Booth Creek Trail
Booth Creek Trail is in the southern Gore Range, part of the Rocky Mountains in the US state of Colorado. It is located in the Eagles Nest Wilderness, Holy Cross Ranger District, White River National Forest, Eagle County. Booth Creek Trail is north of Interstate 70 in Vail. Booth Creek Trail ascends six miles and 3,000 feet from East Vail, at 8,400 feet, to Booth Lake, elevation 11,480 feet. Along the way, there are dozens of cataracts and small waterfalls as well as a major waterfall dropping sixty feet over a ledge. Scarlet paintbrush, Castilleja miniata, meaning red colored, grows in meadows at the side of the trail. The sturdy spikes hold bracts of double-lobed flowers ranging in color from purple to sunset pink. Paintbrush is hemiparasitic, drawing nutrients from the roots of adjacent plants.
In the darker conifer forest above Booth Falls, look in more shaded areas of fertile soil along the stream banks for dark purple lobes of monkshood. A poisonous plant, Monkshood sap was used by early hunters to poison arrowheads. Aconitum dephinifolium, also known as wolfbane, is a member of the buttercup family.
Among the cool, sheltered rock formations along Booth Creek search for the blooms of Columbine. The Blue columbine, Aquilegia caerulea, is the state flower of Colorado. Columbine is named after the Latin for dove, columba, for its delicate winged petals that often hover over pools of water.
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