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The Town of Vail on Thursday issued the following press release on the upcoming end of its summer pilot program to address overcrowding at East Vail trailheads:
Trailhead parking for Booth Lake will reopen beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11, following a summerlong pilot program that was used to address neighborhood safety concerns and overcrowding of the East Vail trails leading to the Eagles Nest Wilderness.
Parking at the Booth Lake trailhead has been closed since June 2 as part of the initiative developed through a partnership facilitated by the U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center involving Town of Vail, U.S. Forest Service, Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance, Walking Mountains Science Center, Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance, Vail Mountain School and Vail Resorts.
In addition to changes at the Booth Lake trailhead, improvements had been initiated by USFS at the Gore-Deluge trailhead in which designated parking spaces and delineated no parking areas were created to address conflicts between vehicles and bicyclists on Vail Pass. Also, efforts were made to actively promote trail stewardship and Leave No Trace principles through in-person contacts by trail hosts, ambassadors and rangers.
Hikers are encouraged to practice the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace in all year-round activities. It’s easy to learn about the 7 ways to help protect the environment and enter to win a trip to Vail by taking the Vail Sustainability Quiz.
Parking violations in the Booth Falls neighborhood will continue to be strictly enforced by the police department which carries higher penalties than elsewhere in town.
Recommended trailhead access is available through the Bus it to Hike it program which provides free Vail Transit service to East Vail every 30 minutes from the Vail Transportation Center.
While the East Vail trails have been popular outings during the fall foliage season, other recommended hikes can be found at hikevail.net.
A recap of the summer pilot program activities, including trail counts, in-person contacts and parking enforcement, will be presented to the Vail Town Council at a future meeting along with recommended programming for the summer 2022 hiking season and additional long-term recommendations.