Vail, CO

Vail Pass/Tenmile Canyon National Recreation Trail

One of the more memorable running experiences in the Vail/Summit County area is to take a section of the Tenmile Canyon National Recreation Trail, which runs for 14 miles between Vail and Copper, going up and over the Vail Pass. There are dramatic mountain views on this paved multi-use trail, which runs along a former rail line along I-70.  Also, beautiful aspen colors in fall!  The lower parts of the trail have more open fields and great views. In season, you can catch a bus between the two. T

There are a few ways to skin this cat. From Vail, the section of trail also referred to as the Vail Pass Bike Path is 8.7 miles to Vail Pass, following the original Highway 6 route from Gore Creek Campground in East Vail (at the end of the Gore Valley Trail) to the summit of Vail Pass at 10,662 feet.  From Vail Pass, it’s 5.3 miles down to Copper on the TenMile Canyon National Recreation Trail.

Note: this is a hilly and challenging run! The elevation depends on which way you go. From the Vail end, it’s 1,831 feet to Vail Pass. From the Copper end, it’s 900 feet. You can also park at Vail Pass and run one-way down to Copper or Vail!

Essentials
  • Overall trail is 14 miles (22.5 km) one-way. From Vail, it's 8.7 miles to Vail Pass. From Copper, it's 5.3 miles.
  • 1831 feet if uphill route chosen from Vail to Vail Pass; 900 feet from the Copper end.
  • Vail: Gore Creek Campground, Big Horn Road; Copper: Off Copper Rd.
  • Vail: East Vail Bus to Main Gore Dr. / Bighorn Rd. Copper: Day use parking area

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Essentials
  • Overall trail is 14 miles (22.5 km) one-way. From Vail, it's 8.7 miles to Vail Pass. From Copper, it's 5.3 miles.
  • 1831 feet if uphill route chosen from Vail to Vail Pass; 900 feet from the Copper end.
  • Vail: Gore Creek Campground, Big Horn Road; Copper: Off Copper Rd.
  • Vail: East Vail Bus to Main Gore Dr. / Bighorn Rd. Copper: Day use parking area