Sustainable Vail: Bus It To Hike it in East Vail this fall |

Sustainable Vail: Bus It To Hike it in East Vail this fall

Amanda Zinn
Sustainable Vail
New snow coats the Gore Range Saturday with glowing aspens as fall foliage peaks in Vail.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

Many locals claim that fall is their favorite time of year with warm days and cool nights. It’s an amazing season to hike — the surrounding aspen trees turn a brilliant gold, the air is crisp, and you experience moments of solitude and glimpses of wildlife. When planning to hike one of the five East Vail trails, which take hikers into the Eagles Nest Wilderness, locals and visitors are encouraged to Bus It To Hike It when tackling these picturesque high-country routes.

The town of Vail initiated the Bus It To Hike It program in the summer of 2021. As a reminder, the Booth Lake trailhead parking lot is closed for the summer and fall season. Due to limited trailhead parking, the town encourages hikers to take the free bus to access all the East Vail trails.   

Bus It To Hike It

The town’s free bus service offers its residents and guests timely service to and from the East Vail trails. The Vail Transportation Center is located on the top deck of the Vail Village Parking Structure. It is easy and convenient to park and ride. No dogs are allowed on buses.  

Drop-Off, Pick-Up

Hikers also are encouraged to arrange for someone to drop them off and pick them up at the trailheads. The Booth Lake trailhead parking lot is open for private vehicle drop-off and pick-up only. There is no hiker parking available at Booth Creek Park, the surrounding neighborhood, or Vail Mountain School. Violators will be towed.

Stop by the Welcome Center

Plan your hiking adventure and activities with the helpful and friendly staff.  Pick up your Vail Hiking Guide Map on your way to catch the bus. The Welcone Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Leave No Trace

Help us protect Vail by following the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace.

Plan Ahead and Prepare: Start early! Make sure you have your hiking essentials and check the weather.   

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Stick to the trail and designated areas.

Dispose of Waste Properly: Pack in, pack out, be a good steward and pick up trash along the way.

Leave What You Find: Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you find them.

Minimize Campfire Impacts: Keep your campfire safe and small. If it’s cool enough to touch, it’s cool enough to leave.

Respect Wildlife: Control pets always and observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed animals.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Be courteous and yield to other users on the trail.

Plan for Your PetL Dogs must be leashed at all times in the Eagles Nest Wilderness, this includes the five East Vail trails. Bone up on dog trail etiquette and please remember that dogs are not allowed on the buses. Consider hiking another trail besides the Booth Lake trail when with your four-legged friend.

For more information and tips for hiking in Vail this fall, visit or

The Discover Vail monthly sustainability column is a project of the Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Council, which is responsible for marketing the destination during the non-winter months.

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