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The Best Backpacking in Vail

Looking for the best backpacking in Vail? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Vail. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near Vail

  • Vail, Colorado

    Hike the Upper Piney River Trail

    4.0
    5.6 mi / 350 ft gain
    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 play experience for kids.Coordinates for the trail...
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  • Vail, Colorado

    Backpack to Bubble Lake

    13 mi / 3600 ft gain
    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 had the pleasure of taking into the Gore Range has...
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  • Minturn, Colorado

    Two Elk National Recreation Trail

    18.85 mi / 4760 ft gain
    Two Elk National Recreation Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a river located near Minturn, Colorado.
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  • Bond, Colorado

    Mount Powell from Piney Lake

    10.03 mi / 4124 ft gain
    Mount Powell from Piney Lake is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a river located near Vail, Colorado.
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  • Bond, Colorado

    Knee Knocker Saddle via Upper Piney River Trail and Mount Powell Summit Trail

    9.28 mi / 2999 ft gain
    Knee Knocker Saddle via Upper Piney River Trail and Mount Powell Summit Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Alma, Colorado.
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  • Minturn, Colorado

    Cross Creek Trail

    25.82 mi / 3924 ft gain
    Cross Creek Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Minturn, Colorado.
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  • Minturn, Colorado

    Notch Mountain

    9.57 mi / 2772 ft gain
    Notch Mountain is an out-and-back trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Red Cliff, Colorado.
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  • Minturn, Colorado

    Mount of the Holy Cross Trail

    10.45 mi / 5335 ft gain
    Mount of the Holy Cross Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Red Cliff, Colorado.
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  • Minturn, Colorado

    Scramble the Halo Ridge on Mt. Holy Cross

    5.0
    15 mi / 5210 ft gain
    The Halo Ridge is by no means the easiest route to the summit of Mt. Holy Cross, but it is definitely the most interesting and scenic. You'll begin at the Half Moon (Tigiwon) trailhead, but instead of the popular Halfmoon Trail, you will start on the Fall Creek Trail as it leaves the campground.T...
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  • Minturn, Colorado

    Fall Creek Pass Trail

    16.62 mi / 4032 ft gain
    Fall Creek Pass Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Minturn, Colorado.
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  • Silverthorne, Colorado

    Backpack to Upper Slate Lake

    5.0
    28 mi / 1386 ft gain
    Starting from the Rock Creek Trailhead parking lot, it is an up and down trek to Upper Slate Lake. The trail map states 10 miles each way, but accounting for switchbacks it ends up being closer to 14 long, hard miles.You will be among aspens and pines for the first half as you have a few moderate...
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  • Silverthorne, Colorado

    Upper Slate Lake Via Rock Creek Trailhead

    21.49 mi / 4396 ft gain
    Upper Slate Lake via Rock Creek Trailhead is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Silverthorne, Colorado.
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  • Edwards, Colorado

    Holy Cross Wilderness - Eagle Ranger District Wilderness Area Trail

    13.39 mi / 2385 ft gain
    Holy Cross Wilderness - Eagle Ranger District Wilderness Area Trail is a point-to-point trail that provides a good opportunity to view wildlife located near Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
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  • Red Cliff, Colorado

    Ski to Fowler-Hilliard Hut

    6.5 mi / 2500 ft gain
    Fowler-Hilliard hut sits at 11,500 ft on a forested ridge of Resolution Mountain, with easy access to intermediate and expert backcountry skiing right out the door. This newer hut was built in 2010 after the original hut burned down from a lightning strike. The hut comes stocked with padded mattr...
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  • Red Cliff, Colorado

    Fowler-Hilliard via Pando Trailhead

    9.64 mi / 2848 ft gain
    Fowler-Hilliard via Pando Trailhead is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a river located near Minturn, Colorado.
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  • Silverthorne, Colorado

    Upper Cataract Lake Trail

    10.19 mi / 2533 ft gain
    Upper Cataract Lake Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Silverthorne, Colorado.
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