Booth Lake, Booth Lake Trailhead, Summit County - Eagle County - Clear Creek County, Colorado
Booth Lake - 8.7 miles
Booth Lake Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||8.7 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||8,422' - 11,434' (11,464' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+3,012' net elevation gain (+3,478' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Booth Lake - 8.7 Miles Round-Trip
Booth Lake is located 4.35 miles from Booth Lake Trailhead on I-70 in Vail. It fills a slender basin at the head of a steep walled valley in the Eagles Nest Wilderness. The Booth Creek Trail climbs 1300' in 1.9 miles through aspen and berry-lined slopes to Booth Falls, then steepens across treeline and long alpine meadows en route to the lake:
The trail winds north through grassy hillsides to the Eagles Nest Wilderness Boundary, and gradually straightens up a widening valley framed by towering, red-hued walls.
Grades moderate from 1.0 - 1.5 miles through a colorful mix of aspen, leafy ground cover and berries. The trail grows rugged leading up to Booth Falls (1.9 miles : 9,720'), which drops 60' in several stages (visible and accessible from numerous spurs off the main trail).
The trail continues steeply over the falls where aspen give way to a thick spruce forest.
It drops and levels briefly along Booth Creek, a useful reprieve before another strenuous push breaks treeline (2.5 miles : 10,165') and crests at the foot of a long, narrow valley (2.85 miles : 10,490').
The valley floor and slopes above are thinly wooded, a good place to find wildlife and clear camping terrain. The valley bends northwest on a mild grade beneath craggy, talus strewn walls. Behind you are emerging views of the Holy Cross range and portions of the Vail ski area.
The trail moves quickly up-valley through open meadow and thin bands of spruce to the base of a final, steep climb (3.95 miles : 11,120').
The trail twists quickly and unevenly through large rock slabs and boulders to a crest, where it drops to the grassy east shore of Booth Lake (4.35 miles : 11,434').
Booth Lake is deceptively long with a small island in its center. The lake is easy to explore, as are the open slopes above. A low ridge on the south shore has a particularly good view across the basin, and back down valley on the route you took to reach it.
- N39 39.052 W106 19.265 — 0.0 miles : Booth Lake Trailhead
- N39 39.333 W106 19.119 — .5 miles: Steady rise through aspen and open fields
- N39 39.643 W106 18.778 — 1.0 miles : Moderate grade through widening valley
- N39 40.040 W106 18.757 — 1.5 miles : Grade steepens in thicker forest to falls
- N39 40.364 W106 18.679 — 1.9 miles : Booth Falls
- N39 40.418 W106 18.699 — 2.0 miles : Trail grows rugged and steep above falls
- N39 40.846 W106 18.464 — 2.5 miles : Break in timber during steep climb
- N39 41.118 W106 18.178 — 3.0 miles : Moderate travel up narrow, open valley
- N39 41.420 W106 17.946 — 3.5 miles : Continue moderate travel up valley
- N39 41.791 W106 18.068 — 4.0 miles : Steep, twisting approach to Booth Lake
- N39 41.963 W106 18.347 — 4.35 miles : Booth Lake
- The majority of the Booth Creek Trail is exposed to sun. Hats, sunglasses, lotion and layers are highly recommended.
- Sunny, well drained areas on the lower trail produce magnificent wildflowers and a bumper crop of late summer berries. Look for deer and bear along the creek between the trailhead and Booth Falls.
- Abundant aspen and leafy trailside vegetation produce brilliant autumn colors, arguably one of the best displays in the Vail area.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Dispersed backcountry camping is permitted in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. Camping is prohibited within 100' of any lake or stream. Group size is limited to 15 individuals.
- Campfires are permitted for dispersed camping in the backcountry, with potential seasonal restrictions. Campfires are not permitted above or within .25 miles (440 yards) of treeline, or within 100' of any lake or stream in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area.
- Contact the Holy Cross Ranger District (970.827.5715) for the latest on weather, trail conditions and trail-specific usage guidelines when planning your trip. The office is open M - F from 8am - 4pm.
- There are several developed campgrounds within the White River National Forest. Contact the Holy Cross Ranger District for information on these sites.
- Gore Creek Campground - Facilities and Campground Information:
- The Gore Creek Campground is located 2.5 miles east of Exit 180 from I-70 on Bighorn Road. It's located just past the Gore Creek Trailhead and holds 25 campsites with picnic tables and fire grates. A vault toilet is available. Campsite parking spurs are 30-40' long, but no electric hook-ups, running water or dump stations are available. Sites are first come, first served. There is a $16 fee, and 10 day occupancy limit.
- Fishing is permitted along Booth Creek and at Booth Lake with a valid Colorado fishing license.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs are permitted on the Booth Creek Trail and within the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than 6'.
- Horses are permitted on the Booth Creek Trail.
- Bikes are not permitted on the Booth Lake Trail.
Directions to Trailhead
Booth Lake is located within the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area and Holy Cross Ranger District of the White River National Forest. The Booth Lake Trailhead is located 1.2 miles from Exit #180 of I-70 on Booth Falls Road.
From westbound I-70, exit #180 and turn left (west) on the north frontage road. Travel 1 mile to Booth Falls Road and turn right (north). The Booth Lake Trailhead and parking area are located .2 miles up Booth Falls Road.
Holy Cross Ranger District
24747 US Highway 24
Minturn, CO 81645
White River National Forest
900 Grand Ave.
P.O. Box 948
Glenwood Springs CO 81602