The Upper Piney trail begins at Piney Lake at the end of the Red Sandstone Road #700 and ends at the Piney River falls: The trail starts at picturesque Piney Lake and is very gentle as it climbs through open meadow before entering forest and reaching a cascading waterfall at about 3 miles, which makes a good easy destination for the average hiker. There is no maintained trail above the falls.
* There is a printable Recreation Quicksheet for this trail which is complete with directions, a map, details, and other information about this trail. Or to see quicksheets for other recreation areas across the Forest, click on the "Recreation Quicksheets" link in the right column and select the appropriate Ranger District.
Directions: From I-70, take Exit 176 for Vail. Take the North Frontage Road west to Red Sandstone Road. Turn north here and follow the paved road about 0.7 miles to a fork with a dirt road on the left. There should be a Forest Service sign indicating this is Red Sandstone Road #700 (Reset your odometer here). Continue up this road about 2.7 miles to an intersection with the Lost Lake Road (#786) and continue left. At mile 6.5 you will pass Red and White Mtn Road-FSR 734. At mile 6.7 you will pass the Lost Lake Trail parking lot on the right and then reach an intersection where the Muddy Pass/Moniger Road goes left. Stay right here. (Some maps show the Red Sandstone Road changing number from FSR 700 to FSR 701 at this point, and some don’t, but regardless, you stay right to get to Piney Lake and the Upper Piney River Trail). At mile 9.1, you will cross the Piney River and see a trailhead for Lower Piney River Trail - FDT 1885 on the left. Stay right and reach a Forest Service parking lot on the right at mile 10.65 before the entrance to Piney River Ranch (private property). The trailhead is on the north side (left side of the parking lot as one faces the Piney River Ranch entrance) of the parking lot. If visiting the ranch, you can drive further to their parking lot.