Vail, Colorado has long been synonymous with fantastic skiing.
But this mountain resort is also a year-round destination for all types of adventure-seekers. Here are 12 favorite mountain adventures and the best season to experience each of them.
This is quintessential Vail: winter activities featuring snow, snow and more snow.
1. Skiing & Snowboarding
Experience Colorado’s famous fluffy powder snow, not to mention Vail’s legendary groomed trails and legendary, open-terrain back bowls. Snowboarders: Don’t miss the two half-pipes, nine jumps and loads of other features at the Golden Peak Terrain Park, home of the Burton US Open Championships.
2. Snowshoeing & Figure Skating
Take a free guided snowshoe tour through the Nature Discovery Center, go backcountry snowshoeing or glide on the ice at two outdoor skating rinks.
3. Holiday Events
During the winter, Vail Village lights up with world-class events early in the season. Snow Daze features free concerts, a variety of vendors and parties, while Holidaze brings the cheer with cookie decorating, a tree lighting, fireworks, a torchlight parade and caroling.
In the winter months, snow sports including skiing dominate on Vail Mountain.
The hills are alive – and so is the springtime fun as Vail warms up.
4. Hot-Air Ballooning
What’s one of the most memorable ways to usher in the spring season? It can’t get much better than soaring above the blooming wildflowers in a hot-air balloon.
5. Springtime Events
Check out the music and parties during Spring Back to Vail, the official end-of-season party offering free live music, an expo village, pond-skimming and more apres parties. Film buffs should plan to visit during the Vail Film Festival, showcasing notable features, documentaries and film shorts.
6. Skiing… Still!
Snow lovers, don’t fret! There’s still skiing available through mid-April, and many people like spring season skiing even more than winter.
Vail Mountain welcomes spring each year with its Spring Back to Vail events.
Some like it hot (or at least warmer), and summertime doesn’t disappoint for Vail visitors.
7. Epic Discovery
Epic Discovery is part outdoor thrills, part nature education. Buy an Ultimate Adventure pass for all-day access to ziplining, adventure courses and much more. Then, explore the hiking trails and learn about the environment along the way through informational displays.
8. Llama Hikes
For something a little different, go hiking with a llama! Loaded with personality, these trail animals will haul your gear and hike with you out into beautiful mountain territory. Plus, kids love them!
9. Summer Fun
Don’t miss popular events such as the Sunday Farmers’ Market and Hot Summer Nights, a summer concert series featuring live music, local beer, family-friendly games and great food.
Hiking is one of the many ways to enjoy Vail in the summertime. For added personality and to haul your gear, bring a llama.
Vail in the fall is like a scene straight out of a postcard – make sure you have plenty of storage in your camera!
For mountain bikers and road riders – experienced and novice alike – Vail’s mountains have plenty of variety. Rent your gear at one of the many shops in town and enjoy the blazing fall colors.
Exploring the variety of trails across Vail Mountain, strolling beneath the aspens, participating in a guided nature walk – hiking in Vail during the fall is both scenic and awe-inspiring.
12. Gondola Ride
On weekends during September and October, catch a bird’s-eye view of the fall colors with a gondola ride up the mountain. Combine an all-day lift pass with lunch for an unforgettable experience.
Hiking and biking are great ways to see Vail’s fall foliage from the ground, but don’t miss the gondola ride for an aerial view.