Vail is the biggest ski resort in the United States and is known for the quality and the abundance of its powder snow. Located in Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains, Vail has nearly 40km² of skiing area.
It is a huge domain giving an easy access to 6 resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, NorthStar California and Kirkwood, especially thanks to the purchase of a single ski pass.
Table of Contents
Vail ski resort
Vail Resort’s ski area offers 2,141 hectares of mountain terrain with 47% of its slopes geared towards beginner and intermediate skiers. Experts will enjoy Vail, as 53% of the slopes are steep. Its 195 slopes and 31 ski lifts make it easy to access and move around this huge mountain range.
The longest ski run at Vail Resort is Riva Ridge, with more than 6 kilometres of continuous downhill skiing.
The base of the lifts is at 2,454 metres and the highest part of the resort is at 3,527 metres, providing a vertical drop of over a thousand metres. Also, the Rocky Mountains offers wide slopes full of virgin snow, with a variety of downhill options where you can practically guarantee that you will make “new tracks”. The ski resort belongs to the Vail Resorts group, which owned the closed ski websites (skiinfo, OntheSnow, …) managed by its subsidiary Mountain News Corporation.
Vail is the biggest ski resort in the United States
The Vail ski area has very modern ski lifts, with spectacular scenery and slopes that cross forests, endless slopes and high quality services for tourists. They have a new 10-seater gondola lift, which is not only the fastest in the world in its category, but also includes a free wi-fi service which you can use to share your photos and videos with your family in comfort.
There is a wide range of après-ski activities on offer, such as Adventure Ridge, which is the day and night activity centre on Vail Mountain. There are numerous outdoor activities such as ice skating, snow biking, snowshoeing and fun tobogganing down icy slides.
In the town of Vail, you will find restaurants and bars with all types of cuisine to suit all budgets. There are also shops, supermarkets, spas and many other amenities to enjoy before a well-deserved rest. Its proximity to Denver and 30 minutes from Eagle County Airport makes it easy and convenient to get to from the nearest airports.
Sustainable development of the Vail ski resort
The largest ski resort in the USA, owned by the Vail Resorts group, is one of the most eco-sustainable in the world thanks to the numerous sustainable measures the company has in place. Specifically, the Vail Resorts group has three environmental goals:
TO HAVE A ZERO CARBON FOOTPRINT BY 2030, TO PROMOTE THE HEALTH AND SUSTAINABILITY OF ITS RESORT COMMUNITIES AND TO SUPPORT ITS EMPLOYEES THROUGH SCHOLARSHIPS.
Currently, Vail is on track, having achieved an 85% reduction in electricity emissions by 2021 through the use of renewable energy. In addition, to support communities, the group has donated a total of 21 million dollars in 2021 alone. And that’s not all, the company holds the title of sustainability leader in the industry because it is not only dedicated to implementing all kinds of measures, but also takes its role very seriously and tries to raise awareness among other companies in the industry to follow suit.
AMONG ITS MOST PROMINENT ACTIONS AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE IS THE CREATION OF FOUR JOBS ENTIRELY DEDICATED TO FIGHTING GLOBAL WARMING.
In addition, they focus on recycling, composting and waste diversion, which has resulted in 150 tons of cardboard, 90 tons of scrap metal, 14 tons of compost, 250 tons of individual/mixed material, 7,000 gallons of vegetable oil and truckloads of other recyclable materials being shipped and reused by various carriers and suppliers each year. Finally, it should be noted that they are constantly renewing their infrastructure to reduce energy consumption, most of which comes from renewable sources.
Unforgettable experiences in Vail
First of all, you can enjoy a relaxing ride on the Eagle Bahn Gondola while looking down on the breathtaking views of the Gore Mountain Range. Without a doubt, this activity is perfect for a couple or a family, as you can discover the valley together in a special and different way. After getting off the ski lift, you can enjoy Eagle’s Nest Tubing, an activity that consists of sliding down the snow on giant wheels.
Horse-drawn sleigh rides are also available and are an incredible way to enjoy the winter and admire the surrounding mountain ranges. You can take a chic and romantic sleigh ride with your partner, or enjoy it with your family while sipping your favourite drink and learning about the history of the area.
If you want to explore the valley, it is also possible to do so on guided ski touring or snowshoeing excursions. These activities are perfect for getting to know the surrounding flora and fauna, as slowing down will allow you to appreciate the beautiful details of the valley’s nature.
Finally, ice fishing is an experience not to be missed. The valley’s beautiful scenery includes Sylvan Lake and the Gypsum Ponds Nature Reserve, where you can enjoy this unique activity. What’s more, this experience only requires warm equipment such as ski jackets and snow trousers to protect you from the cold.
Services in Vail
There is also the possibility to learn to ski at Vail Ski Resort. The classes are divided by age, with groups for children, teenagers and adults in both skiing and snowboarding. In addition, it is also possible to book private lessons in a totally personalised way, choosing the location, level, duration and age.
The group classes for children are designed for those between 3 and 14 years old, and as in the private classes, it is possible to choose the level and location to offer a personalised experience. In these classes, children can learn to enjoy the snow surrounded by children their own age, or improve their technique in intermediate or advanced groups.
The classes designed for teenagers between 15 and 18 years old follow a similar system. Here, it is possible to personalise the experience and enjoy skiing in small groups of the same level. Finally, there are classes for adults over the age of 18, designed to teach them to ski from scratch or to perfect their technique.
At the largest ski resort in the USA it is also possible to rent the best ski and snowboard equipment from the best brands. You can also get advice from a team of experts and book online to get up to 20% discount on this service.
It’s also worth noting that you can pick up your equipment from any of the slopes, villages or even hotels, so it couldn’t be more convenient. To do this, you can select a shop near your accommodation online or they will bring the equipment to you in a free delivery.
Where to eat at Vail Resort
There are numerous restaurants to stop for a bite to eat at the largest ski resort in the USA. Firstly, for those who want quick service that won’t take time away from skiing in Vail, we’d like to recommend Buffalo’s/Rocky’s Roadhouse. It’s conveniently located at the junction of 3 main lifts, making it the perfect place to enjoy a mid-morning snack while you take a break or grab some delicious sandwiches and other fast food options if you want to rush back to the slopes.
One option for those looking for a traditional mountain restaurant is Mid Vail. This restaurant offers spectacular views of the Gore mountain range and is conveniently located. Dishes include a wide variety of food including handmade sandwiches and salads, an American grill serving burgers, fries and chicken strips, and a variety of freshly made soups perfect for warming up.
Finally, for those who prefer a more upmarket option, we’d like to recommend The 10th, located at the top of Gondola One. Here, you can enjoy classic dishes updated with a mountain feel while enjoying excellent views. The only downside is that the restaurant is only open during lunchtime, it is not possible to dine there.
Vail mountain resort in summer
During the summer, the Vail Valley is full of life. For starters, hiking enthusiasts will find Vail to be their ideal destination, as hiking is the number one summertime activity in the region. It’s no wonder when there are at least 40 kilometres of recreational trails and 320 kilometres of hiking trails in Eagle County.
You’ll also be able to enjoy Vail Mountain thanks to the resort’s Epic Discovery program. With it, you can take to the air and ground on Forest Flyer Mountain, tackle the Rope Challenges and take the Game Creek Zipline Tour.
In addition, the valley becomes the centre of many summer camps for kids such as Pre-Kamp Vail, Camp Eco Fun, Camp Vail & Extreme Camp Vail. Here, kids can do gymnastics, football, golf, baseball, basketball, tennis, volleyball and many more sports. But if you want your children to enjoy this experience, don’t delay in reserving your place or you’ll miss out!
Finally, during the summer Vail hosts all kinds of festivals and events, be they musical, sporting or gastronomic. It’s certainly worth checking out what events Vail will be hosting each summer, there are more surprises every year!
Hotels in Vail
Grand Hyatt Vail ****
Located in Gore Creek at the base of Vail Mountain, the Grand Hyatt Vail is the perfect location for outdoor adventures. In fact, Vail’s first outdoor chairlift is located right next to its ample parking and ski rentals, making this the perfect hotel for your ski trip.
Here you can also enjoy a range of Colorado-inspired dining options, great cocktails and even more casual dining options without leaving the premises. You can also relax in the spa or enjoy room service after a long day of skiing.
Gravity Haus Vail ***
Gravity Haus Vail is located within walking distance of Gondola 1 and Ford Amphitheatre, offering a complete retreat in the heart of Vail Village. One of the perks of this hotel is that they are pet friendly, so if you want to travel with your dog or cat, this is the perfect option for you.
The 22 luxurious rooms are just the beginning: get moving with a full range of group fitness classes and open gym hours at Dryland Fitness, indulge in a treatment at the Dryland Spa or refuel at the Slope Room. In addition, the in-house restaurant offers a healthy balance of carefully selected proteins, as well as vegan and gluten-free products, so that everyone can enjoy a cuisine designed to help you stay in top shape while you’re skiing.
The Lodge at Vail ****
The legendary resort The Lodge at Vail combines the old-world appeal of an alpine resort with the superb amenities, impeccable service and overall sophistication found in some of the world’s most exclusive hotels. Not only will guests benefit from high-end accommodations, but the location is simply unbeatable if you want to enjoy the Vail ski resort to the fullest.
It was Vail’s first hotel, and today remains an iconic destination for frequent and new visitors to the ski resort. Its blend of classic ambience with modern, alpine-inspired resort amenities is a hit with tourists.
Skiing in Vail : the resort’s main strengths
Eco-responsible resort: many initiatives are carried out to protect the environment.
A wide range of family-friendly services.
Wide range of restaurants.
Accommodation located close to the ski slopes.
Beginner slopes accessible from the lower part of the resort.
Access adapted for people with reduced mobility.
Ski and snowboard schools with experienced professionals.
Bus lines that run within the resort to avoid using your own vehicle.
Ideal resort for freestyle enthusiasts, thanks to its snowpark, half-pipe and dedicated learning area.
Spectacular freestyle circuits off the marked runs, recommended when accompanied by a professional.