Continuing to tackle the multitude of local hikes here in the #vail Valley – Lil_E and I picked out Booth Falls also known as Booth Lake Trail for our latest hiking adventure. There are two hikes packed into one here depending on how much time you have and how fit you are feeling. Some background Gore Lake Trail head can be found near East Vail exit 180 after driving 2.3 miles east on South frontage road – you will see Booth Falls road park in the usually very busy trail head. Lots of locals and tourists alike use this trail because of its’ easy access and the hike to Booth Falls being a relatively mellow Colorado hike. The hike to Booth Lake is around 6.5 miles and will take you 9+ hours round trip – we did not do the hike to Booth lake we instead hiked to Booth Falls approximately 1.75 miles in and around 3.0 miles round trip. Be aware this hike is a climber, sections go up and up on rock steps and valley sides – be prepared for some sore legs the next day. This hike is indeed DOG-FRIENDLY we took our roommate’s dog Ammo with us to scare off any critters and keep us company as we hiked along. He’s a great hiking companion and loves to swim in any type of water, creek or puddle of mud.
The beginning sections of the hike are mostly up hill and thru rolling hills as the trail cuts thru Aspen trees, small creek beds and rocky boulder steps. As some elevation is gained you’ll have some epic, sweeping views of the Vail Valley and beyond. You will come to a few forest openings and coverings – be ware of deer activity, and other predators in this region. We stopped underneath some large evergreen trees to sip on some Gatorade and rest our legs for a minute before we continued on – a creek trickled in the background. Hike tip: Bring plenty of water with you, a small snack or packed lunch – if you can’t borrow the roommates dog attach a bell to your pack and let it jingle along as you walk. The trail will open up with some large panoramic views of the valley you are trekking thru – keep going up and up until you reach the last steps of boulders before reaching the top of the falls. You will have two viewing points one is on top of the rock formations in front of the waterfall the other is above the falls where the river cycles over the edge continue hiking up to reach this beautiful lunch spot. We made sure to keep Ammo away from the edge – while tempted to jump in at the top and cool himself off the river was flowing far too rapidly for us to let him in the water (in the valley below the last climb there is a spot with a much more mellow creek area). Be careful where your dog jumps into the creek – some places are running very quickly especially with our rain heavy Spring and early Summer.
We refueled at the top of this beautiful 50+ foot waterfall – this is also where the trail continues onto to Booth Lake for another 4.0+ miles. I have trekked a few miles past the falls but have not made it to the lake (yet) and hope to make it sometime before we leave the Colorado area. The trek down was very relaxing and easy in the sunshine, be aware some of the rock step can be a bit slippery or precarious with wet conditions. We snapped photos as we walked down and let Ammo off the leash for the rest of his adventurous hike chasing squirrels and running in front of us to make sure the trail was safe.
We snapped photos as we walked down and let Ammo off the leash for the rest of his adventurous hike chasing squirrels and running in front of us to make sure the trail was safe.