In June 2020, when we were still figuring out what to do with Covid, my husband and I decided to drive from Las Vegas to Michigan. We planned our path to see some waterfalls in nearly every state we travelled through.
Most waterfalls were planned, but East Vail Falls was a bonus waterfall. As we were driving along I-70, I think I was looking at Google Maps and noticed that there was a waterfall near Vail. In Colorado, I assume there are more waterfalls than are advertised because of the terrain. I read that the waterfall in Vail was relatively simple to get to, but required parking in a special place.
From the I-70 exit, I followed the directions on Google Maps, and it indeed did lead us to East Vail Falls, which was much taller than I expected. While landowners in the area don’t mind walking to view the falls, they do request that there is no parking directly in front of the falls, so we turned around and parked in area along Gore Creek. It’s about 1/4 mile hike (one-way) from that parking area to the falls, and it’s all on paved, flat road.
If you want to get a closer look, you do have to walk uphill, but it’s not required to view the falls. The falls are tall enough that the best views may come from the road, especially if you have a camera lens that can zoom in. If you’re driving along I-70 and need a break, this is definitely a fun stop.
- This one is pretty easy if you’re along the right path. If you’re driving along I-70 and heading through Vail (really East Vail), take Exit 180.
- Turn on Big Horn Road and head south. You will be driving adjacent to Gore Creek.
- Look for the Gore Valley Trail parking, which will be near the intersection of Big Horn Road and Bridge Road. You can park here, though there is also a lot of parking nearby. Park somewhere around here, though, and then walk to the falls.
- To walk to the falls, cross Gore Creek over Bridge Road.
- Turn left onto Lupine Drive and walk to the East Vail Falls trailhead. I don’t include walking closer on the trail to view the falls in the distance below.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip
Where in the World is East Vail Falls?