Vail Ski Resort

Vail is a vast and fantastic ski area, one of the USA’s largest resort towns and it is home to some of the world’s smartest hotels and best in-resort restaurant and bars.

This Colorado big hitter is perhaps the state’s most famous resort, if not the most well-known resort in the entire country. It has long attracted the rich and famous from around the world and for good reason. The town is always buzzing, the range of accommodation is unrivalled in the Rockies and there is a huge range of food options – just be prepared to pay for the privilege as prices here can be extremely expensive.

Although not everyone comes for the skiing, choosing instead to enjoy the town, Vail is home to some fantastic ski terrain. The highlights are the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin – open powder bowls and tree runs, all served by fast lifts. Perhaps the only slight downside is that Vail is a victim of its own success and extensive queues can form, particularly at the weekends and during major holidays.

Our Vail Resort Ratings

  • Beginner ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
  • Intermediate ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Advanced ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Snow Reliability ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Fast Lifts ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Resort Activities ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Après ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Value ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Pros

Huge ski area and epic terrain in the Back Bowls>

Every main lift is fast and there’s been lots of investment recently>

Loads to do in town if your budget allows

Cons

Resort can get busy and queues often form at weekends

Super expensive lift pass and high prices in town

Some accommodation can be a decent walk away from the lifts

Vail Skiing and Snowboarding

A huge 5289 acres of terrain is on offer at Vail, with something for everyone. Even absolute beginners are well catered for at Gopher Hill and at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. The area really comes into its own however for intermediates upwards, especially if you follow the corduroy by picking up the day’s grooming map each morning. Our favourite runs lies in Game Creek Bowl, around the recently revamped Northwoods Express and over the back of the mountain down to the Orient Express.

Vail’s ski area comes alive on a powder day, especially when a Rocky Mountain snowstorm loads the Back Bowls with fresh snow – just be sure to get there as early as possible to score fresh tracks. Blue Sky Basin is one vast playground filled with tree runs and gladed terrain, some of which is seriously steep and it is here where you’ll find the best powder stashes long after fresh snowfall.

  • Total Pistes: 5289 acres
  • Beginner: 18%
  • Intermediate: 29%
  • Advanced: 53%
  • Lifts: 25
  • Altitude: 2454m – 3527m

Vail Piste Map

The local area map can be downloaded here.

Vail Resort

Vail is vast and spreads for almost four miles along the southern flank of the I-70 Highway, with two distinct bases at the foot of the resort’s two gondolas at Vail Village and Lionshead. In between lies a plethora of luxury accommodation – whether you’re looking for smart hotels or luxury condos, Vail has so many options. Those looking to save some cash should look at staying further along the valley at Eagle Vail or in Avon below Beaver Creek, then catch the bus back to the Vail ski area.

The resort is also home to some fantastic après spots and places for a drink in the evening – just try to make the most of the daily happy hours for the best value drinks. Vail is also home to perhaps the widest range of ski resort restaurants in the USA, with everything from classic American BBQ food to sushi, the resort has something for everyone.

How to get to Vail

Access from Denver is very easy by car or by using one of the numerous private or shared transfer companies running the I-70 route. The drive takes a little under two hours.

  • Denver airport: 2 hours

Vail 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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