Mesa Cortina to East Vail

Silverthorne, Colorado 80498

Mesa Cortina to East Vail

Mesa Cortina to East Vail Professional Review and Guide

"This 14.9-mile hike traverses the Gore Range over Red-Buffalo Pass. Along the way, you can see almost everything that is special about the Eagles Nest Wilderness. Flower-filled meadows, views of craggy peaks and spires, marshes, avalanche paths, old graves, a set of waterfalls, and coniferous forests provide for a continuous change of scenery and feeling of remoteness. Most of the trail follows the route originally pro- posed for Interstate 70.

The hike can be done as a long day hike, backpack, or separate hikes. Enjoy the beauty of the Gore Range and Eagles Nest Wilderness! If the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) wish had been granted back in the mid-1960s, you would be driving along South Willow Creek and Gore Creek instead of hiking. CDOT proposed a route for I –70 that would turn at Silverthorne and head up South Willow Creek. At an elevation of about 10, 700 feet, a two-lane tunnel would burrow under Red-Buffalo Pass for about 6, 500 feet. On the west side, I –70 would travel down Gore Creek and then curve west past Vail."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
2,532 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
6 to 11 hours
Best from July to early October
White River National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Dillon,Willow Lakes,Vail East; Trails Illustrated: #108 Vail,Frisco,Dillon
Local Maps