Vail Ski Resort Review
When one thinks about the legendary ski resorts around the world, a number immediately spring to mind. Vail is definitely one of those. Resorts don’t reach legendary status without good reason. Vail has it all - massive and varied terrain, a huge modern and efficient lift system, great vertical, tons of snow, classic après, vibrant nightlife and a booming “village” (err...town, um....city) with all the services one would expect from a mega resort. Vail is the quintessential world class ski resort that many others try to imitate.
Vail is BIG and pretty much has something for everyone. If you want to ski cruisers all day - you can do it. If you want some in-bounds backcountry style skiing and then cook a steak on a BBQ at 3,527m elevation – you can. If you expect powder - it will happen. If you want to ski steep trees and moguls or jump off cornices - guess what - it’s there. If you want to eat at five star restaurants and shop in fur boutiques, or just get a roll from Subway - you can do that too. If you want to economise and shop at Safeway to cook in your self-contained accommodation, go right ahead.
Vail Ski and Snowboard Terrain
The Vail skiing
area is one of the largest in the world with 2,140 hectares (5,289 acres). Off-piste there are infinite lines. You’ll never run into your ex-wife, and you’ll still discover new trails after skiing there for a week. Vail has all the terrain you could ever desire, especially if you’re an advanced skier or snowboarder. The lift system is amazing with 31 lifts in total, including one gondola and 17 high speed quad chairs!
Vail Colorado has three distinct ski areas. The front side is generally crowded and includes lots of cruisers and the beginner areas. The Vail back bowls are renowned amongst advanced skiers and are a good way to escape the masses (except on a powder day!). The north facing Blue Sky Basin is peaceful and has boundless backcountry trails, lots of advanced terrain and tree skiing.
Where is Vail?
Vail is located in Eagle County Colorado, 97 miles (157km) west of Denver (2 hours drive) on the I-70 highway.
Gateway airports are the Denver International Airport (120 miles / 194km away), and the Vail/Eagle County regional airport which is only 56km (35 miles) to the west of Vail. Ground transportation to Vail Resort is readily available from both airports.
options are seemingly endless across four main neighbourhoods. Vail Village is the centre of all the action; the Lionshead area has good access to the skiing area via the gondola; Golden Peak is a great area for families; and Cascade is a quiet village that still has good access to the lifts. Across the different villages, you can choose from Vail hotels
, condos, and bed and breakfasts to suit most budgets.
Vail Accommodations Listings
At Vail, skiing and snowboarding is really only part of the vacation. The off-slope Vail activities
are numerous and just a few examples include sleigh rides, day spas, galleries, and of course the amazing Vail shopping
. Definitely pay off the credit card before you arrive because there are too many temptations!
The purpose-built Vail Village and Lionshead Village are bustling and trendy, yet still somewhat charming. Après and nightlife options abound, and there are a multitude of Vail restaurants
Why Snowboard or Ski Vail Mountain?
Vail has everything that money can buy, and considering the limitless opportunities, chances are that your wallet will be empty by the end of your vacation. The lift tickets are some of the most expensive in the world, but no one seems to mind because you get plenty in return for your dollar. Your money is well invested back into the resort facilities, and money is even spent on working with Mother Nature via cloud seeding to get more snowfall; an impressive 9.3 metres (366 inches) on average per season. Vail is awesome in many ways. Make this journey before your knees give in!
Vail is an amazing ski resort so it’s not surprising that it’s a multi-award winner. Vail scores“best skiing in USA
” awards from Powderhounds for the:
- advanced piste terrain
- off-piste terrain
- lift infrastructure
- evening restaurants