Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Piney Lake

Scenic Piney Lake near Vail Colorado is a great place to hike or lounge at the nearby resortScenic Piney Lake
Piney Lake is one of the highest lakes in Colorado that you can drive to. It is near the Lost Lake Trailhead above Vail. There are numerous other trails that leave from this area, but we popped up there just to check out the views. I shall return for the hiking.

Canoes dotted the lake. Is this not a classic Colorado tableau?

There is a commercial outfitter at the lake with a limited restaurant (no ice cream!!), lodging, and canoe rentals for around $20/hour.

The Canoe outfitter

If you make the drive up Red Mountain Road north of Vail to Lost Lake, it is worth swinging by. Doing one of the trails in the area (all Wilderness) will get you there as well.


  1. Beautiful! Perfect Colorado photos. I just returned from my CO vacation but was a good bit south where the thermometer hit 113 one day.

  2. In the summer of 2005 I moved from Omaha to L.A. I left Omaha in the Afternoon and drove into the night. The Colossal views of the mountains were masked by darkness, I was about to drive through the Rocky Mountains without seeing the astonishing views, when my the steering wheel on my '94 Taurus began to lock up and the engine began to smoke. I pulled the car to the side of the road and called roadside assistance. My car was towed to wonderful Eagle Colorado. The Ford dealership told me it would be about 2 days before I could be on my way again. It was almost fate that broke down at that precise spot. I rented a car and drove to Vail and then ended up just exploring a winding road that jutted through the igneous rock that surrounds these miraculous mountains. My drive came to an end at Piney Lake; I didn't need to go any further. I hiked around and marveled at its beauty. This would be the lake that compelled me to move to Denver in 2007. It is now 2011 and I have yet to return to Piney Lake, but tomorrow I shall return with my fiance and my dog and explore again, to remind myself again why I love this state. Piney Lake is awesome. I highly recommend visiting here at least once.

  3. Is primitive camping and camp fires allowed at Piney Lake?

  4. Gosh, I have no idea. I would contact the forest service to find out.

  5. I was privileged to attend a "hoedown" at the picnic/pavillion area at Piney Lake in 1993. The scenery was stunning to say the least - especially with the mountain backdrop glowing in the evening August sun. The switchbacks on the ride up, however, were another story. Be prepared; you will need nerves of steel to negotiate the drive up. I took dozens of photos of Piney Lake with its picturesque mountains, all the while thinking that if ever there was a postcard perfect shot, this was it. Behold, on our trip back east, while waiting for our flight in Denver's airport, my buddy pulled out a postcard from the stand at a souvenir shop, and there is was - Piney Lake - from the same vantage point as my photos. Don't miss this if you are in the Vail area. It doesn't get any more beautiful.