Parking reopens for trails in East Vail
Trailhead parking for Booth Lake has reopened following a summer pilot program that was used to address neighborhood safety concerns and overcrowding of the East Vail trails leading to the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area.
Parking at the Booth Lake trailhead has been closed since June 2 as part of the initiative developed through a partnership facilitated by the U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center involving town of Vail, U.S. Forest Service, Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance, Walking Mountains Science Center, Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance, Vail Mountain School and Vail Resorts.
In addition to changes at the Booth Lake trailhead, improvements had been initiated by the Forest Service at the Gore-Deluge trailhead in which designated parking spaces and delineated no-parking areas were created to address conflicts between vehicles and bicyclists on Vail Pass. Efforts were also made to promote trail stewardship and Leave No Trace principles through in-person contacts by trail hosts, ambassadors and rangers.
Parking violations in the Booth Falls neighborhood will continue to be strictly enforced by the police department. Those violations carry higher penalties than elsewhere in town.
Recommended trailhead access is available through the Bus it to Hike it program, which provides free Vail Transit service to East Vail every 30 minutes from the Vail Transportation Center.
While the East Vail trails have been popular outings during the fall foliage season, other recommended hikes can be found at HikeVail.net.
A recap of the summer pilot program activities, including trail counts, in-person contacts and parking enforcement, will be presented to the Vail Town Council at a future meeting, along with recommended programming for the summer 2022 hiking season and additional long-term recommendations.
For more information, email Vail Police Commander Ryan Kenney at email@example.com.