Vail to pilot a hiker shuttle in East Vail this summer and fall
The town will also begin restricting parking at Booth Lake trailhead starting May 22
In an effort to encourage bus usage and reduce traffic around popular eastern trails, the town of Vail is piloting a shuttle to the East Vail trailheads this summer and fall.
Trail users are encouraged to “Bus It to Hike It” by taking the East Vail bus or opting for the new Hiker Express shuttle. The service will run daily from June 2 through Sept. 3, with weekend service on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays running from Sept. 8 through Oct. 8.
The shuttle offers an express alternative to the town’s regular East Vail bus route, with 30-minute direct service from the Vail Transportation Center to bus stops near the East Vail Trailheads.
This shuttle is a part of the Town of Vail and White River National Forest’s joint efforts to address crowding on the trail and associated neighborhood impacts such as speeding, illegal parking and trash. Other initiatives include HikeVail.net, which details hikes within the town as well as trail host volunteers from the Vail Welcome Centers and the Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance. These volunteers have a presence at trails during busy days to answer questions, assist with Leave No Trace education and remind trail users about the importance of keeping dogs leashed.
Additionally, in an effort to reduce crowding at the Booth Lake trailhead in East Vail, the parking lot will be closed beginning May 22 for unattended parking through the fall. There is no parking in the surrounding neighborhood or Booth Creek Park. In addition, the Vail Mountain School lot is closed in cooperation with the town of Vail. Violators will be towed.
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Hiker drop-off and pick-up by private vehicles at the trailhead parking lot is allowed. New this year, there are also permanent restroom facilities are now open at the trailhead.
Hikers with dogs are encouraged to find an alternative hike to the Booth Lake Trail as only service dogs are allowed on town buses. Backpackers can make use of overnight parking at the Vail Village, Lionshead or Red Sandstone parking garages. Overnight paid parking begins at 6 a.m. on May 26.
For more parking information and rates visit VailGov.com/Parking. For additional details, visit the Vail Welcome Centers or 970-477-3522.