Shrine Ridge Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1.5-2h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
5.5 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
206 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.9
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Panoramic views from the Shrine Ridge trail hike near Vail, Colorado

Shrine Ridge Trail gradually hikes through lush pine meadows, passing two small ponds, to Shrine Ridge. The Shrine Ridge leads to the top of Shrine Mountain (elevation 3,580 m). You’ll get incredible views, considering it’s such a short hike.

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Route Description for Shrine Ridge Trail

Follow the gravel driveway leading towards Shrine Mountain Inn and the pine forest surrounding it. The trail begins to the left—before you get deep into the woods. Immediately, sweeping views of the meadows/valley below spill out before you.

Follow the trail slightly downhill for 0.7 km until you reach the two ponds. From here, the trail slowly heads up to the right, towards the ridge, gaining elevation.

The trail winds through tranquil pine meadows and past small creeks. You’ll get incredible views of the surrounding backcountry. During wildflower season, the meadows along Shrine Ridge are a delightful sea of colors.

2.1 km in, the trail turns into an open field with the ridge standing tall on your left. Continue along the trail as you walk parallel to the ridge. Eventually, you’ll start along a gentle path that climbs to the top of Shrine Ridge.

Shrine Mountain is the peak directly to your right (if facing south/the Sawatch Range). The trail traverses the ridge offering beautiful views of the surrounding ranges/peaks.

Once you’re done exploring the ridge, follow the trail back through the pine meadows you walked up through to finish your hike!

Insider Hints for Shrine Ridge Trail

  • Shrine Mountain was named for its stunning view of the Mt. of the Holy Cross.
  • Originally, the pass was used by Ute Indians, but later became a popular route for silver miners.
  • A highly recommended campsite is roughly 1.0 km from the trailhead on the right-hand side of the road. Go to sleep and wake up with stunning views of the Gore Range.

Getting to the Shrine Ridge Trail Trailhead

From Vail Village, take the I-70 E to Exit 190. Turn right and follow the signs directly ahead for Shrine Pass Road (Forest Service Road 709). Follow for 3.6 km to a parking lot on the left. The trailhead is left of the metal fence at the end of the gravel driveway.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Summer/Fall

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Yes, on Shrine Pass Rd going to trailhead

  • Toilets

    Yes, at the trailhead

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    None

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Shrine Ridge Trail Elevation Graph

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Shrine Ridge Trail Reviews

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