Vail Ski Resort in Colorado and Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 3450ft/1052m, total trails 195, closest airport 31mi/51km, lifts 32, and more. The ski resort is located in the Central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, west of Vail Pass, in what is known as the Vail Valley. You will find it off Highway I-70 next […]Read More
Vail Ski Resort in Colorado and Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 3450ft/1052m, total trails 195, closest airport 31mi/51km, lifts 32, and more.
The ski resort is located in the Central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, west of Vail Pass, in what is known as the Vail Valley. You will find it off Highway I-70 next to Gore Creek, which runs parallel to the base area and the Town of Vail. The town and the base area of the Vail Ski Resort are on land that was once known as the Hanson Ranch. Long before the ski area existed, during the early 1900s, hunting and ranching initially attracted people to this beautiful area.
Jump ahead to the mid-1950s when two men, Earl Eaton and Pete Siebert, became friends while working at another ski area in Colorado. The two friends shared a vision to create a world-class ski resort, and Earl knew just the place, a mountain area with no name that had open bowls that would be perfect for skiing.
Earl grew up locally and knew about this hidden gem from his hunting and fishing activities in the area. Pete was a former member of the famed 10th Mountain Division that trained at Camp Hale, near the Leadville, CO area. After WWII ended, he returned to Colorado to pursue ski racing and work at several ski areas.
So, in March 1957, Pete and Earl finally decided to make the trek to the summit of the mountain to see if this would indeed be the perfect location for their ski resort, and it was. The back bowls looked incredible. For the next several years, the two put together their plan to build the ski resort along with a Bavarian-style village at the base. They chose the name Vail after the Vail Pass, a mountain section of highway located east of the area. The Pass was named in honor of Charles Vail, who was the Chief Highway Engineer for the Colorado Highway Department from 1930 to 1945.
After several years of proposals, creation of a town layout, attracting investors, and going through regulatory hurdles, construction began in the spring of 1962 with Vail Ski Resort opening to the public on December 15, 1962. The mountain opened with three chairlifts that included a gondola and several trails.
Vail Ski Resort enjoyed immediate popularity, and with the building of Highway I-70 to replace US Highway Route 6, access was greatly improved. Throughout its history, Vail Ski Resort has continued to add new terrain and chairlifts to help enhance the skier and snowboarder experience.
There are so many words that come to mind, including expansive, wide-open, unparalleled and challenging, when you think of the terrain at Vail Ski Resort. The terrain was developed to provide an incredible mountain experience in three sections, the Front-Side slopes facing north, Blue Sky Basin, and the Back Bowls. There are a total of 10 bowls found at the Vail Ski Resort.
Vail Ski Resort consists of four base areas all found on the front-side, Lionshead with its pedestrian village is where you’ll find most of the lodging, shops and restaurants, Golden Peak, is home to the ski school, plus Vail Village, and Cascade Village.
Today, Vail Ski Resort is owned and operated by Vail Resorts Inc., a mountain resort company that continually strives to improve the visitor experience. It is based out of Colorado, and it is considered one of the largest ski resort companies found anywhere.
On the Slopes
- The ski resort is divided into four distinct areas and are all easily accessible to one another. The Front-Side facing the I-70 Highway offers all skill levels that opportunity to have fun on the beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain.
- Game Creek Bowl serviced by a high-speed lift features a great selection of runs that include Showboat, Dealer’s Choice, and Wildcard, plus the Wildwood lodge for food and beverage.
- The Blue Sky Basin area, which opened in 1999, provides an intermediate/advanced level back-country experience. It has two bowls, Pete’s Bowl and Earl’s Bowl, named in honor of the men who had the vision to build the ski resort, Pete Siebert and Earl Eaton.
- Then there are the back bowls at Vail that are expansive and provide for an incredible powder skiing experience when it snows, and it does, a lot. There is the Sun Up, Sun Down, Tea Cup, China, Siberia, and the Inner and Outer Mongolia Bowls.
- Vail Ski Resort has two terrain parks for enthusiasts to showcase their skills. The Avanti is the beginner park where you will discover several small jumps, rails, and boxes, to help build your confidence.
- Golden Peak with access via the Riva Bahn High-Speed Quad Chairlift is the premier terrain park that features a super-pipe, mini pipe, rails, boxes, and a collection of small to extra large jumps.
- The Ski and Snowboard School at Vail Ski Resort has a dedicated team of professional instructors who can help you gain the confidence you need to enjoy your time on the slopes. There are adult and children’s group lessons, along with private, adaptive, and dedicated women’s programs.
- When it comes to lodging options, there are over 150 properties located mountain-side, plus many other choices within the town, which are a short walk or a shuttle ride away. There are many signature properties located throughout the mountain village and in the town of Vail that include the Vail Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, and The Lodge at Vail.
Off the Slopes
- Vail Ski Resort has many activities away from the slopes. There is Adventure Ridge at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola, where you will discover tubing, ski biking, and the mountain coaster. Also, the Vail Nordic School at Golden Peak offers Cross-Country Skiing tours and lessons, along with Snowshoe Wilderness Tours. Call 970-754-3200 for more info.
- Vail Ski Resort offers a vast selection on-mountain dining ranging from fine dining at places such as Game Creek, Bistro Fourteen, and The 10th. There are also fast casual and quick-serve places to stop for a bite.
- Within the Town of Vail, there are what seems to be an endless list of places to enjoy fine dining, casual dining, and places to hang out with friends. All of this captured in the perfect mountain setting.
- With three vibrant villages located at the base of Vail Mountain, this equates to hundreds of retail shops that range from boutiques featuring outdoor apparel, jewelry, and more, plus art galleries and spas.
- Vail Ski Resort offers the Golden Peak Daycare and Nursery for children ages 2 months to 6 years old. The facility has a dedicated staff that will encourage children to participate in fun activities. Contact (970) 754-3285 for more info.
- Various lodging properties throughout the Vail Valley provide FREE shuttle service to and from the ski area throughout the day along with stops at the Main Transportation Center.
- The Town of Vail offers FREE transit service all year throughout the Vail Valley. Service is provided to West Vail North and South, Lionsridge, Sandstone, East Vail, Golf Course, Golden Peak, and in town that includes Vail Village and Lionshead.
- Airport transportation is available from either Eagle County Regional Airport or Denver International Airport. Epic Mountain Express and Eagle Vail Express are providers to Beaver Creek Resort. See the Helpful Links section below for more information.
Current Status: Open
3450 ft / 1052 m
8120 ft / 2475 m
11570 ft / 3527 m
354 in / 899 cm
Total Trails: 195
Beginner: 35 (18%)
Intermediate: 57 (29%)
Advanced: 89 (46%)
Expert: 14 (7%)
Terrain Parks & Pipes: 2
Snow Cross: No
Super Pipe: Yes
Half Pipe: No
Jib Park: Yes
Ski & Snowboard School: Both
Rentals & Repairs: Yes
Parking: Free and Paid
Retail Shops: Yes
Children’s Ski Programs: Yes
Women's Ski Programs: Yes
Adaptive Ski Programs: Yes
Day Lodges: Yes
Eagle County CO , 31mi / 51km
Nearest Major City:
Denver CO, 98mi / 158km
Vail CO, at Base of the Mountain
Season Dates: Nov 11 to Apr 30
Skiing & Snowboarding: Both
Open Days: Open Daily
Hours of Operation:
9:00am to 3:30pm: Hours maybe subject to change.
Night Skiing: No
Total Lifts: 32
Express-6 Chairs: 4
Express Quad Chairs: 14
Quad Chairs: 1
Triple Chairs: 1
Double Chairs: 1
Surface Lifts: 9
Within 20mi / 33km: Yes
Closest Airport(s)What our Convenience Rankings™ mean
Eagle County Airport
Distance: 31 mi / 51 km
Ranking: Most Convenient
Denver Intl Airport
Distance: 121 mi / 195 km
Ranking: Least Convenient
Central Reservations: 1-888-500-5155
Direct Phone: 970-754-8245
Snow Phone: 970-754-4888