Vail Ski Holidays
Vail is a world-class ski destination with a reputation for excellence. From the amazing ski terrain to the super-efficient modern ski lift network to the award-winning snow school and the exceptional lodging, Vail is a contender for the top resort in North America. It doesn’t get much better than this - over 5,000 acres of jaw-dropping terrain, an average 30 feet of snow and more than 300 days of sunshine each year - Vail is epic!
With a massive 5,289 acres covered in soft, dry Colorado powder and the most groomed terrain on earth, this is a very special place. The front side has incredible variety, with everything from gentle beginner slopes and rolling corduroy cruisers to moguls, glades and terrain parks. The legendary Back Bowls are where things get serious: seven enormous powder bowls stretching six miles across. The final area, Blue Sky Basin, features 645 acres of the most awesome gladed terrain, steeps, tree runs and powder stashes you’re likely to find. But don’t expend all your energy on the mountain, Vail Village and Lionshead offer world-class dining, shopping, galleries, après-ski, nightlife and spas - all within a compact pedestrian area.
Skiing in Vail
Vail’s tree-lined front face is bordered in the east by 'Two Elk Lodge' and in the west by 'Game Creek Bowl.' Depending on where you are staying you can conveniently access the front face from Golden Peak, Vail Village or Lionshead, with additional access from Hotel Talisa. These are all high speed lifts, so don’t expect to be waiting long - all ski lifts are well staffed and highly organised. Do expect to hear the cheery 'How's it going?' several times a day!
Beginners are well looked after in Vail, with a choice of 'learn to ski' areas and plenty of ‘slow zones’ designed to keep confidence high. Once the basics are mastered then the whole of the front face is at your mercy, with an easy trail option off the top of every ski lift in this area. The green trails in Vail give improvers the ability to ski or ride to their hearts content at all elevations on the front face of the mountain.
The area around the Eagle Bahn Gondola at Lionshead offers fantastic intermediate terrain, ‘Born Free’ is one long cruise from top to bottom, as are ‘Simba’ and ‘Bwana’. It is possible to zip happily up and down on the gondola for several hours without repeating the same run. Mid-Vail has a series of highly-caffeinated runs, ‘Espresso’ and ‘Cappuccino’ - nice short little blasts to give you a buzz. Two Elk Lodge at the top of the mountain at 11,220ft is the perfect place to stop for lunch. It is an enormous pine lodge, with Native American artefacts hanging tastefully on the walls and cathedral windows framing the mountain peaks. As ever in Vail everything clips along at an efficient pace and the food is more imaginative than the ever-present chilli cheese dog. Details are never over-looked in Vail, only here would one find a hair-dryer for the glamorous ski clientele in the lodge restrooms.
Now the more serious stuff. You only get the true measure of Vail’s awesome skiing as you finally ascend to the top of the mountain and peek over the back side. The legendary back bowls of Vail are a staggering six mile wide complex of bowls featuring some of the very best inbounds off-piste skiing in Colorado. On an epic powder day it simply cannot be beaten! Take your pick of the Back Bowls; China Bowl, Tea Cup Bowl, Sun Up, Sun Down, Siberia, Inner or Outer Mongolia? Make your choice according to conditions, and then make your mark on Vail's legendary powder. This is predominantly single black diamond terrain, though whilst classed as black the bowls are mostly wide open expanses where you ‘ski-what-you-see’, and won’t pose a problem to the majority of intermediates. China Bowl does have a blue run, ‘Poppyfields’, which is a good route over to Blue Sky Basin. It takes you directly down to the Skyline Express - ride this up to Belle's Camp at the summit of Blue Sky Basin. At this point you are six miles out from Vail Village and there is a palpable wilderness feel in the air.
Highlights in Blue Sky Basin are taking the plunge and jumping over the ledge onto ‘Lover's Leap’, a wonderfully steep and challenging run that will certainly get the adrenaline flowing - a killer on the legs and a test of concentration and stamina. Or try ‘Grand Review’ and ‘The Star’ accessed from Pete's Express at a hefty 11,570ft, less exerting but just as worthwhile - make long sweeping turns through the trees and enjoy the views.
We offer a full range of discounted Epic Passes, Vail lift tickets, ski & snowboard rentals and snow school lessons and we always recommend you book early for our very best prices.
Getting to Vail
Ski Independence offer a choice of airlines flying direct from London into Denver, and indirect into Vail Eagle and we provide complete flexibility to choose the day of departure, holiday duration, choice of airline and cabin type. We have the freedom to build you the perfect holiday itinerary around the best flight options that suit you, and not around a product we’re committed to sell.
All of our holidays to Vail include a shared, scheduled shuttle transfer from Denver, but if you want to take advantage of your EPIC Pass, you may want the flexibility of a self-drive, SUV or minivan. We offer 'Gold' option car rental which includes all the mandatory taxes & fees, extra driver fees, fuel and ski rack. We can also offer vehicles with SatNav. We also offer a full range of private transfer options.
- Important information
Season 15 Nov 2019 to 19 Apr 2020 Ski Area 5,289 acres Annual Snowfall 30ft Number of Lifts 31 Ski Range 8,120–11,570ft Ski Shuttle Free, efficient bus service between lifts and accommodation. Small charge for transfer between resorts. Blue Runs 18% Red Runs 29% Black Runs 53% Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Off-season Off-season Off-season Off-season Off-season On-season On-season On-season On-season On-season On-season Off-season
- Distance from airports
Denver 2hr30mins Vail Eagle 30mins