Length: 9 miles (one way)                         Trail Use: Moderate

Difficulty: More Difficult                           Open To: Hiking, Horseback

Beginning Elevation: 7,835 ft.                  Ending Elevation: 11,086 ft.

Elevation Gain: +3251 ft.                          USGS Map(s): Minturn, Grouse Mtn

 

Access From Vail : Travel west on I-70 to exit 171 for Minturn and Highway 24. Turn right and follow Hwy 24 south for approximately 1 mile to the trailhead, which is located on the right side of the Highway. The trailhead is located across from the Meadow Mountain Business Park.  

Trail Highlights : From the trailhead follow the dirt road through pastureland for approximately 1/4 mile where the road turns left. The trail begins here and continues straight before reaching a fork where the

Grouse Lake Trail goes left. Stay on the right trail, which quickly enters dense stands of conifers. The trail climbs rapidly, passes Waterdog Lake at 4.5 miles, enters the Holy Cross Wilderness at mile 4.6, and passes Olsen Lake at mile 5.4. At mile 6.8, you will pass the junction with the seldom used Grouse

Mountain Trail just before crossing the north ridge of Grouse Mountain. From here the trail descends to Turquoise Lakes and the headwaters of Beaver Creek.
Comments : Side trips can include Waterdog Lake, Olsen Lake, and the Grouse Mountain summit. Maps are highly encouraged, as you will be traveling off trail. Grouse Mountain offers views of the Sawatch and Gore Ranges. During the spring and summer months, wildflowers are in bloom at the many open fields and slopes that are found along the trail.
 

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