Piney Lake Hike In Colorado

I’m finally getting around to sharing some pretty views & tips from our day at Piney Lake in Colorado. If you missed the other hike we took, you can check it out HERE.

This hike was definitely an adventure and a lot of “is this really happening” moments! First, as I mentioned in the other hiking post, locals gave us a list of activities to do while we were in town. A lot of stuff was closed for the season, so hiking and exploring Colorado was top of the list. There is a lot of information about Piney Lake and what to do on THIS website. You can do water activities like paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, etc but we ended up hiking. We wish we didn’t hike all the way to the top but I’ll tell you why in a second. 

Piney Lake is about an hour drive from Vail. We rented a Nissan Altima and felt like it definitely took a little more than an hour. At one point its all dirt road winding up the mountain so a smaller car will definitely slow you down. It’s not super steep though so you don’t need a big car, but you can’t go very fast. 

It’s very easy to get there and once you arrive, there’s a gorgeous river running into a lake surrounded by mountains in this wide open space. It really was so beautiful! There is a little store and restaurant on site as well as a little cabin next to the lake where you can sign up for the activities. This seems to be a popular wedding venue too-you can see pictures on thee site I mentioned above. I can totally see why! You can’t beat that backdrop!
Once we decided to go hiking rather than do any of the activities, I went to the car to change and realized I forgot our bag full of clothes/my shoes. I literally searched the car like three times not believing they weren’t in there haha! We arrived the day before and I was wearing these black ripped jeans (which are currently on sale BTW) before I switched into jean shorts in the car after realizing how hot it still was during the day. Thankfully I forgot them in the car when we brought in all our other stuff up to the room so I changed into those. They feel like leggings, so they were much more comfortable to hike up than the jeans I was wearing. As far as the shoes, my husband insisted I wear his tennis shoes! I felt so bad, but the lady said the hike was pretty flat and that even though, I wouldn’t make it in my booties. She was so right! Thats the story behind my Big Foot feet and my husband wearing flip flops he got from the on-site store haha! He was such a trooper, but said he was fine the million times I asked him haha! So anyways, don’t wear flip flops, but that kind of gives you an idea of how doable the hike is. 
It only took about an hour and a half to get to the “water fall.” When we got there there was another couple already there and they confirmed that this was it. We all were like, this is a joke haha! Everyone kept saying waterfall, so that’s what we expected. Instead it was a bunch of trees surrounding a cliff with a little stream running through. It was pretty, but we were disappointed because we really expected some extravagant waterfall. As I was looking at their site right now, apparently you can go even higher, but I am having a hard time finding a picture of what the view looks like.



As we were coming down we caught a bit of a sprinkle that turned into hail! Remember when I said there was a lot of “is this really happening” moments?! Lol! We all kind of started laughing and just kept going to make it to the bottom. It wasn’t awful though. With such a gorgeous view, it was hard to be disappointed, and it wasn’t downpour so it was thankful.
SO…. despite the waterfall situation, I highly recommend visiting this place without the hike especially if you still want a little scenery or just a walking trail. I highly recommend walking up the trail along the lake/river before you get to the actual hiking trail up the mountain. Its SOO pretty and only takes like 20-30 minutes. There’s also a number of activities and the lady that recommended this place said she sees moose 90% of the time she visits. I REALLY wanted to see one, but missed out so living through pictures of ones that I saw online. Also, we were starving by the time it was over so we ate at the restaurant that was there. It’s very basic mountain food- if you’ve eaten on the mountain while skiing/snowboarding, you know what I mean. I got a turkey sandwich which wasn’t bad. We didn’t expect much because they have quite a drive to bring food up there, but we ended up eating out once we got to Vail. 

All in all we had a blast and loved it! The surroundings were gorgeous and I just had to point out the small negatives so you know what you’re in for! If we did it again, I think we would stick to kayaking or something on the water mainly because I feel like there are better hiking view options out there. I would love to know if any of you have ever been and what you recommend! I’ll link outfit details in the widgets including my husband’s stripe long sleeve tee because I’m a sucker for stripes and it’s also currently on sale. 

Thanks for stopping by! XO!


Leave a Comment