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Pitkin Trail #2012


The Pitkin Trail begins in East Vail and ends at Pitkin Lake: The first mile of the trail is strenuous as it climbs steeply out of the Vail Valley. The grade levels out somewhat as the trail passes through mature aspen groves and spruce-fir forests and a series of moraines from an ancient glacial retreat. After about 2.5 miles, steep switchbacks reveal the first of two waterfalls on Pitkin Creek about 200 yards to the east. After a number of false summits, the trail reaches Pitkin Lake, nestled beneath an arc of gray granite in the alpine tundra.

* 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.

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Restrictions: See Eagles Nest Wilderness Regulations
Closest Towns: Vail

General Information

Directions: Travel east from Vail on I-70 to Exit 180 for East Vail. Exit here, turn left, and pass under the interstate. Turn right onto the north frontage road and continue to the trailhead on the left side of the road before the Pitkin Creek Townhomes.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Day Hiking

Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
5.1 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
8520 - 11400