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Vail Hiking Trails | Town of Vail

Pitkin Creek Trail

Town of Vail Hiking Information for Pitkin Creek Trail

Pitkin Creek Trail

Length: 4.8 miles (one way)  Difficulty: More Difficult


The first mile of the trail is strenuous as it climbs steeply out of the Vail Valley. Fallen trees along the trail are evidence of past avalanches. The grade levels out somewhat as the trail passes through mature aspen groves and spruce-fir forests and a series of moraines from an ancient glacial retreat. After about 2.5 miles, steep switchbacks reveal the first of two waterfalls on Pitkin Creek about 200 yards to the east. After a number of false summits, the trail reaches Pitkin Lake, nestled beneath an arc of gray granite in the alpine tundra.

To avoid trampling sensitive vegetation and to prevent soil erosion, please stay on the trail at all times. Dogs are permitted, but must be kept on a leash in order to protect wildlife and the hiking experience of other trail users. This trail enters the Eagles Nest Wilderness – regulations are posted at the trailhead. For a map of the trail, please visit Hiking Project.

 

 Crowds: This is a very popular trail at certain times of the season and parking can be very limited. Please refer to the chart below when making your plans and consider other hiking trails listed on this page if this trail is likely to be very busy.

 

 Access: Parking is very limited at the trailhead. Do not park in undesignated areas; there are only fifteen designated parking spaces. We strongly encourage taking the free East Vail blue line shuttle, which runs every 30 minutes, from the Vail Transportation Center to the Falls at Vail bus stop. Walk up Fall Line Drive a ¼ mile to the trailhead.

 

 

 Details: Including directions, a map, and other information can be found on this printable Recreation Quicksheet from the Forest Service.

 

Trail Adopted By: BG Buildingworks

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