Spring is giving way to summer in the valley and that means the snow is melting and there is plenty to do outside. While Vail Mountain remains closed until further notice, that should not stop you from getting outdoors and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. The warmer months in the valley offer many more activities than you could find in the winter. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Take a Hike!
As an avid hiker, getting out and walking through the surrounding White River National Forest has always been a favorite activity of mine. Vail and its surrounding areas offer everything from easy walks to full day excursions.
Green: Gore Valley Trail
The Gore Valley Trail offers hikers and bikers an easy, all paved walk through the Vail Valley. The path can be picked up in many spots throughout the town of Vail and can be followed east or west. Heading out towards the East Vail area will reward you with spectacular views of the Gore range. Heading out towards the West will follow Gore Creek and eventually lead to some local neighborhoods. This trail really has no ending and can be walked as far as you wish until you are ready to head back.
Blue: Booth Falls
Booth Falls is undoubtedly the most popular hike in the area. For this reason I recommend going very early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Also, please make sure you park only in the designated parking spots or you will be leaving with present from the Vail PD. As for the trail, hikers will encounter a 4.2 mile RT hike that has some moderate elevation change right at the beginning. The reward is the view of 60 ft Booth Falls, in which spring is an excellent time to visit as the water is the highest. Plan on 2-3 hours total for the hike.
Black: Booth Lake
If you are looking for more of a challenge, consider going past Booth Falls to the breathtaking Booth Lake. This section will add roughly 6 more miles and a whole lot of elevation gain. Historically, snow will remain on this part of the trail until mid summer. Pack accordingly for this, snow shoes or micro spikes and plenty of snacks and water. The reward here is an alpine lake at 11,480’ surrounded by the Gore Range. Worth every step.
For Bonus Views: Go Raft!
The Vail Valley offers some of the best rafting that Colorado has to offer and spring run off can make it some of the most exciting. Test your skills and nerves on the Eagle or Arkansas River or take a leisurely ride down the Upper Colorado. If you are looking to take a Raft trip in the spring, try out the Lower Eagle section, this is only available during the spring time and offers family friendly class III rapids. Another fan favorite, is Browns Canyon, located outside of Buena Vista, CO. Not only is this a fun trip, the views are unbeatable. Check out Timberline Tours or Lakota Guides for up to date information on trips.
Now get outside and have some fun!