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Vail is one of the largest ski mountains in North America. It’s also one of the best, offering a vast winter playground that stretches for over 7 miles with slopes that have enough variety and vertical feet to suit every level of skier.
Vail is the third largest single mountain resort in North America offering a vast winter playground of 5,283 acres across an easy to navigate interconnected ski area. The north facing front side of the mountain offers 127 wide tree-lined, well groomed runs for all standards. Over the back is why advanced intermediates and experts love Vail – the legendary back bowls. There are seven go anywhere, ski any line, open bowls which offer great powder skiing for advanced intermediates. As if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, Vail has a third dimension; Blue Sky Basin – a quiet inbounds area which feels more like a backcountry adventure as you pick your line through widely dispersed evergreens.
Add in an average 30 foot of snow every season, 300 days of sunshine each year, the most groomed terrain, a network of high speed lifts and a stylish slopeside village and you have a truly world class ski resort. Vail is as good as it gets.
Looking up from Vail Village it’s easy to underestimate the size of the ski area. Vail is a wide mountain that runs East to West. It has three well defined faces, with each face of the mountain having its own character. The front side is classic Colorado skiing – wide treelined cruisers that wind back down into the valley – a perfect playground for days when the snow is falling.
The legendary Back Bowls offer seven south facing powder bowls. There are no trees here and the wide, imposing bowls offer ‘pick any line’ type of skiing. Strong intermediates will love exploring some of the easier bowls like China Bowl. Sun Up and Sun Down bowls are steeper and advanced skiers will really love picking their lines here. On powder days these bowls get tracked out early as powder-hounds rush to the bowls before the sun heats up.
Blue Sky Basin is the mountain behind the mountain; offering a valley to valley style adventure. When you arrive at the peak of Blue Sky Basin you feel like you’re miles away from the main village. The ski area below offers quiet, wide runs through thinly gladed meadows of evergreen trees, which are wide enough apart that you never need worry, but thick enough to give you that backcountry adrenaline rush.
Beginners are well catered for at Vail with two dedicated ‘learn to ski’ zones and numerous trails dedicated as ‘slow zones’ where improvers can hone their skills. Improvers will enjoy being high up on the mountain exploring the front side, where there is an easy green trail option from each of the chairlifts.
The front side of Vail Mountain is also full of fantastic blue cruisers that intermediates will have a blast on. In mid-Vail try out Cappuccino and Christmas both under Chair 4. From here work your way towards Eagles Nest along the ridge route to the top of Chair 2 where you can try out our favourite blue cruisers on the mountain; Avanti, Pickeroon and Lodgepole.
Vail Mountain is an intriguing playground for advanced skiers. All three sides of the resort have advanced runs; some of it obvious, some of it hidden. On the front side the best moguls are found over on the eastern side underneath Chair 10 where you can earn top bragging rights on runs like Prima and Pronto.
On a powder day head for the back bowls or try some of the not so secret powder stashes on the eastern side of Game Creek Bowl on runs like Ouzo. Advanced skiers will also love exploring Blue Sky Basin where it feels like you have unlimited options from open glades, cornices, steep pitches and north facing powder slopes.
There are three main base areas where you access the skiing in Vail. Vail Village, Golden Peak and Lionshead. Most people arrive at Vail Village on the free in-resort shuttle services. This is a great way to start your ski day, walking up the pedestrian only Bridge Street past the Tyrolean style buildings to the Gondola at the top of the Village. Gondola One gives you access to the main mountain revealing just how wide the resort is as you rise through the trees up to Mid-Vail mountain restaurant. From here you can access one of the largest networks of high speed quad lifts in the USA.
Vail is the complete resort; it has some of the best skiing in North America combined with a stylish slope-side village with world class shopping, dining and spas. There is something to suit every skier, from fine dining to family fun. Once you go you’ll realise why the locals say there is no comparison.
We offer a range of 3, 4 and 5 star hotels and condos in Vail. Check out our featured luxury ‘ski-in’ hotel from our Platinum Collection.