Eagles Nest Wilderness

Eagles Nest Wilderness is a 135,114-acre wilderness area in Eagle and Summit counties in White River National Forest.  The wilderness was established by Congress in 1976 to protect this area of the Gore Range.  Melting snow on the Gore Range creates rushing creeks and powerful waterfalls as it tumbles down, eventually joining the Colorado River.  With more than 180 miles of trails, Eagles Nest Wilderness is a great place for hiking and backpacking accessible from Vail, Silverthorne, and Frisco.


Map:

Trails:

Booth Creek Trail (#2011):

Booth Creek Trail is a 4.1-mile trail that follows its namesake to Booth Lake.  The trailhead is at the end of Booth Falls Road in East Vail.  The trail switchbacks up from the parking lot and enters the wilderness, following Booth Creek upstream.  Although the trail never gets far from the creek, most of the time the trail is high above.  In about 2 miles, the trail passes Booth Creek Falls.  It's not possible to get down to the base of the waterfall, but there is a scramble path to get down to the creek near the top.  The trail continues about another 2 miles to Booth Lake but I didn't go much past the waterfall.

Waterfalls:

Booth Creek Falls:

Booth Creek Falls is a 60-foot waterfall that can be accessed from Booth Creek Trail (#2011) near Vail.  The waterfall is about 2 miles from the trailhead.  I don't think it's possible to get down to the base, but there are some rocks you can climb out onto carefully for a good view.


A scramble path leads down from the trail to the top of the waterfall.  There are some nice cascades just upstream of the falls.


Wildlife:

Yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) are a large species of rodent that lives at high elevations.  They are excellent rock climbers.


Colorado blue columbine (Aquilegia coerulea) is the state flower of Colorado.


Prairie bluebells (Mertensia lanceolata)


Featherleaf fleabane (Erigeron pinnatisectus)


Barbey's larkspur (Delphinium barbeyi)


Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) produces edible berries similar to raspberries.


Richardson's geranium (Geranium richardsonii)


Woods' rose (Rosa woodsii)

Blog Entries:

30-Jun-2018: Booth Creek Falls