Hike to Booth Falls and Booth Lake, CO

10 miles 3000 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Will Cornett

Booth Falls and Lake make for a great hike in the Vail area. You'll get to ejoy plenty of great views, wildlife sightings, and rock climbing opportunities in the creek.

This day hike begins as a steady climb through aspen trees for the first mile. The trail then flattens out a bit, and you reach Booth Falls at mile two. This is a beautiful 60 ft waterfall that allows for easy rock climbing and hiking through the stream upstream of the falls. This is also a popular spot for picnics and camping. If you're planning to only hike the falls, it's roughly 4 miles roundtrip with a 1,450' elevation gain. 

Once past the falls, the trail becomes slightly more difficult and steeper. At 10,000 ft you will be hiking through conifer trees and small fields of wildflowers. Patches of snow were still present in August at this elevation. Beautiful views of the Gore Mountain range are visible at this part of the hike, so a camera is a necessity! The last 1/4 mile of the hike is steep and rocky, but the difficult ending is worth it!

The lake at the top of the mountain (11,500 ft) is gorgeous and picturesque. Booth Lake features patches of snow that speckle the mountainside and trout are rising to feed continuously.

It took us 4.5 hours to complete the 4.6 mile hike to the lake (with a 30 minute stop at the waterfall). The 4.6 miles back down the mountain took 2.5 hours.

Warning: If you are not acclimated to the elevation, this hike will wind even those of you who are in good shape!

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great Scenery, Great Workout

Beautiful hike that gets even prettier the further you go. Parking lot fills up fast but noticed a bus stop very close to the parking lot. A moderate hike for those used to altitude but challenging for out of towners. The falls were a great shady place to have lunch.

Memorable hike

Booth Lake was my first solo hike in Colorado and will forever be a memorable one. I was used to doing quick 1-3 mile hikes, so when I decided to do this 5 mile hike (there and back) I knew I was in for a treat. Well, this "treat" turned to a full on dessert entree. A photographers dream. I loved that this hike has it all. Dense forestry, waterfall, lake, exercise, valleys, and much more. This hike tested my will power. I don't consider myself an experienced hiker, and therefore this hike did test me, physically and mentally. As I hiked, I turned back three times because i was tired and not really sure how much longer I had to reach the end. I am happy to say i did finish it and i am so proud of myself of completing it. I had to stop many times to let my cramping legs rest and see other hikers pass me. It didn't help that I come from sea level. Nevertheless, this hike is memorable because I pushed myself to finish and overcome the physical hardship. I am grateful, for the explorer who posted this, as I was able to find it through the detail information and the amazing community of The Outbound.

🥈 Contributor

about 5 years ago

Get to the trailhead early!

The hike to Booth Falls is very popular and the small parking lot fills up early. Vail does not allow parking on city streets and you'll get a ticket if you try (guilty). Avoid crowding on the trail and at the falls by arriving well before noon.

Great hike with a 60 foot waterfall, beautiful lake, and great mountain views throughout.

Stay Nearby

Vail, Colorado

Expansive Mountain Getaway | Balcony & Hot Tub

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. • Take in mountain views from your private hot tub at this remodeled 4BR/3.5...

From $448/night

Vail, Colorado

Airy Condo With Fireplace, Pool & Hot Tub

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Nestled in the pines at Piktin Creek Park Condominiums, this 3BR/2BA unit f...

From $185/night

Vail, Colorado

East Vail Condo Near Skiing, Hiking

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Jump on the complimentary, year-round bus and in 15 minutes, you’re at the ...

From $82/night

Vail, Colorado

Cozy Home With Fireplace & Hot Tub Near Slopes

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •This idyllic 3BR/2BA alpine retreat boasts high ceilings and lots of cheerf...

From $212/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Ice Climb Pumphouse Falls in Vail

    To get to Pumphouse Falls take Interstate 70 toward East Vail, Colorado, get off at exit 176 S. Frontage Road headed east. At the traffic circle take the third exit and continue on South Frontage Rd. for 2.5 miles, turn right into the small parkin...

  • Sunset Hike on the West Vail Trail

    Starting in Lionshead, Vail, CO take the Gondola 19 up to the top of the mountain and head west straight out past Chair 26 and towards the Vail Mountain Wedding deck. Past the deck there will be a trail that you can follow out onto the edge of the...

    2 miles 300 ft gain

  • Backpack to Bubble Lake

    The Gore's are a rough and remote section of the Eagle's Nest Wilderness.  What this trip may lack in overall miles, it more than makes up for in elevation gain, scrambling, boulder hopping, and overall hard miles on the trail.  Every trip I have ...

    13 miles 3600 ft gain

  • Hike the Upper Piney River Trail

    Beginning at an elevation of 9,397 feet, this hike provides an easy 2.8 mile (one way) trip through the gorgeous meadows against the distant aspens and alpines. Wildflowers and wildlife are abundant, which make this trip a fantastic education and ...

    5.6 miles 350 ft gain

  • Inspire Your Fall Aspen Trip!

    Autumn days in Aspen are filled with sunshine and nights with crisp cool air. Watch the mountains and valleys turn gold with the changing Aspen trees. Take in the scenery while enjoying scenic drives, hiking through forests, road biking, and exploring our IMBA Gold Level Ride Center recognized mountain bike trails. 




    Learn More