Day Two

Start the day at one of Vail’s top breakfast spots, the Little Diner in Lionshead for robust portions of breakfast comfort food—biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, omelets—and a cozy vibe (translation: seating is limited). Then take the Eagle Bahn gondola from Lionshead and hit Game Creek Bowl, an oft-overlooked bastion of steep groomers and wide-open slopes. At the top of the Eagle Bahn, look for Game Trail, the path to the bottom of the Game Creek Express. Ride the lift—then have at it.

After a few laps in Game Creek, head for Vail’s back bowls—acres and acres of intermediate to expert terrain, perfectly pitched runs and gladed shots. From the top of Chair 4, head directly off the backside and tap the fall-line snowfields under High Noon Express. To plunge deeper into the bowls, follow the catwalk from the top of Lifts 4 and 5 east towards China, Siberia and Mongolia bowls. Or try Blue Sky Basin for nice tree pitches and no crowds. Pack lunch and grill at Belle’s Camp, which, in addition to a proper restaurant, offers a patio with barbecues, benches, and tables for DIY-ers. You bring the brats, burgers and beer.

Dinner tonight is a treat—and something you’ll remember forever, so make sure you bring the right company. Make reservations at the Game Creek Restaurant, a Euro-style chalet tucked into its namesake bowl. Take the Eagle Bahn gondola to the end of the line, where a snowcat will fetch you and whisk you away to this on-mountain oasis. Tuck into a three- or four-course prix-fixed menu and top-notch wine—and one of the best dinners in the valley. Surrounded by peaks, alpine vistas and the stillness of the Rocky Mountain wild, you’ll feel a million miles away from civilization. We don’t blame you if you never want to go home.