The Pitkin Trail begins in East Vail and ends at Pitkin Lake: The first mile of the trail is strenuous as it climbs steeply out of the Vail Valley. The grade levels out somewhat as the trail passes through mature aspen groves and spruce-fir forests and a series of moraines from an ancient glacial retreat. After about 2.5 miles, steep switchbacks reveal the first of two waterfalls on Pitkin Creek about 200 yards to the east. After a number of false summits, the trail reaches Pitkin Lake, nestled beneath an arc of gray granite in the alpine tundra.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
This is a moderately difficult hike.