Vail Vacation Travel, Deals, & Info

Vail is a vast ski resort with every type of terrain that you can imagine. The Vail Valley is home to an iconic ski town with two villages that are full of nightlife, restaurants and shopping. On a powder day you will find an abundance of snow throughout the back bowls and into Blue Sky Basin. Vail is about a 2 hour drive from Denver and it is within a short distance of several other ski resorts. Beaver Creek is located just to the west. Copper Mountain and the rest of Summit County can be found to the east.

Vail Vacation Deals

Lodging Deals

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Transportation Deals

Mountain Stats

Vail Ski Resort Highlights

This is a luxury ski resort and families fly here from around the world for the skiing and resort atmosphere.

vail colorado lionshead village aerial winter view

Getting to Vail

You can fly into Denver or the Eagle County airport. I-70 goes right through town and you should have no problem getting here from the west. To the east between Denver and Vail there is Vail Pass and the Continental Divide to contend with. Both of these routes can close during snowstorms. If there is a big storm, you might be forced to wait it out.

Vail, CO FAQ

Yes, you can walk. In the summer, many people do walk between Vail Village and Lionshead. In the winter, almost everyone uses the free bus system that runs throughout the villages.

Yes, there are many top to bottom runs for beginners on the front side of the mountain.

There are public parking garages in both villages, but they will fill up easily on busy days. After that, parking along frontage road is allowed in accordance with signs and policies. Choose wisely or you may wind up doing a lot more traversing than you would like at the beginning and end of the day. If you want to ski Blue Sky Basin, you should park in the Vail Village garage.

Vail is the biggest in terms of skiable acres. The Copper Mountain and Keystone villages are a bit sparse compared to Vail. Breckenridge is a closer comparison when it comes to nightlife. However, the high mountain peaks at Breckenridge will often be windswept and tough to ski, whereas Vail’s back bowls and Blue Sky Basin will be more enjoyable on great powder days.

Trail Maps


Vail front side trail map

The Back Bowls

Vail back bowls trail map

Blue Sky Basin

Vail Blue Sky Basin trail map

Full-size trail maps are available on Vail’s official website here.

Tips for Skiing Vail

Park in Vail Village to access Blue Sky Basin. This will give you the shortest route through the back bowls and into Blue Sky Basin.

The mountain opens from front to back on powder days. The back bowls don’t open immediately on powder days. There will usually be at least a 1 or 2-hour delay. The staff needs to get back there and dig out the lifts, and the ski patrol may also do avalanche mitigation work. Blue Sky Basin opens last and sometimes this won’t be until lunchtime. You should plan your day and your first few runs accordingly in order to take advantage of the fresh snow.

Plan your route or you might spend all day traversing. Vail is massive and it is easy to underestimate the amount of time that you will spend traversing around the mountain to get from one part to another. Decide where you want to ski and make a plan to head there. You can easily spend 1-2 hours getting back to Blue Sky Basin on a busy day if you park in Lionshead and don’t know where you are going.

Avoid the China Bowl on powder days. Perhaps the most photogenic of the back bowls and the first thing people want to ski after looking at photos and trail maps. Even in person, the Dragon’s Teeth cliffs are a cool sight in the center of the bowl. However, the pitch down the center is way too shallow for powder skiing and most of the other bowls will be more entertaining for you to ski and ride.