As the Vail Valley dries out and snow turns to rain and sunshine, hikers are dusting off their boots. It's time to explore Colorado by foot!
Local Tip: It can take awhile for snow to melt off a trail, so not all trails will be open quite yet. Springtime offers varied conditions and guesswork when it comes to outdoor adventure.
1. Eagle-Vail Trail
Located in, you guessed it, Eagle-Vail, this trail is moderate. It's a forested area with climbs and beautiful Aspen trees. Dogs and mountain bikers are welcome.
The trailhead is found at the top of Eagle Drive. The trail meanders around Eagle-Vail Golf Course, but there is no parking at the course. Keep that in mind! Stay on the hiking trail and off the course.
Photo: Eagle-Vail Trail, Caitlin Row Stoner
2. Meadow Mountain
Meadow Mountain is a beautiful out-and-back hike located near Minturn. It's clocked at almost 10 miles on AllTrails. Rolling hills, wildflowers and tall grasses make it a picturesque hike not to be missed. It's listed as moderate, though I think it's on the easy end of moderate. It used to be a ski area, and back-country skiers frequent the area in winter.
The trailhead is located by the ranger station at 24747 U.S. Highway 24 in Minturn (well before you get into downtown).
Photo: Meadow Mountain, Caitlin Row Stoner
3. Booth Falls
Booth Falls Trail is located in Vail (take the East Vail, actually, to get there). This moderate, out-and-back trail is nearly 5 miles and ends at a waterfall. Dogs on leash are welcome. I hiked this beautiful trail last summer and noticed a variety of plants, including wild raspberries. According to AllTrails, Booth Falls is best accessed March through October. There are steep sections.
Click here to read an article by The Denver Channel to learn more. I thought this was a good description of the full Booth Falls' hiking experience, including driving directions. It wasn't the easiest trailhead to find, and there are not a lot of parking spaces.
Photo: Booth Falls Trail, Caitlin Row Stoner
4. Berry Creek
Berry Creek Trail in Edwards is a nearly 7-mile loop/access road perfect for hikers and mountain-bikers alike.
It's accessed near Interstate 70. Take the Edwards exit and head up Beard Creek Road. The trailhead is located at the intersection of Beard Creek and Moonridge Drive.
The trail is wide, dries out early and is dog-friendly. There is a marsh/creek on the right of the main trail. There is a lot of wildlife.