700 Red Sandstone Rd, Vail, CO 81657, map
Piney River Ranch is a beautiful place to go canoeing, SUP on a lake, hiking, horseback riding, and fishing. It’s also a popular wedding venue, and when we posted about it, several friends told us they had or almost had their wedding here.
I was happy to see the mountains still had some snow during our visit in late June, but we were also a couple of weeks early for peak wildflower season.
Although close to town, the road to Piney River Ranch is unpaved and takes around 45 minutes to drive so give yourself plenty of time. Also, if you’re using google maps, the address pins where the road turns into a dirt road, but if you search ‘Piney River Ranch,’ it will pull up the parking lot. Download offline maps of the area since you won’t have service.
Photo Tip: This is one of the photogenic spots in Vail, and if you’re a photographer, it might be worth booking a stay here. Piney River Ranch is only open to the public from 9 AM – 6 PM, so you can only get sunrise/sunset shots if you stay on the property. Typically, the lake is calmer in the morning and picks up in the afternoon.