OnTheSnow uses cookies to personalize your website experience and collect statistical data. In addition, these cookies help us and our partners to better understand your use of the websites and provide tailored advertising to you. By clicking on the I accept button, you accept the use of cookies. Please refer to our Privacy Policy to find out more on how to manage your cookies preferences: Privacy Policy
Ok
English (US)
Compare
Favorites

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

Overview

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. 

Advertisement

Elevation

  • 11570ft
    Summit
  • 3450ft
    Vertical Drop
  • 8120ft
    Base

Lifts

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

Terrain

  • Beginner Runs

    19%

  • Intermediate Runs

    29%

  • Advanced Runs

    48%

  • Expert Runs

    4%

  • Runs

    195

  • Terrain Parks

    3

  • 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 Closing11/14/201804/14/2019
  • Days Open Last Year
    149
  • Projected Days Open
    142
  • Years Open
    56
  • Average Snowfall
    354"

Best Vail Hotels

5
Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort
675 Lionshead Place Vail, 81657
Hotel
* 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.
5
Winter Exterior
728 West Lionshead Circle Vail, 81657
Hotel
* 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.
5
A view of the pool and exterior of the Four Seasons Vail.
1 Vail Road Vail, 81657
Hotel
* 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.

Get Snow Reports, Powder Alerts & Powder Forecasts from Vail straight to your inbox!

Webcams

Advertisement

Gallery: Vail

View Map & Directions

Vail Reviews

Katherine
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
View AllWrite New Review

Contact Info

Advertisement