Vail is the largest ski resort in Colorado, with over 5,000 skiable acres. Travelers from all over come to Colorado to ski Vail’s world-class slopes and back bowls.
Whatever you’re looking for terrain-wise, Vail’s got it. It’s by far the largest resort in the state with more than 5,000 skiable acres. 31 lifts serve 193 trails. Vail is known for delivering a top-notch ski experience. All levels of riders will find terrain they love.
Beginners will find easy-to-access greens and gentle blues throughout the front side of Vail Mountain. For lessons, Vail Snowsports School offers both group and private instruction to skiers/snowboarders. They also have a number of focused learning clinics, like freestyle riding.
Intermediates will have a great time skiing Vail’s long, fast cruisers. From nearly all of Vail’s lifts, you’ll be able to access at least one blue or green run back down. Vail grooms more terrain than any resort in Colorado, assuring favorable conditions and nice corduroy.
On a powder day, Vail is unreal! Strong skiers and riders will have a blast dealing with more than 2600 skiable acres of expert terrain. Vail offers steep mogul runs, fantastic tree skiing, narrow chutes, big cliffs, large cornices, and every other kind of terrain you may be looking for. Vail also has some of the best terrain parks in the state, 3 to choose from, with 1 superpipe and 1 halfpipe.
Vail is most known for its legendary Back Bowls. They seem to stretch endlessly in all directions, a breathtaking sight. By themselves, they are nearly 3,000 skiable acres of wide-open terrain. On the far end of Vail’s back side are the Mongolia Bowls. Late into a powder day, these are a good place to find powder stashes.
From the backside of Vail, you can take a catwalk to Blue-Sky Basin. Blue Sky Basin is Vail’s newest addition and offers advanced skiing with plenty of natural trails.
The center of the Vail Valley is Vail Village, located directly at the bottom of the slopes. It’s modeled after an Austrian village and has an upscale, inviting feel to it. The main streets of the village are car-free and lined with great restaurants, wonderful shops, and luxury hotels.
Lionhead is Vail’s second mountain village, adjacent to Vail Village. To help get around, there is a free bus system between Lionhead and Vail Village. There is also a free bus around the Vail Valley. Lionhead has its own set of nice shops, restaurants, and lodging.
On-mountain, Vail has a plethora of dining options. At the top of the Gondola, Vail has multiple levels of restaurants/cafeterias. For a delicious burger, try the Epic Burger, available on the top floor of the Gondola Station. If you prefer to grill your own burgers or hot dogs, Vail provides free grills for use atop Blue Sky Basin.
There are two main covered parking structures at Vail: Lionshead and Vail Village Parking. Both are located at the edge of village attractions. Parking costs $5/hour in the winter (the first 2 hours are free, 3rd hour is $15), with a daily max of around $25. These structures will fill up on busier weekends/holidays. Once this happens, you can park for free on South Frontage Road (which then also fills up).
Other winter activities in Vail include its on-mountain tubing hill and cross country skiing at the local Vail Nordic Center. Another resort attraction that’s available during the winter season (and summer), is the raised alpine coaster. You can take laps on the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster.
Read about the best hotels in Vail.
Address: 450 East Lionshead Circle, Vail, CO
Season: mid November-mid April
Lift Hours: 8:30am-3:30pm
- Elevation: 8,120 ft – 11,570 ft
- Vertical – 3,450 ft
- Ski Area: 5,289 acres
- Average Snowfall: 350 in
Trail Maps: (PDF)
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