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Local Tips to Vail

Oct 31, 2006  Long Time Vail Local
4.5 of 5 stars based on 2 votes

Tips from a long-time Vail resident who is willing to share

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Vail
  • Category: Perfect weekend
  • Traveler type: Active/Outdoors
  • Appeals to: Families with small children, Budget travelers, Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter
  • 1. Perfect Day #1 in Vail
    Vail, Colorado

    Insider tips and ideas on how to best enjoy Vail Mountain!

    Where to ski on Vail Mountain:

    Perfect Day #1, Vail's Front Side:

    Grab a grooming report from any of the guest service staff you see on your way to the chair. Access Vail Mountain via the Born Free Express chairlift (chair 8) in Lionshead (a short walk from most condominium properties!). Get ready for a great day on North America's number one mountain! Ski east toward the Avanti Express (chair 2).

    The Avanti Express lift accesses some of Vail's best intermediate terrain! Check your grooming report for a list of groomed trails and head to Lodgepole, Berries or Avanti for a warm up. After a few runs on Chair 2, head to Mid-Vail and take the Wildwood Express (Chair 3) chairlift. This allows you to easily access Game Creek Bowl. Try Woods, Dealer's Choice or Lost Boy.

    Time for lunch? I recommend the wild rice soup or brisket at Wildwood Smokehouse at the top of the Game Creek chairlift.

    In the afternoon, head toward Mid-Vail and take the Mountaintop Express (Chair 4) lift. This lift allows you to ski a variety of terrain; be sure to check your grooming report! You can also ski east to the Northwoods lift (Chair 11). Don't miss Northstar and Northwoods!

    If you are ready to experience some of the best moguls skiing in Colorado, head to the Highline lift (Chair 10) from the base of the Northwoods lift. Highline, Blue Ox and Roger's Run are certain to have your legs ready for the hot tubs!

  • 2. Perfect Day #2 in Vail
    Vail, Colorado

    Perfect Day #2, Vail's new Blue Sky Basin:

    Head to the Eagle-Bahn Gondola in Lionshead Village (a short walk from your condominium!). Get ready for a trip to Blue Sky Basin! You'll be able to get warmed up in route to Blue Sky. From the top of the gondola, drop down to Game Creek Bowl (Chair 7). Take a run in Game Creek as warm up (I recommend Ouzo!) and head to the Wildwood Express lift (Chair 3).

    Follow signs from the top of the Wildwood chair, to Sun Down, Sun Up and China Bowls. Avoid the temptation to drop to the back bowls and follow the signs to Blue Sky Basin (it's well worth the trip!). Once in Blue Sky Basin, be sure to check your grooming report for runs such as Cloud 9 and Big Rock Park. There are no restaurant facilities in Blue Sky, so be sure to plan accordingly and pack a brown bag lunch - there are plenty of picnic tables available!

    Stay in Blue Sky Basin after lunch and experience great black diamond trails such as Lover's Leap or Champagne Glade. Don't miss Earl's Bowl!

    At the end of your day in Blue Sky Basin, take the Tea Cup Express lift (tip: plan to get to Tea Cup Express by 2:30pm to avoid the crowds!). From the top, follow signs to Northwoods (Chair 11) and then follow signs toward Lionshead.

  • 3. Perfect Day #3 in Vail
    Vail, Colorado

    Perfect Day #3, Vail's famous Back Bowls:

    Start the day just like day 1, but head to the Mountaintop Express (Chair 4). From the top of Mountaintop Express lift, look for signs to Sun Up or China Bowls. Traverse the bowls from Sun Down Bowl to China Bowl and experience the thrills of Vail's Back Bowls!

    Have lunch at Two Elk Lodge, Vail's signature on-mountain restaurant (tip: arrive early or late to avoid the crowds!). I recommend the wraps!

    Stay on the backside of Vail Mountain and enjoy the variety of terrain in the Back Bowls - there is truly something for everyone in your group, from groomers in China Bowl (tip: Poppyfields is groomed every day at 11am!) to great skiing in Tea Cup or Siberia Bowl.

    The Back Bowls close at 3pm, so be sure to head to the Orient Express (Chair 21) or Tea Cup Express to get back to the front side of the mountain.