Colorado

Vail Ski Resort

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Vail Ski Resort Overview

Vail Ski Resort is world-renowned for providing guests with an experience that truly is “Like nothing on Earth.” Founded in 1962, the Colorado resort is home to seven legendary back bowls spanning seven miles across the backside of the resort. The ski area is enormous with over 5,289 acres to explore and four distinct base areas connected by free buses and heated walkways. It draws skiers from all over the world and provides excellent terrain for all ability levels.

The resort has great terrain options, excellent ski schools and a large assortment of shopping and dining options. The two main base areas are Vail Village and Lionshead. Vail Village located at the base of Gondola One is the original base area and is home to Vail’s iconic covered bridge that crosses Gore Creek. Lionshead Village, located just west of Vail Village, is serviced by its own gondola and is home to luxury resorts.

Denver to Vail is about 1.5 hours – or more depending on traffic. It is 100 miles from Denver International Airport and 30 miles east of Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE). There are plenty of shuttle services to Vail. Once you get to Vail, you can navigate the town by bus for free.

Vail is a great destination for many skiers, but the resort can get crowded on the weekends. So, check the chair lift status signs at strategic intersections on the mountain to avoid backups. A yellow light means the lift maze is full so choose an alternative route if possible. A green light means you are good to go. 

Vail Ski Resort History

While many other ski resorts in the western United States started as mining towns, Vail was built from the ground up to be a ski resort. During World War II the U.S. Army established a training center at Camp Hale located just 14 miles south of what would later become Vail Mountain. The U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division trained at Camp Hale and consisted of excellent skiers and mountaineers that fought in the mountains of northern Italy during WWII. Upon their return from the war, they quickly became major players in the burgeoning ski industry.

A veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, Pete Seibert returned to Colorado after the war to search for a perfect location to build a ski area in the Rocky Mountain region. Pete teamed up with friend Earl Eaton who led Pete on a seven-hour climb up a no-name mountain, where they crested the summit to discover the now legendary back bowls.

Plan Your Trip

Vail Lodging

Best Time for Snow

Total Snowfall

73"
46"
31"
15"
13"
41"
Nov
44"
Dec
25"
Jan
61"
Feb
40"
Mar

Terrain Overview

19%
Beginners Runs
29%
Intermediate Runs
48%
Advanced Runs
4%
Expert Runs
195
Runs in Total
4 mi
Longest Run
3286.4 ac
Skiable Terrain
461 ac
Snow Making

Total Lifts: 31

2
Gondolas & Trams
0
Eight Person Lifts
3
High Speed Sixes
15
High Speed Quads
1
Quad Chairs
1
Triple Chairs
0
Double Chairs
9
Surface Lifts

Elevation

11570'
Summit
3450'
Vertical Drop
8120'
Base

Important Dates

November 12, 20212021/11/12

Projected Opening

April 18, 20222022/04/18

Projected Closing

156

Projected Days Open

158

Days Open Last Year

1962

Years Open

354"

Average Snowfall
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