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Hiking in the Vail Valley

Hiking in the High Country

Hiking on Top of the World
 
A myriad of hiking trails cross Vail and Beaver Creek mountain in the summertime. Providing incredible views, great exercise and often a learning experience, you are welcome to grab a summer trail map - available at the resort information center and all lodging properties - and start exploring. The Beaver Creek Hiking Center, located in the Beaver Creek Ticket Office, offers nature hikes for all ages and ability levels with expert local guides both on Beaver Creek mountain and throughout the Vail Valley. Specializing in daily scheduled and private interpretive nature hikes and mountain bike tours for all ages and ability levels. Whether hiking to a pristine alpine lake or one of Colorado's famous 14,000-foot peaks (14ers), the Beaver Creek Hiking Center has something for everyone. Families are welcome! The Hiking Center also offers guided mountain bike tours. Hiking Center Information
Open daily 9.00am-4.00pm from during the summer.
Private hikes require a minimum 24-hour advance reservation and minimum of 2 adults
 
For more information, call the Beaver Creek Hiking Center at (970) 845-5373.


 
The White River National Forest has hundreds of great hikes.

Eagle District's Top Ten Hikes:

  • Fulford Cave (8th largest cave in Colorado)
  • Lake Charles
  • Nolan Lake
  • Sneve Gulch
  • East Lake Creek
  • Grizzly Creek
  • Squaw Creek
  • SweetwaterTurret Creek
  • Hanging Lake

Click Here to View, Download and Print Maps of all hikes.

Minturn District's Top Ten Hikes:

  • Fulford Cave (8th largest cave in Colorado)
  • Lake Charles
  • Nolan Lake
  • Sneve Gulch
  • East Lake Creek
  • Grizzly Creek
  • Squaw Creek
  • Sweetwater
  • Turret Creek
  • Hanging Lake

Click Here to View, Download & Print Maps of all hikes.

The Basics for a short hike in the high country

  • Sunglasses and sun screen – The sun can really bare down on you at high altitudes and if you aren’t covered, you’ll get burned. Make sure you have a good, high-SPF, sunscreen that is waterproof and quality sunglasses that fit nicely. The high-SPF will keep you from frying and the comfy sunglasses won’t be a distraction on those day hikes.
  • Rain-gear – It sure won’t hurt to pack a lightweight rain-jacket, hat, and an extra- layer of clothing (fleece is great) because the weather can be unpredictable in the mountains. A nice, clear sky can easily break into a thunderstorm in the duration of an hour and a fleece sweater will keep you warm, even if you are wet.
  • A good knife or multi-tool – You never know what might happen once you leave a trailhead and a knife is a barebones tool everyone should carry. Good uses for a Army knife or multi-tool are opening cans, cutting food, pulling splinters, repairing broken gear like glasses, and a host of other functions.
  • Food – Even short hikes can be taxing if you aren’t acclimatized or in shape for it. Make sure you pack enough food to replace calories for an entire day or two because there are many possible reasons you will wind-up on the trail longer than you may expect. Injuries, getting lost, unforeseen detours and difficult terrain may hamper you from returning as soon as you thought, so pack accordingly.
  • Water – Bringing water, even on a short hike, is an obvious suggestion, but what if you are held-up and need water for more than a few hours? Bring a way to purify water with you whenever you head-out into unfamiliar terrain just in case. At high altitudes the body requires more water and you might go through your supply quicker than you think. Thirst is a major distraction on a hike but dehydration will quickly rob you of needed strength for most hiking and you will become more susceptible to hypothermia and altitude sickness.
  • A good map – Don’t forget to bring a map of the terrain you will be on. A good map can save your life when the sun goes down and you haven't reached your camp or trailhead.
  • Compass – A map is only good if you have a compass to help steer you while reading it.
  • Matches -  Bring something along to help you start a fire. A fire is a great way to signal for help if you get lost and a fire can keep you alive if you are forced to stay overnight unexpectedly.
  • First-Aid Kit – Even a short hike can result in a cut, deep splinters, a sprained-ankle so bring a first-aid kit. Many companies sell pre-packaged kits inexpensively.
  • Flashlight – Any hike can go too long for a variety of reasons, don’t let darkness keep you from following your trail. Bring a flashlight with good batteries and extra bulbs on every hike. A flashlight is a good way to signal for help as well as light your way.



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