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Bighorn Creek Trail Hike

Eagles Nest Wilderness

Gore + Mosquito Range, Colorado

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Bighorn Creek Trail Hike

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  • Coniferous forest opens up to high alpine meadows near the trail's end.- Bighorn Creek Trail Hike
  • The walls of East Vail are visible early on in the hike.- Bighorn Creek Trail Hike
  • Vail's iconic Grand Traverse is a welcome sight as hikers approach the old homestead.- Bighorn Creek Trail Hike
  • Vail Mountain and Mount of the Holy Cross are visible to the south.- Bighorn Creek Trail Hike
  • An old shelter presents itself at the end of the trail.- Bighorn Creek Trail Hike
  • - Bighorn Creek Trail Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Geological significance. Easily accessible from Vail.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Gore + Mosquito Range, CO
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,073.00 ft (631.85 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
7.60 mi (12.23 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
8,572.00 ft (2,612.75 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Bighorn Creek Trail is an East Vail gem that gets hikers up close and personal with Vail’s iconic Grand Traverse. Following an old mining route along the Bighorn Creek drainage to an early homestead, this there and back day hike is a nice break from the buzz of nearby Vail Village.

The first section of trail steeply ascends into the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness before mellowing out and meandering through pristine aspen glades. Bighorn Creek is generally out of site, but can be heard rumbling below the trail, and it makes a brief appearance for those brave enough to get their feet wet in the icy mountain run off.

Offering breathtaking panoramas of East Vail, Vail Mountain, and Mount of the Holy Cross to the South, Bighorn Creek Trail is the only East Vail trail that also offers a comprehensive view of the Grand Traverse. Visible from Vail Village, the traverse is a continuous stretch of 12,000 and 13,000 foot peaks that make up an iconic part of the Gore Range.

After a brief section of steeper switchbacks, the trail continues through stands of pine before ending at an old homestead buttressed by the Grand Traverse in a high alpine meadow.

Join the effort to protect these places

Conservation Colorado has worked with communities around the state for over 50 years in pursuit of its mission - to protect Colorado’s environment and quality of life by mobilizing people and electing conservation-minded policymakers. It fights to protect the air, land, water, and people of Colorado. Their collaborative approach and focus on electing pro-conservation officials has yielded successes in addressing climate change, supporting clean energy development, conserving water resources, and protecting our public wildlands and rivers.

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(17 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(58 within a 30 mile radius)

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