Walking Mountains Science Center and the Vail Recreation District are thrilled to announce the summer hiking schedule with added trails, more peaks, and even more fun and learning on our public lands! The Backcountry Hiking program, centered out of the Vail Nature Center, runs from the beginning of June through the end of October, catching the summer wildflower blooms as well as peak fall color season! Full-day hikes (6-8+ hours, 7-15+ miles) take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and cost a mere $80.00 or $75.00 for VRD homeowners.
Back again this summer are the popular family hikes every Thursday and Saturday through the fall! Individuals or families with children ages 8+ are invited to join a naturalist on these shorter, yet equally beautiful and impressive treks on our local trails. Family hikes cost $30.00, $25.00 for VRD homeowners, per person, and return to the Vail area by early afternoon.
Walking Mountains’ guides are headed back up Mt. Elbert and Mt. of the Holy Cross this season, but don’t worry if 14ers aren’t your thing! Back on the San Isabel National Forest out of Leadville, hikers will led along sections of the 500+ mile long Colorado Trail hopefully meeting a few fearless through hikes en route from Durango to Denver.
Hikers will also be taken to some of the local hotspots in the Eagle Valley on the White River National Forest including the Missouri Lakes and Fancy Pass Loop and Mystic Island Lake. New trails for new vantage points and views this season include the short and steep Nolan Lake Trail or the Ironedge trail, providing a different view of the local favorite Lake Charles.
You can also join the Backcountry Hiking program club! Hiking Club members receive unlimited access to all hikes, all summer long, and extra benefits like Colorado Search and Rescue Membership cards and discounted access to other Walking Mountains’ programs. More information on club membership is available online. There are only a few spots remaining for this unlimited hiking opportunity!
Whether you are looking to make new friends, get off the beaten path, or learn from the local ecology and gorgeous natural environment, the trails around Eagle County and the guides with Walking Mountains and the Vail Recreation District will ensure the experience is one you’ll never forget. Hikes are guided by Certified Interpretive Guides, Wilderness First Responders, and outdoor enthusiasts that have been experiencing the valley underfoot for years.
As a famous outdoorsman and inspiration to many nature nerds once said, “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt!” We’ll see you on the trail!