Vail is the third largest ski area in the USA, offering more than 5,000 acres of terrain, 7 back bowls, 8m of average snowfall and 300 days of sun per year, it's easy to see why Vail is one of the best known resorts in North America.

Vail is an enormous resort, stretching almost four miles along the I-70 freeway running west from Denver. It's modeled as an attractive, Alpine style village set out over three bases - Vail Village, Lionshead and Cascade Village. Stuffed with luxury hotels, world class restaurants, endless shopping options and pampering spas. All this comes together to form one of the most luxurious ski resort around.

Skiing in Vail offers something for everyone, with excellent beginner areas and easy progression onto the main slopes. The resort is home to seven legendary back bowls spanning seven miles across the backside of the resort, and unlike some are skiable by confident intermediates rather than exclusively the domain of experts. More advanced skiers are however just as well catered for, with powder fields, glades and steep, mogulled runs aplenty.For those looking to get accustomed to the terrain, Vail offers free guided tours for anyone skiing at an intermediate level of above, the price of which is included in your pass. The resort also benefits from near constant investment in its lift system, with all primary uphill chairs now being detachable high speed quads. All these elements combine to give a rather luxurious skiing experience. One element that hinders Vail. however is lift queues - undoubtedly not as problematic as in Europe, however those more accustomed to skiing in empty pistes in North America may be taken aback. Vail Village and Lionshead suffer from this more substantially than Cascade Village, especially during peak times.

Beaver Creek, 16km away, is covered by the lift pass and is easily reached by bus.Breckenridge and Keystone - both owned by Vail Resorts, - and Copper Mountain are other possible excursions.

Pros

One of the biggest areas in the US - especially great for confident intermediates

The Back Bowls are big areas of treeless terrain - unusual in the US

Fabulous area of ungroomed, wooded slopes at Blue Sky Basin

Largely traffic-free resort centres, very pleasant in parts - but …

Cons

Resort is a vast sprawl

Slopes can be crowded by American standards, with serious lift queues

Inadequate mountain restaurants

Blue Sky Basin and Back Bowls may not be open in early season; warm weather can close much of Bowls

Getting there

  • Denver airport: 2.5 hours
  • Eagle County airport: 1 hours

Contact Details

Good For

Ability
  • Advanced
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
In Resort
  • Family Friendly
  • Off The Slopes
  • Ski To Door
  • Village Charm
On Slope
  • Boarder
  • Fast Lifts
  • Snow Reliability
  • Terrain Parks

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