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Deluge Lake

  4.8 ( 9 ) Favorite


9.2 mile 14.8 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 3,390' 1,033 m
Descent: -3,391' -1,034 m
High: 11,755' 3,583 m
Low: 8,744' 2,665 m


Avg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)


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Trail shared by Nick Wilder

A steep climb through aspens and fir leads to an alpine lake.

Nick Wilder

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


There are five valley hikes on the north side of the Vail valley (Booth Creek, Pitkin Creek Trail, Bighorn Creek, this one, and finally Gore Creek Trail). Of the three that end at a lake, this is one of the more difficult as it climbs up quite steeply for the first two miles, is quite rocky, and does not spend as much time along the creek. As a result, this one is a little less popular. As the photos show though, there's some spectacular scenery and this is well worth your time.

Need to Know

If you would like more information about parking, transportation or popularity of this trail, check out Hike Vail.


From the parking area, start up a short steep section and then quickly hit a fork in the trail. Right is the Gore Creek Trail and left is this one. Continuing left, you'll start heading downhill and what feels like far too much to the west. Press on and you the trail will switch back up the drainage and start a relentless climb.

The next mile climbs through aspens (great when changing color in September) before moving to more fir and pine trees at around mile 2.5. You'll cross a few talus slopes and get a few views of the Gore Creek valley.

After 2.5 miles, the very steep climb abates and you actually descend slightly through a series of beautiful meadows filled with streams and wildflowers when blooming in July and August. You might spot wildlife here too.

At 4 miles, you'll meet Deluge Creek at another great meadow. Cross the creek for a short distance (or stay on the left side, which rejoins soon enough). One final climb gets you to Deluge Lake right at treeline. Enjoy the view, cruise around the lake if you want, then head back the way you came.

Flora & Fauna

Aspen, lodgepole pine, fir, marmot, deer, are all common. The wildflowers are quite good in July and August.

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Aug 16, 2019
maggie Mayfield
Backpacking with the. boys
Oct 6, 2018
Paula Samaha
Sep 23, 2018
Alan Derk
Sep 20, 2018
Laura Mortensen
Jul 1, 2018
Melissa Baumann
Jan 5, 2018
Jacek Czyz
hike down after descent from Snow Peak.
Jul 9, 2017
Stephanie Petersen
Jun 3, 2017
Andy Loseman
Very cool, went off the trail 4.5mi

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 9 votes


in Vail


  4.8 from 9 votes
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