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Related Regions: Colorado, United States, North America, Vail Valley


Vail Ski Resort is world renowned for providing guests with an experience that truly is “Like nothing on Earth.” The 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.

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 such as the Arrabelle and Ritz Carlton. 



  • 11570ft
  • 3450ft
    Vertical Drop
  • 8120ft


  • 2
  • 0
  • 3
  • 15
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
  • 9
  • 31


  • Beginner Runs


  • Intermediate Runs


  • Advanced Runs


  • Expert Runs


  • Runs


  • Terrain Parks


  • Longest Run

    4 mi

  • Skiable Terrain

    5289 ac

  • Snow Making

    461 ac

More Info

Vail is arguably one of the most well-known ski areas in the world and the main reason for that is its sheer size. Boasting 5,289 acres of skiable terrain, seven back bowls and Blue Sky Basin, the mountain offers something for every ability level. The front side of the mountain is ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers looking to cruise perfect corduroy while more advanced skiers can head to the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin for a backcountry ski experience inbounds. 

On a powder day, there is no better place in the world than Vail’s Back Bowls. Chair 5, also known as High Noon Express, which services Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls is a great place to start. Take a pristine run down a classic like Forever or Ricky’s Ridge before working your way east. From the top of Chair 5, take a run in the Sun Up Bowl and head up Chair 17 (Sun Up Lift), which will put you in position to ski into Tea Cup Bowl. 

From here you have three options: ski down and over to Chair 21(Orient Express Lift) which will give you access to China Bowl and Inner and Outer Mongolia Bowls, ski to Chair 37 (Skyline Express Lift) which takes you to Blue Sky Basin or ski to Chair 36 (Tea Cup Express) for more runs in Tea Cup and China Bowl. A good way to make this decision is to check the lift boards or talk to a patroller. On powder days, there is often a delayed opening for Chairs 21 and 37 to give ski patrol time to do avalanche mitigation. If this is the case, enjoy the powder off of Chair 36 until one of the other lifts open. At this point ski until the snow gets tracked out or your legs give in then start making your way back to the front of the mountain and your après destination.  

Groomers and Family

Vail’s world-class grooming is a little slice of heaven for skiers of all ability levels. More advanced skiers will enjoy black diamond cruising on Vail’s longest run, Riva Ridge which gives you four miles of thigh-burning excitement. Northwoods, accessed from Chair 11 (Northwoods Express) is a great option for intermediate skiers as are all the runs off of Chair 2 (Avanti Express). Beginners should head to friendly slopes like Flap Jack and Sourdough off of Chair 14 (Sourdough Express) on the East side of the mountain, Lost Boy in Game Creek Bowl or the myriad of green runs at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. For first timers, Eagle’s Nest is the place to be. Easily accessible from the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola, a practice area with magic carpets and a non-intimidating beginner lift make this the perfect setting to find your ski or snowboard legs.  

For the young, and the young at heart, Kids Adventure Zones are scattered across the mountain, teeming with opportunities to discover. Runs like Chaos Canyon, Magic Forest, Sherwood Forest, Porcupine Alley, Coyote’s Escape and Buckskin Glade await young skiers and riders, promising adventure and excitement at every turn. 

When the ski day is done, Adventure Ridge, located at the top of the gondola is open into the evening—offering even more family activities like tubing, snow bikes, a kids snowmobile track and free guided nature snowshoe tours. 

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.

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. 

Important Dates

  • Projected OpeningProjected Closing11/14/201804/21/2019
  • Days Open Last Year
  • Projected Days Open
  • Years Open
  • Average Snowfall

Best Vail Hotels

Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort
675 Lionshead Place Vail, 81657
* Prices above are provided by partners for one room, double occupancy and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.
Winter Exterior
728 West Lionshead Circle Vail, 81657
* Prices above are provided by partners for one room, double occupancy and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.
A view of the pool and exterior of the Four Seasons Vail.
1 Vail Road Vail, 81657
* Prices above are provided by partners for one room, double occupancy and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.

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Vail Reviews

22nd January 20185
Fresh snow is here with more on the way! If you need private transportation services from Denver Airport to Vail and back,...Full review
The Swami
1st January 20181
Conditions are terrible as all have mentioned. The mountain is completely skied out and icy or down to dirt. Save your money...Full review
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