Vail Bighorn Creek Trail to see new 3-hour time limit on parking |

Vail Bighorn Creek Trail to see new 3-hour time limit on parking

East Vail bus will move to 6 a.m. start on Tuesday

A new sign at Vail’s Bighorn Creek trailhead indicates that vehicles will only be allowed three hours in the lot, and will not be allowed to park overnight.
John LaConte/

Hikers who are hoping to get a long day on the Bighorn Creek Trail, which leads to Vail’s storied Grand Traverse scramble across the Gore Range, will be encouraged to use the bus this year.

New three-hour time limit signs are now on display at the Bighorn Creek trailhead parking lot, one of several changes the town of Vail will enact this year in an effort to reduce overnight parking in the area. The Pitkin Creek trail will also see three-hour time limits this year.

Hikers planning on going for long hikes are encouraged to park in the town of Vail and use the town’s free East Vail bus to access the trailhead.

Early birds won’t be ticketed

For hikers hoping to get an earlier start than the bus allows (currently, the East Vail bus leaves the station at 7 a.m.), Vail Town Manager Scott Robson said he doesn’t expect enforcement to be stringent over Memorial Day weekend.

“The intent is just to keep parking turnover fairly frequent,” Robson said.

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The East Vail bus will begin at 6 a.m. starting Tuesday.

Free overnight parking in town

For those intending to use the Bighorn Trail to camp overnight — a popular option for those seeking to complete the Grand Traverse — the Red Sandstone parking structure is recommended. Free overnight parking is available for up to 72 hours in the Red Sandstone Parking structure, located at 551 N. Frontage Road in Vail.

The Bighorn trailhead will not allow parking between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and the Vail parking structure will charge $35 for overnight vehicles.

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