piney River Falls Trail

This top among the best Vail hiking trails measures nearly 6 miles. Upper Piney River Falls Trail offers a heavily trafficked area with about 700 feet elevation gain. The rail features a lake, cascading waterfall, aspen groves and thick forests.

The first few miles offer open space, but experts recommend carrying a topographical map for the last 3 miles. Additionally, hikers can bring leashed dogs and should use the trail May through October.

Booth Falls Trail

This difficult trail takes guests to Booth Creek Falls, a 60-foot waterfall located in Eagles Nest Wilderness. Hikers will find a 2-mile challenge with steep and rocky sections. In addition, elevation will change to over 9,700 feet. On the trail expect to see a waterfall, lake, aspen trees and wildflowers. This trail opens from March to October and welcomes leashes dogs.

vail trails beaver creek

Missouri Lakes Trail

Located near Red Cliff, Colorado, Missouri Lakes Trail offers a moderate hike measuring 7.2 miles. Expect an elevation gain of over 1,500 feet, as well as a lake, forest, wildflowers and wildlife.

While many find this a moderate option, some will find it difficult due to descent and signage. Some recommend taking a map and paying close attention as there are several trails around the lakes. To try Missouri Lakes Trail, visit from May until September, and leashed dogs are allowed.

Game Creek Trail

Game Creek Trail near Midturn, Colorado, is known for wildflowers. However, it also ranks among the most difficult Vail hiking trails. Game Creek Trail measures 7 miles with gain of over 2,300 feet. Several steep climbs await, however hikers may ride the gondola and start at the top. Experts recommend plenty of water and trying it from May to September.

After trying these Vail hiking trails, satisfy hunger at the top Vail restaurants to visit with loved ones.

Looking for a rental? Browse spacious Vail vacation homes and condos in the area.