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blueBlack Pitkin Creek Trail

  4.2 ( 9 ) Favorite

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Trail

9.2 mile 14.8 kilometer loop
Singletrack
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,828' 862 m
Descent: -2,827' -862 m
High: 11,317' 3,449 m
Low: 8,489' 2,587 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 33% (18°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Nick Wilder

Alpine meadows lead to Pitkin Lake nestled in the craggy Gore Range.

Nick Wilder

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overview

The north side of the Vail valley is blessed with several steep but rewarding trails leading all they way from the valley to the high alpine. This one is a little longer than it's neighbors, perhaps a little less steep, and just as spectacular. It is less crowded than Booth Creek, and a good option if you want a little more solitude.

Description

The first half mile of trail is the steepest - don't get discouraged right off the bat. It starts in a dense aspen grove; a great place to enjoy the colors if you do it in the fall. Over the next couple miles, you'll pass through grassy meadows, stands of lodgepole pine (many are dead from the pine bark beetle epidemic), and get close to the creek a few times.

At about 2.5 miles - halfway to the top - you'll get a good view of Pitkin Falls. Enjoy the view and get ready for several more bench sections that have alternating steep climbs and then beautiful meadows that will be filled with wildflowers in July and August.

Break out of treeline just as you reach Pitkin Lake at 11,360'.

Your return journey will be equally as spectacular, as you'll have views all they way down the narrow drainage that you've ascended, and beyond.

Flora & Fauna

The fishing is reputed to be quite good here.

History & Background

If you look carefully, you'll see the remnants of several glacier moraines that result from the retreat of glaciers that sculpted this valley long ago.

Contacts

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Check-Ins

Jul 13, 2018
Melissa Baumann
Gorgeous hike!! Didn't see anyone until the descent. 10.3mi
Jun 29, 2018
Mike D
Jun 23, 2018
Michael Johnson
9.2mi
Oct 30, 2017
Jeru Kidder
Snowy at top in October, but good hike. 9.2mi
Jul 16, 2016
Molly Bluemle
4h 30m
Apr 23, 2015
Olya Labuza
Aug 24, 2013
Mike J
The trail that got me hooked on hiking. Love this trail.

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 9 votes

#6

in Vail

#1889

Overall
  4.2 from 9 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
22%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#6

in Vail

#276

in Colorado

#1,889

Overall
172 Views Last Month
4,912 Since May 4, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
11%
22%
44%
22%
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