Take Lake Creek Road out of Edwards. When the road splits take the right fork, West Lake Creek Road, following the signs to the East and West Lake Creek Trailheads. Proceed past the hairpin turn that also serves as the trailhead for the West Lake Creek trail and park in the small parking lot on the left side of the road.
What to Expect:
The East Lake Creek trail is travels deep into the heart of the Holy Cross Wilderness. In its entirety, the trail takes you 12 miles up the E. Lake Creek valley to Upper Camp Lake. However, a great half day option is to hike just under 3 miles to where the trail meets the creek, for a 6 mile round trip hike.
The first 2 miles of the trail are different from most trails in the Vail area, in that it is more rolling in nature. However, don’t let this deceptively challenging trail fool you! The short climbs add up, and you have just as much elevation to gain on the return trip. The first climb out of the parking area pass through one of the larger aspen clones in the valley! The trail passes a junction with the dead dog trail and climbs and descends through a few small drainages—passing through stands of spruce, fir, and pine. After about 1.5 miles the trail begins a steep descent into the E. Lake Creek. Just past the wilderness boundary, the forest opens up and you will find a beautiful meadow with a large boulder, and views up the valley. This makes a nice destination, or continue another quarter mile to the bridge over the creek.
Walking Mountains Hiking Programs:
Join the Walking Mountains Hiking Club for a full day hike on Tuesdays or Thursdays ($80 for the day, $500 for the season), or come along for one of our free community hikes! Our free community hikes this week are an adopt-a-trail work day on Friday July 10 and Monday July 13 for an alpine wildflowers hike on Shrine Ridge.