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Helpful Hiking Information | Hiking in Vail, CO

SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR VAIL TRAILS

Hiking in Vail goes hand in hand with caring for our pristine natural environment. Here’s how you can do your part!

STAY ON TRAIL

No shortcuts - going off trail compromises trail construction, kills the vegetation, increases soil erosion and may result in reduced water quality.

PACK OUT TRASH

Stash it until you can trash it - anything you bring with you, you must pack back out! Trash can hurt wildlife and contaminate water ways.

DOG DO’S AND DON’TS

Do pick up the doo – pack out all dog poop. Don’t let dogs off leash – this is to protect them from wildlife and wildlife from them.

RESPECT WILDLIFE

Give them space - observe wildlife from a distance and do not follow or approach them. Never feed animals as it can alter their behavior.

PLAN AHEAD

Take the trail less traveled - there are over a hundred miles of hiking trails in the Vail area! Use the trail guide to discover area trails and whenever possible ride a bike or take a FREE Town of Vail bus to the trailhead. 

 

 

 

Dogs & Leashes

On all trails that enter the Eagles Nest Wilderness, as well as on the North Trail, DOGS ARE REQUIRED TO BE ON A PHYSICAL LEASH.  There are four main reasons for this:


 PROTECT YOUR DOG FROM WILDLIFE
Many wildlife such as moose, coyote, mountain lion, and elk, see your dog as a threat and may attack your dog to protect their young or themselves.
 PROTECT WILDLIFE FROM YOUR DOG
Remember that you are visiting wildlife’s home while on your hike. Many of these species are very sensitive and, given the short summers and heavy traffic in our area, are often doing all they can to survive. Being chased, or even feeling threatened, by a dog can have long-lasting negative effects on our wildlife populations.
 PROTECT YOUR DOG FROM OTHER DOGS
Keeping your dog on a leash will minimize the likelihood of a negative encounter with another dog.
 PRESERVE THE EXPERIENCE FOR OTHER TRAIL USERS
Not all trail users are fond of dogs, even the nice ones! Keeping your dog on a leash will ensure that other users do not feel threatened or anxious about encountering your dog

If you would like to hike with your dog off leash, there are several areas you can go, such as any trail, aside from the North Trail, that does not enter the Eagles Nest Wilderness, as well as dog parks within the Town of Vail. Remember that, no matter where you are, when in public, your dog needs to be under verbal control. Also, if you use a provided dog waste bag, please remember to carry it out with you. The bags are not biodegradable.

 

 

What To Bring

Items you will want to bring on your hike:

  • Water
  • Backpack
  • Rain Protection (waterproof jacket/pants)
  • Sturdy, Waterproof Shoes or Hiking Boots
  • Sunscreen - 30 SPF minimum
  • Food/Snacks
  • First Aid Kit
  • Camera
  • Cell Phone
  • Compass/Map/GPS
  • Hat/Ball cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Flashlight/Headlamp
  • Extra Clothing (e.g., shirt, socks)


Eagles Nest Wilderness


Several trails around the Town of Vail enter the Eagles Nest Wilderness, which was designated by Congress in 1976 as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Eagles Nest Wilderness is a special place managed for solitude, physical challenge, naturalness, and a primitive visitor experience.

Remember that you are just a visitor in the wilderness, so treat it with respect. Special regulations apply and are posted at trailheads. For more information about Wilderness, click here. For more information specific to the Eagles Nest Wilderness, click here.