Pitkin lake trail in East Vail, Colorado is similiar to the popular Booth lake trail in that the final destination is a scenic mountain lake. It is about 5 miles one way and can take anywhere from 5-8 hours round trip with most people taking around 6 hours. The highest point along the pitkin trail is 11,400, which is higher than the top of Vail mountain. Total elevation gain is 3,000 vertical feet (thank you very much). It is quite steep at the beginning, so be ready. In addition, it can be deceiving for your arrival to the lake. Everytime you think you are there, you have more trail to hike and another hill to climb. The trailhead for the pitkin hiking trail is off of interstate 70, exit 180. Once you get off at exit 180 go north and take a right on the small road that heads east towards some townhomes. Trail head parking is along the street and the trailhead is on the north by the creek. It is a simple 10 minute drive from the Antlers at Vail hotel.
View Pitkin Creek Trail in a larger map
Have fun on the trail !
I just backpacked to Pitkin Lake on Saturday. It’s a gorgeous destination, and totally worth the effort, but be prepared–it’s a long, strenuous hike. The description doesn’t lie–every time you think you’re almost there, it’s another climb. But worth it!