Both Summit and Eagle County are home to some incredible hiking trails in the summer and spring months. While they are beautiful hikes in the warmer months with lush green aspens and pines, these trails truly come to life in the fall. With the autumn air slowly creeping in and temperatures dropping, the leaves will start to change and the trails will really come alive! Below you will find 10 of the Peak 1 Express team’s favorite fall hikes in Summit and Eagle County.
Salt Lick Trail
Located in Wildernest, this 4 mile hike allows for enjoyable scenery at every turn. With the aspens changing colors you can expect a golden carpet of aspen leaves to cover the trail. Passing by beaver ponds and open meadows this is an easy trail for beginners.
Offering great views of the Gore Range, Buffalo Mt., Red Peak, Willow Peak, Red Buffalo Pass to the west and views of the Ten Mile Range in Breckenridge, Peak One, Ten Mile Canyon and Lake Dillon to the southwest, the Ptarmigan Trial offers a picturesque panoramic view of Summit County. If you are in Summit Co. in the fall this is a “must do” hike for the whole family to enjoy. While this is a beautiful, invigorating walk in any season, the golden aspen make this a spectacular fall adventure.
Off of the Surprise Lake trailhead, the Eaglesmere Lakes trail totals 6.8 miles roundtrip. While hiking for the first mile or so, you will hear the sound of Cataract Falls as they plunge into Lower Cataract lake, a very soothing sound when hiking in the fall.
This 6.5 mile trail located past Keystone, is an invigorating adventure and fall is a great time to explore, as the splendor of the Aspens in the lower section of the trail will demonstrate.
Elliot Ridge Trail
Located in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area, this trail travels up the spine of the Gore Range and offers expansive views of the Ptarmigan Wilderness Area. During autumn, aspens spill fall colors across he neighboring peaks and gullies, offering spectacular views, even once you hike past tree line.
Upper Piney Trail
Beginning at Piney Lake, the trail starts at picturesque Piney Lake and is very gentle as it climbs through open meadow before entering the forest and reaching a waterfall. Passing through several Aspen Groves, the trail we be brightened with the changing leaves as you travel the 3 miles up the scenic trail.
Pitkin Lake Trail
Pitkin Lake is located 4.45 miles north of Vail in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. It fills a large cirque just above treeline at the head of a broad, glaciated valley. Visitors will enjoy varied scenery along several staged climbs into the upper valley, where the landscape opens to rolling alpine meadows on the approach to Pitkin Lake.
Deluge Lake Tail
The Deluge Lake Trail is highlighted by aspen, expansive alpine meadows, and open tundra. You will enjoy varied terrain, spectacular scenery, and well-earned solitude at Deluge Lake.
Booth Falls Trail
Booth Falls this is another good Colorado fall hike. The waterfall at the end isn’t flowing as hard this time of year, but the golden aspens definitely make this strenuous hike worth it.
East Lake Trail
As many Colorado fall hikes do, this trail starts uphill and goes through an aspen forest. In fact, you’ll be hiking through an aspen forest for most of this hike. You will also see lodgepole pines along the way and see some spectacular wildlife! This easy 3.4 mile round trip hike is great for families!
Eagle and Summit County are home to some great hiking trails, featuring glorious aspen trees and stunning mountain backdrops. The trails mentioned above are great for any level of hiking and are definitely worth it!