Bighorn Creek (4 miles/ vertical minimal)
Bighorn Creek Trail is the least taxing trail near Vail—except at the onset. Incorporating some eighty wildflower species along its first two miles, this is a good maintained zone starter trail for Vail hikers. With the exception of the initial sharp half-mile ascent, the trail eases up a long scenic valley, alternating between shade and sun. Quaking aspen trees dominate the route and in autumn, a hike under the aspen would be like a journey down the aisle of a natural cathedral streaming with golden, ambient light. A gorgeous, must do hike in fall.
To get here from Keystone: Take Highway 6 towards Dillon and hop onto I-70 going west towards Vail. Exit I-70 at the easternmost exit (180) and take an immediate left onto Big Horn Road to go under I-70. Follow Big Horn Road back east for less than a mile to Columbine Drive. Take a left on Columbine Drive and go back under I-70 and up the hill a couple hundred yards. You’ll find a small parking lot on the left side of the street and you’re all set to go.
Booth Falls (3.8 miles/ vertical 1800 ft.)
Another must-do hike in Summit County. Booth Falls is more arduous than some of the others, but well worth the journey. The trail is littered with wildflowers and grand scenery, with the falls as the grand finale. For those so inclined, an additional four miles beyond Booth Falls continue up to Booth Lake. The first part of the trail rises steeply before easing through flowery areas and then continues ascending, most sharply as it nears Booth Falls itself. Once again, a must do hike in Summit County.
How to get here from Keystone: Take Highway 6 back towards Dillon and hop onto I-70. Then take the East Vail exit (Exit 180). Head west 0.85 miles to the Booth Falls Road. Turn right and follow this road for 0.2 miles to the trailhead parking area.