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Vail Ski Resort

Vail Ski Resort is a massive, year-round destination resort in Central Colorado. The namesake and flagship ski area of Vail Resorts Inc., Vail is world-famous (or should we say ‘infamous’) for winter sports. With a skiable area of 5,317 acres (2,141 hectares), it is the third-largest single-mountain ski area in the United States (and the biggest in Colorado). One hundred ninety-five named runs stretch across Vail’s three zones: The Front Size, The Back Bowls, and Blue Sky Basin. A vast lift infrastructure interconnects the hill, and it’s easy for a skilled skier to spend time in all three zones in a single day. Vail has 32 lifts and a vertical rise of 3,450 ft (1,052 m). The resort sees an average of 350 inches (889 cm) of snowfall each season and is open from mid-November until mid-April.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado


Vail is in Eagle County, Colorado, encompassing a vast land parcel in the White River National Forest. The ski area has excellent views of the Sawatch and Gore Ranges (both of which are part of the Southern Rocky Mountains). Mount of the Holy Cross (14,009 ft / 4,270 m), a 14er, is visible from various places on the resort.

Getting to Vail

Located on Interstate-70 (I-70) and well-served by airports, Vail is a very accessible mountain in Central Colorado.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

Nearest Airports

The Eagle County Airport (EGE) is just 34 mi (55 km) west of the ski area along I-70. The much larger Denver Airport is 115 mi (186 km) in the opposite direction on the same highway.

Driving Directions

I-70 goes straight through the middle of Colorado from east to west, with Vail 96 mi (155 km) west of downtown Denver. Without traffic, the drive takes about 90 minutes. Unfortunately, there is traffic more often than not during the winter. Between winter storms, the sheer volume of vehicles attempting to cross the High Rockies, and the car accidents resulting from these factors, skiers often wait several hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

Parking Lots

Vail has two large parking garages located at Vail Village and Lionshead. You can park for up to 1 hour without paying, but staying for an entire ski day will cost you $30 (or $40 if it’s a peak day). When the parking lots fill up, guests are allowed to park for free on the Frontage Road.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

Shuttle Services

The Eagle and Denver Airports offer shuttles that take you directly to Vail. The Epic Mountain Express costs $129 from Denver and $49 from Eagle.

Public Transportation

Four Bustang buses leave from Denver’s Union Station headed west every day (a train will get you to the station from the airport). Tickets cost $19 each way. Those landing in Eagle can take the hourly Eagle County Bus for under $10.

Moving Around Vail

The town of Vail has several free bus lines that serve the town and resort. Vail’s three base areas (Golden Peak, Vail Village, and Lionshead) are easily accessible via bus.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado


Like other Colorado ski resorts, Vail tends to open by late November and close by late April. It’s also not unique in that it gets busiest between Christmas and New Year, with another bump in the crowds during MLK and President’s Day Weekends and the March spring break. Weekends are busier throughout the season as day skiers come up from the cities.

Vail is enormously popular, and the Front Side regularly suffers from, well, insufferable crowds. Plenty of long-time locals still live in Vail and have a magical sixth sense for avoiding crowds throughout the day. These dances can be complex, but the best way to avoid the masses is simply to get out early and ski in lesser-known recesses of the Back Bowls.

Snow and Weather Conditions

Vail gets the light, fluffy snow that makes Colorado legendary with all sorts of skiers. Colder overnight temperatures, low relative humidity, and less wind combine to produce light snow that is dryer and less sticky. Whether you love fresh powder or groomers, the Colorado cold smoke’s texture will make you smile.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

It snows consistently from mid-December through the end of March. Though snowfall is difficult to predict, Vail reliably gets around 60-70 inches (165 - 175 cm) of fresh snow every month from December through March, amounting to about 13 days of snowfall each month.

At the start of the season, only a few lifts on the Front Side are open. As snow accumulates, the rest of the front tends to open in fits and spurts from mid-November to mid-December. The Back Bowls are usually open by Christmas, quickly followed by Blue Sky Basin.

Even during the height of winter, Vail is generally a sunny place. In terms of temperature, it doesn’t tend to get particularly cold. January is the coldest month, with average high temperatures just below freezing. It can get frigid at night, often in the single digits (Fahrenheit), but the air feels warmer due to the low relative humidity.

Vail utilizes artificial snow in a few select areas. While there is generally plenty of natural snow, the resort has increased its snowmaking infrastructure to ensure it can stay open longer in years with limited snowfall. Therefore, snowmaking is limited to a handful of popular areas on the Front Side.

Vail Maps

Vail is a contiguous ski resort with three base areas. They are Golden Peak, Vail Village, and Lionshead from east to west.

The ski terrain is divided between three large zones or ‘sides.’ They are:

  • The Front Side. The north-facing side of Vail Mountain. It consists of 1,655 acres (670 ha) of skiable terrain suitable for skiers of all abilities.
  • The Back Bowls. A series of several bowls on the face opposite the Front Side. With 3,017 acres (1,221 ha) of terrain, the bowls are bigger than the entirety of Breckenridge.
  • Blue Sky Basin. Accessed from the bottom of China Bowl, Blue Sky Basin has 645 acres (261 ha) of ridges, glades, meadows, and gulleys.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

At 11,570 ft (3,527 m) above sea level, the top of Pete’s Lift in Blue Sky Basin is the highest point on Vail Mountain. The top of the Mongolia Lift (11,455 ft / 3,492 m) is the highest point in the Back Bowls. The highest point on the Front Side is Buffalo’s, where the elevation is 11,250 ft (3,430 m). The base areas range from 8,120 ft (2,475 m) to 8,217 ft (2,505 m) above sea level for a vertical rise of 3,450 ft (1,052 m).

One fact that puts Vail’s size into perspective is that Blue Sky Basin is a whopping 7 miles (11 km) from the base at Lionshead.

Vail Slopes and Ski Lifts

Consistent with its size, Vail has terrain for every type of skier. About 18% of runs are for beginners, 29% for intermediates, and 53% for advanced skiers.

While the Front Side has slopes for skiers of every ability level, the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin are unsuitable for beginners. New skiers should stick to the Front Side.

Note that Vail follows the standard North American color scheme for demarcating runs. This is different from that used in Europe. The difficulty of runs is graded with the following scheme:

  • the easiest runs are green 🟢 instead of blue 🔵,
  • medium difficulty are blue 🟦 instead of red 🔴,
  • advanced runs are ♦, and the hardest trails are ♦♦.

Lionshead and Vail Village are the two primary base areas. Each is served by a gondola (Lionshead also has a chair lift). You’ll find numerous bars and restaurants in each village and many places to shop. Golden Peak is a short walk east of Vail Village. It has two chair lifts and a ski school but little in the way of shops or restaurants.

The general character of Vail’s terrain is wide-open, low-angle bowls. There aren’t too many steeps or extreme features in-bounds, but the expanse of off-piste open powder skiing is impressive. You can really open it up around here; unlike most other Colorado resorts, the terrain is so vast that moguls rarely form except at choke points.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

The Front Side

As the most accessible and varied part of the mountain, Vail’s Front Side has enough terrain to satisfy any skier. Though the Back Bowls are undeniably Vail’s premier in-bounds terrain, the Front Side is not to be overlooked.

The Western Mountain

Lionshead, the westernmost base on Vail Mountain, is home to the Eagle Bahn Gondola and Born Free express lift. The gondola takes skiers up to Eagle’s Nest, an on-mountain lodge with multiple dining options and stunning views of Mount Holy Cross. You’ll also find the Litte Eagle beginner lift at Eagle’s Nest. First-time skiers are advised to begin their day at Vail by taking the Gondola and learning the ropes on the Little Eagle.

You can take blue, green, and black runs to ski to Lionshead. Born Free, which switches between blue and green, is a perennial favorite. What’s more, Lionshead seldom gets crowded. There will often be lines at the start of the day, but on busy days, skiing Lionshead is a great way to avoid the crowds at Mid-Vail.

Born Free provides access to the Avanti Express via a short catwalk. A high-speed six-seater, Avanti makes for efficient skiing. A half dozen runs (half black and half blue) lead back down to the bottom.

From the top of the Avanti lift, it’s a short ride down to Mid-Vail, another on-mountain dining center. Mid-Vail is also the endpoint of Gondola One, so you can get directly to Mid-Vail from Vail Village. It’s also home to two chairlifts: Mountain Top (another six-seater) and Wildwood.

Wildwood is a short lift that services a handful of runs. The terrain isn’t as varied as what you’ll find on the Mountain Top lift, but Wildwood can be a great alternative to the lines you’ll often find on Mountain Top. More importantly, Wildwood provides access to Game Creek and the Back Bowls (Sun Down Bowl, specifically).

Game Creek is the Front Side’s only bowl. Serviced by a brand-new six-seater lift, Game Creek is small but has all the ingredients for a great ski area. It has tree runs (Ouzo being my favorite), bumps runs, blue cruisers, and Lost Boy, a lovely green run over a mile (2 km) long. The bowl is also accessible from Eagle’s Nest through a road.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

The Eastern Mountain

The Mountain Top lift ends up in the same place as the Northwoods and High Noon express lifts. From here, you can ski Riva Ridge, the longest run at Vail and a must-ski for anyone visiting the resort. Four miles (6.5 km) long, Riva Ridge will take you from top to bottom.

Northwoods Express is another popular area with blue and black runs. It also gets swamped on weekends and sees some of Vail's most extended lift lines.

From the top of the Northwoods and Mountain Top lifts, a road leads to Sourdough Express, an excellent beginner area by the Two Elk restaurant.

Highline Express serves some of the most advanced terrain in the far east on Vail’s Front Side. Blue Ox and Highline are two iconic black runs. Highline is left ungroomed all season, whereas Blue Ox gets a weekly corduroy, so it’s often an excellent cruiser run to do laps on.

You can get to Highline from the top of the Sourdough lift. Another option is to get off at the first stop of the Riva Bahn (the main lift in Golden Peak) and take the catwalk to the bottom of Highline. This is also the best way to get to the Sourdough area, so it’s an excellent option for beginners looking to avoid crowds early in the day.

The Legendary Back Bowls

There’s a reason why the Back Bowls figure so prominently in Vail’s marketing. Vast and primarily treeless, the mere sight of the Back on a powder day is enough to make any skier salivate.

Sun Up and Sun Down

Sun Down Bowl is the westernmost part of the Back. You get into the bowl from the top of the Game Creek and Wildwood lifts. A brand new lift was also installed for the 2022/2023 season. The bowl is dominated by wide-open black runs with few bumps, including the stellar slopes of Seldom and Never. One of the steeper bowls, Sun Down seldom sees large crowds. You have to traverse across a ridge to get to these runs, but the trip is worth it (take Ricky’s Ridge if you don’t feel like traversing).

Forever may be the Back’s most famous run. It sits on the ridge that forms the dividing line between the Sun Up and Sun Down bowls (straddled by the aptly named High Noon Express Lift). Glorious on a powder day, Forever can also be icy in the morning (like many runs in the Back). As the name suggests, Sun Down Bowl is at its best in the afternoon once the snow has had time to soften up.

Following the same logic, skiing Sun Up Bowl in the morning is better. W.F.O is a fantastic tree run just off the Sleepytime Road. The Slot is a popular choice for many skiers taking their first run in the Back. Some ski down to take the High Noon lift, while others, trying to get to China Bowl or Blue Sky Basin as fast as possible, take the short run to the Sun Up lift.

Getting to Blue Sky Basin directly from where the High Noon, Mountain Top, and Northwoods lifts meet is possible. This requires taking the arduous 3-mile (5 km) catwalk known as the Sleepytime Road. I prefer to ride the Sun Up Lift to get an extra run in (Blue Sky opens a half hour later than the Back, so you can get a few runs in before making your way over).

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

China and Tea Cup

You will behold China Bowl in all its glory from the top of the Sup Up Express. Genghis Khan is another one of the Back’s treasures. When I see snow in the forecast, I first think about making fresh turns on Genghis Khan. The best lines are found by dropping in near the 12th pole of the Tea Cup Express Lift.

The eastern part of China Bowl is home to some of the Back’s only blue runs. Poppy Fields is a cruiser perfect for anyone who wants to ski the Back while sticking to easier runs.

Tea Cup Bowl is an underappreciated gem. The runs are much shorter than those in China Bowl, but the snow is usually better. The powder gets skied off much more slowly than on Genghis Khan, and there are few other skiers.

Siberia and Mongolia

The Orient Express Lift and Mongolia serve the easternmost bowls. The large wooded area under the lift is excellent for tree skiing. There are countless lines and few people, so it’s the spot for powder hunters chasing pockets of fresh snow.

A road from the top of the Orient Express will take you to Mongolia. You can leave the road early and take one of several runs (I recommend Red Square) or ride up the Poma lift to explore the great Mongolia Bowl expanse.

Mongolia doesn't get much traffic due to its relative isolation (and the fact that you must take a slow chairlift and a poma to run laps in it). It’s also huge. This makes for an excellent bowl that holds its snow well. Bear in mind that the further east you go, the longer the road you’ll have to skate across at the bottom.

Blue Sky Basin

Opened in 2000, Blue Sky Basin is the most isolated part of Vail Mountain. Still very much a wilderness area, alpine meadows and forests dominate the landscape of Blue Sky. The terrain is accessed via the Skyline Express, which starts in the same place as the Tea Cup lift.

Skyline is the main lift serving the area. It rises 1,920 vertical feet (585 m), more than any other lift at Vail save the two gondolas. There’s also Earl’s Express Lift (which ends at the same place as Skyline) and Pete’s Express Lift to the east. It’s hard to go wrong out in Blue Sky — all the terrain is excellent.

In The Wuides is a perfect spot to bang out laps. It’s an open meadow that leads to Earl’s Lift. Champagne Glade is popular with powder chasers. There’s even a gate to leave the ski area but still make your way back to the lift. Follow the chairlift across the ridge and dip into the trees next to Encore and Divide runs, and you’ll be swooping through perfect trees no matter which route you take.

Lover’s Leap is perhaps Blue Sky’s most iconic run. It’s a short but tremendously steep slope topped by a stomach-turning cornice. Brave the drop (or take the milder but still fun route via Cloud Nine), and you’ll end up at the bottom of Pete’s Lift.

From the top of Pete’s, you’ll find yourself in much the same position as at the top of Skyline. There are a wealth of options, all of which are excellent. There’s the Seibert Stash (an out-of-bounds run) and Quicksilver (a cruiser that just begs to be skied over and over), to name just two.

Terrain Parks

In recent years, Vail has operated two terrain parks, one in Golden Peak (accessible via the Riva Bahn) and another off of the Avanti Express Lift. At Golden Peak, you’ll find a small half-pipe, a variety of rails and boxes, and jumps large and small. The park usually doesn’t open till the middle of January and is relatively small given how large Vail is. While it is a solid park, Vail is not the best mountain for freestyle fanatics and park rats.

The terrain park at Avanti usually opens earlier. It’s billed as a beginner park — it has several rails, boxes, and jumps, but all are quite small and won’t be interesting to anyone beyond a beginner.


  • Total slopes: 195
  • Types of slopes: easy (green) — 18%; intermediate (blue) 29%; advanced (black) —, 53%
  • Longest slope: Riva Ridge (4 mi / 6.4 km)
  • Popular slopes: Blue Ox, Poppyfields, Avanti, Riva Ridge
  • Total skiable terrain: 5,317 Acres (2,141 hectares)

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

Ski lifts

  • Total lifts: 33 (2 gondolas, 4 high-speed six seaters, 14 high-speed quads, 1 fixed quad, 2 fixed triples, 4 surface lifts, 6 magic carpets)
  • Lifts operating hours: Nov 11 - Dec. 16, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. // Dec 17 – Mar 12, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. // Mar 13 – Closing 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Top station: Pete’s Express (11,570 ft / 3,527 m)
  • Base station: 8,120 ft (2,454 m)
  • Difference between stations (max vertical drop): 3,450 ft (1,052 m)
  • Lifts capacity: 66,558 skiers per hour

Other features and services

  • Artificial snow: yes (snowmaking in select areas)
  • Snowfall: 252 inches (644 cm)
  • Night skiing: no
  • Cross-country ski trails: 10.5 mi (17 km)
  • Snowshoe trails: 10.5 mi (17 km)
  • Snowboard park: Yes
  • Sled slopes: No
  • Snow tubing: Yes
  • Ice-skating field: Yes
  • Ski rentals and bootfitting: Yes
  • Ski school: Yes
  • Ski guides and ski tours: Yes
  • Outdoor stores: Yes
  • Kindergarten: Yes

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing

The Vail Nordic Center is a public cross-country skiing area in East Vail. It has over 10 miles (17 km) of trails for skiing and snowshoeing. The Vail Recreation District manages the area, but the resort offers lessons for new cross-country skiers.

Backcountry Skiing

Vail has several options for backcountry skiers that are 100% lift accessible.

The East Vail Chutes are the most alluring —and dangerous— option for skiing the backcountry at Vail. The chutes are accessible from China or Mongolia Bowl (several different routes exist). It’s a short walk (or skin) up the ridge, then an epic ride down to East Vail.

The Chutes are particularly dangerous. Avalanches are a regular occurrence, and the area is peppered with cliff bands and other terrain traps. Nine skiers have died in the Chutes since China Bowl’s opening in 1988, so it goes without saying that precautions are essential.

Another downside of East Vail is the effort that goes into one lap. You have to traverse all the way over in the Back Bowls, hike up the ridge, then finagle your way out of the various exit channels at the bottom. Once you get down, it’s a wait for the bus - sometimes 15 or 20 minutes if you time it wrong. The actual run is a bit short for all the effort. Nevertheless, you could have the best run of your life back here in the right conditions (or the last).

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

One thing that has always amazed me is how much snow manages to fall in East Vail. I’ve had days with 5 inches of snow in the Back Bowls and then dropped into East Vail to find waist deep blower - literally. It is not only a spiritual experience but also a fascinating weather phenomenon.

There are much safer backcountry routes leading down to West Vail. Some skiers take routes from Eagle’s Nest and ski as far as Intermountain at the Vail Valley’s western edge. The avalanche danger is negligible, but fallen trees present significant risks with low coverage.

Another option is to drop off the Post Road, which bends near the Cascade Lift's top. It’s a short but gratifying trip down to the Matterhorn neighborhood behind Donovan Park. I take this route home almost every day!

Finally, there’s the famous Minturn Mile (more than 3 miles long), a short but sweet run followed by a long road through a snowy Wilderness. To access the mile, simply take the Lost Boy trail in Game Creek Bowl. There is a gate at the end of the ridge where the trail bends. The run ends near the Saloon, a popular bar in Minturn, so you’ll be tempted to enjoy a drink while you wait for someone to pick you up.

Ski Pass and Discounts

Vail Resorts operates under the Epic Pass. The earlier you buy a pass, the more you’ll save. Buy before Labor Day (the first Monday in September), and it costs just $859.

The Epic Local Pass is an even cheaper option. It goes for $639 when you buy before Labor Day, but it’s blacked out at Vail during the busiest parts of the season (not that you really want to be skiing at Vail during these times anyways). All Epic Pass holders get a 20% discount on lessons and food at on-mountain eateries.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

The price of day ski passes varies quite a bit, but you can even save on these if you buy early. The date changes, but buying day ski passes before the first week in December can save you as much as $90 a day.

You don’t have to choose your dates — just pick the number of days you want to ski, and you’ll pay significantly less. If you don’t buy in advance, woe is you. Countering the cheapest season pass is the most expensive day pass in the country. At peak winter, one-day lift tickets cost as much as $275. It’s all part of Vail’s wildly successful business model incentivizing skiers to buy season passes but still capitalizing on the ultra-rich, who don’t care about the price of a day ticket no matter what it costs.

Vail Resorts

No comprehensive guide to Vail is complete without acknowledging Vail Resorts, Inc. This publicly-traded Fortune 500 company has changed the financial dynamics of the entire ski industry. The criticism aimed at the company has been widespread; check out this video for an engaging breakdown of the fallout from Vail Resorts. Nevertheless, despite all the criticism aimed at Vail from core skiers around the country, there’s no doubt it’s still a great ski mountain.

Tourist information

Vail Ski Resort Info

1000 South Frontage Road West, Vail, Colorado 81657

Reservations & Vacation Customer Service: 888-500-5155

Snow Conditions: 970-754-4888

Customer Service: 970-754-0005

Vail Village Welcome Center

241 South Frontage Rd., Suite 8150 Vail, CO 81657

Open daily, 365 days a year: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Lionshead Welcome Center

395 East Lionshead Circle Vail, CO 81657

Open daily, 365 days a year: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Driving Conditions: 877-315-7623

Colorado Dept. of Transportation: 303-639-1111

Town of Vail: 970-479-2100

Resort Info & Activities: 970-SKI-VAIL (970-754-8245)

Groups & Conferences: 970-754-4523

Rentals & Tuning

Vail Sports Arrabelle: 970-479-4415

Vail Sports Lionshead: 970-476-3600

Vail Sports Mountain Plaza: 970-477-5740

Vail Sports Golden Peak: 970-479-4912

Burton, Arrabelle: 970-477-5741

Burton, Vail Village: 970-476-7454

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado


There are plenty of restaurants to patronize while you’re not skiing. Lionshead and Vail Village each have a dozen or so, and there are more options in West Vail and a few miles down the road in Eagle-Vail. There are two supermarkets in West Vail and a Walmart in Avon.

Vail has several options for on-mountain dining. Overall, the quality is decent, with a good amount of variety. Vail Resorts (which operates 35 mountains in addition to Vail) has let the quality of on-mountain dining options fall in recent years, in my experience.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado


Mid-Vail (located at the top of Gondola One) has many dining options. Two floors offer cafeteria-style food (ramen, fried chicken, pizza, burgers, and more). There’s also a full-service bar and plenty of seating.

The 10th, also at Mid-Vail, offers full-service dining in a lovely setting. It’s undoubtedly the fanciest place to eat on the mountain. I strongly advise making a reservation in advance, though I have managed to get a table for a small group without one.

Eagle’s Nest

The situation at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola is similar to what you’ll find at Mid-Vail. There’s cafeteria food and a brand-new restaurant in the form of Bistro 14. It’s more casual than The 10th but still offers a full-service dining experience.


Buffalo’s is a small lodge above Mid-Vail at the top of the Mountain Top, High Noon, and Northwoods lifts. While most people are there to warm up or grab a drink, they also offer hot food like chili and burgers.


Wildwood is notable for its smoked meats and is near the top of the Wildwood, Game Creek, and Sun Down chairs. You can even bring your own supplies to cook on the complimentary grills. More out of the way than Eagle’s Nest and Mid-Vail, Wildwood tends to be quieter but has, in my opinion, some of the best food on the mountain.

Two Elk

With gorgeous views of the legendary Back Bowls, Two Elk is a grand timber-frame lodge at the top of the Sourdough Lift. Also directly accessible from the Orient Express, it’s the only place to get food in the Back. The offerings are similar to the cafeteria options at Mid-Vail and Eagle’s Nest.

Blue Sky Basin

There’s no hot food at Belle’s Camp (unless you bring something of your own to throw on the grill), but this hut at the top of Skyline and Earl’s is still worth a visit. The views are my favorite in all of Vail.

In a pinch, you can also get hot dogs at the Dawg Haus at the bottom of Pete’s Lift.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado


There are hotels large and small throughout the Vail Valley. Guests staying in Lionshead or Vail Village can walk to the slopes, a privilege that obviously entails a higher bill. The Hyatt, located a mile west of Lionshead, has a lift open to guests and the general public alike.

Guests staying further afield in West Vail will want to check to ensure they’re close to a bus stop. Otherwise, many hotels offer shuttle service to and from the mountain.


There’s plenty to do both on and off the mountain in the Vail Valley. Local favorites for Après include Bart & Yeti’s and Garfinkle’s (in Lionshead), and Los Amigos, Almresi, and The Cantina (in Vail Village).

Anyone looking to enjoy a night out should check out Bridge Street, Shakedown Bar, and The George (all in Vail Village). The Shakedown has a house band several evenings a week; if you shout out ‘Freebird’ during their set, they will make you buy shoots for everyone in the bar. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you're a baller. If you’re looking for fine dining, my favorites are Sweet Basil and Matsuhisu.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

Nearby Ski Resorts

  • Breckenridge is 45 minutes from Vail by car. It’s a large resort with great terrain, but Vail is bigger. The town of Breckenridge is larger and more charming than Vail and worth a visit.
  • Beaver Creek is just 10 minutes west of Vail. It’s much smaller but also tends to be less crowded. It lacks anything resembling Vail’s bowls but has lots of beginner and intermediate terrain, as well as expert tree skiing.
  • Copper Mountain is about half an hour east of Vail. It’s a relatively small resort, but terrain park lovers will appreciate its world-class park and mega half-pipe.

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

mountain lifts
Status Type Name
Usually the skiing season starts mid November here
Avanti Express Lift
Start - End
2 836 m - 3 281 m
Black Forest
Start - End
2 841 m - 2 958 m
Born Free Express Lift
Start - End
2 476 m - 2 960 m
Cascade Village Lift (20)
Start - End
2 455 m - 2 840 m
Eagle Bahn Gondola
Start - End
2 476 m - 3 146 m
Earl's Express Lift
Start - End
3 087 m - 3 499 m
Elvis Bahn
Start - End
2 512 m - 2 525 m
Golden Peak
Start - End
2 854 m - 3 055 m
Gondola One
Start - End
2 497 m - 3 102 m
Gopher Hill Lift
Start - End
2 508 m - 2 548 m
High Noon Express Lift
Start - End
2 864 m - 3 429 m
Highline Express Lift
Start - End
2 829 m - 3 358 m
Little Eagle
Start - End
3 108 m - 3 148 m
Start - End
3 407 m - 3 504 m
Mountain Top Express Lift (4)
Start - End
3 094 m - 3 428 m
Northwoods Express Lift
Start - End
2 958 m - 3 429 m
Orient Express Lift
Start - End
2 992 m - 3 469 m
Pete's Express Lift
Start - End
3 040 m - 3 525 m
Pride Express Lift
Start - End
2 782 m - 3 146 m
Rip's Ride Carpet
Start - End
2 508 m - 2 513 m
Riva Bahn Express Lift
Start - End
2 504 m - 2 969 m
Skyline Express Lift
Start - End
2 913 m - 3 499 m
Sourdough Express Lift
Start - End
3 267 m - 3 421 m
Sun Up Express Lift
Start - End
3 089 m - 3 426 m
Tea Cup Express Lift
Start - End
2 922 m - 3 425 m
Start - End
3 419 m - 3 425 m
Wildwood Express Lift
Start - End
3 095 m - 3 346 m
Show all 27 lifts
Show only 10 lifts