Getting To Vail

Getting To Vail

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Where is Vail?

Vail is situated 97 miles (157km) west of Denver on the I-70 highway in Eagle County Colorado.

Vail is located 28 miles west of Frisco Colorado, a town that is a central hub for the Summit County ski resorts and has lots of inexpensive lodging. The town of Silverthorne and Dillon are just a few miles further along the I-70.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

Beaver Creek is 10 minutes away, further along the I70. In the other direction are Copper Mountain and Loveland. Also nearby are Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge. Smaller nearby ski hills include the quaint Ski Cooper and Sunlight (near Glenwood Springs).


Denver International Airport is located 194km / 120 miles away from Vail. Denver is a major airline hub, so flights into the city are numerous.

The closer alternative is Eagle, a small municipal airfield (Vail/Eagle County Airport) which is 30 minutes from Vail. Flights into Eagle are less regular than to Denver and they tend to cost more.

To make searching for flights to Denver or Eagle Vail easier, use one of the recommended flight search engines that can compare flight options from multiple airlines.

Driving To Vail

You can rent a car from either Eagle County or Denver International Airport for the drive to Vail. Use one of our car rental search engines to find a good deal and make a reservation.

However unless you plan to travel around to visit other Colorado ski resorts, you’re probably better off getting shuttle transport to Vail, because once there you won’t need a car and parking can be expensive.

The drive from Denver along the I-70 takes about 2 hours, and from Denver Airport a little bit longer. Drive times can vary significantly depending on the weather, road conditions and traffic. Due to the high concentration of ski resorts around Summit County and Vail, there can be horrendous traffic on weekends and holidays. And when powderhounds can sniff a hint of a powder day, the roads can get really congested. Occasionally big storms can close the I-70, but usually not for very long.

For overnight guests, parking is provided by the accommodation, although generally with a hefty charge associated with it. For day trippers there are parking garages at Lionshead and Vail Village for $25 for the day (2012 rates). Occasionally if the parking structures become full then parking becomes available on the frontage road. Otherwise there is free parking on the North Frontage Road in West Vail serviced by a free shuttle bus, but this can take some time.

Denver to Vail Shuttle

There are a multitude of operators that provide Denver to Vail shuttles, either from the Denver airport or the city. Shared shuttles leave DIA very regularly, or you can use one of the private limo services. They provide transport in various vehicles including sedans, vans and fully stretched limos.

Similarly there are lots of companies providing shared shuttle or private transport between Eagle County Airport and Vail.

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Getting Around Vail

Vail has four main villages on the south side of the I-70 and there are also various “suburbs” of Vail. Moving from east to west (left to right on the trail map) the main villages are Golden Peak, Vail Village, Lionshead and Cascade Village. Golden Peak is a small area that has lots of kids’ facilities and is home to the Gopher Hill beginners’ ski area. Close by is Vail Village, which is the heart of Vail and has many of the Vail restaurants, bars and shops. A little further west is Lionshead Village, the second largest hub of Vail that has lots of restaurants, shops and services. Cascade Village is a sedate little village that’s further to the west.

The main parts of the villages have heated walkways so if you want to wear your stiletto boots out, you probably can! And whilst it is possible to walk from one end of Vail to the other, it can be a bit taxing after a long day on the slopes, so make the most of the free bus service that inter-connects the villages. Maps and directions at the numerous bus stops make it easy to understand and use. Buses are regular and they are only crowded towards the end of the skiing day.

Many of the upscale hotels also have their own shuttles or private limos to help you get between the hotel and the slopes, or to get to dinner.