Grouse Lake Hiking Trail

Grouse Lake, a beautiful 6.25 mile hike to a beautiful lake known for its fine fishing. This hike is a great one if you are up here in the summer and its too hot to do anything but you are going to anyways because… well its your vacation that’s what you do. The hike follows Grouse Creek through a balmy mossy forest with plenty of chances to cross over the creek and catch some spray. Named for the large gentle bird that is brown in summer and changes to white in the winter they are quite common in the area. A fun fact I just learned, local lore says that if you don’t look a mother grouse in the eye as you approach her, she will not run away. I suggest someone try it out and report back to me because I find that hard to believe. They are also very defensive of their chicks but are not really dangerous even when angry. I’ll see you up there!

~Tyler, your friendly neighborhood night auditor.

Here is a map showing the trail head and its location in relation to Vail and the Antlers.

View Grouse Lake in a larger map

Posted in Vail Hikes and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. Hey Tyler! Me and my gfriend r coming to vail the first week of june and staying at the antlers. I was wanting to take a hike up to a secluded lake around vail but im afraid there will still be to much snow on the ground, or the creeks will be to swelled up to cross . What do you think? Thanks!

  2. Due to the record snow in Vail this year (520+ inches) the snow WILL be deep the first week of June. Yikes ! You’ll be able to hike up about 30-60 minutes before you hit snow. However, it could be super cool to have snow shoes with and continue on your hike further up in the summer sun. Many of the lakes up there will have ice on them until late June as they are at 10,000 feet plus. You shouldn’t have to worry so much about the rivers being too high to cross as the hiking trails avoid difficult river crossings for the most part. To get to a lake that early in the season you could consider Hanging Lake down by Glenwood Springs about an hour drive from Vail. Hanging Lake is at lower altitude and the trail has more sun exposure. Stop by the desk here and we can chat about some fun options, including those snow shoes. Chris R.

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