Summer 2016 operations schedule is TBD. Please check back once the ski season is over. 

Looking ahead to Epic Discovery

Summer in the mountains is taking on a whole new feel with Epic Discovery, and Vail Resorts is once again leading the ski industry by being the first to submit and develop a comprehensive new summer activities plan in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and Nature Conservancy. Vail Resorts’ Epic Discovery program encourages “learn through play,” promoting environmental education and forest stewardship through a variety of outdoor activities and interpretive programming. The Company is also working closely with the Nature Conservancy to bring scientific content to the eco-discovery experiences and will be contributing one percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue toward forest restoration projects. Vail Mountain will be one of the first destinations in the Vail Resorts family to launch Epic Discovery in 2016, and the primary components of the resort’s upcoming plans include:
  • Learn-through-Play Elements: Integrated with trails and activities around the mountain, these interpretive experiential elements will provide guests with hands-on information and activities about forest health, wildlife and the mountain geography of the White River National Forest.
  • Game Creek Zip Line Tour: The ultimate outdoor experience, this guided tour will immerse guests in the forest habitat with an array of zip lines and aerial bridges. Guests will learn about the mountain ecosystem while working their way through the course’s challenges.
  • Forest Flyer™: An alpine coaster that runs on raised rails, the Forest Flyer™ winds its way down the mountain, following the natural contours of the landscape through the forest.
  • Expanded Trail System: Comprehensive interpretive and directional signage will be integrated to encourage more hiking and trail exploration across Vail Mountain.
Epic Discovery is designed to connect both kids and adults with our national forests in an active, fun and engaging way, offering guests a unique opportunity to try new outdoor activities, challenge themselves physically, discover an appreciation for nature and create lasting family memories. Vail’s existing Adventure Ridge has already undergone enhancements with the addition of two challenge courses, a Zip Flyer, a kids’ challenge course and kids’ zip line, and new for 2015, summer tubing. Construction on the Forest Flyer and Game Creek Zip Line Tour was completed in fall 2015, and these new and existing activities will all be incorporated into Epic Discovery when it debuts in summer 2016.
Zip-Line and Aerial Ropes Challenge Courses at Adventure Ridge
In August 2013, Vail Mountain debuted three new activities at Adventure Ridge including a four-line 1,200-foot long zip-line and two aerial challenge courses. The zip-line, located west of the current tubing hill lift and accessed by the Adventure Skyway (#28), offers guests a high-flying rush as they zip through the sky amongst magnificent mountain views of the Gore Range. For more of a challenge, guests can conquer one of two new aerial ropes challenge courses each featuring three levels of elements to maneuver including ladders, rope bridges, swinging logs, cargo nets and more, all within the safety of a harness. The south course is a beginner course that features four distinct, more stable elements for guests to climb and conquer while the north course is an intermediate to advanced course with more than a dozen different elements requiring more balance and upper body strength to successfully complete. The new activity expansion was the first step towards more resource-based recreation as outlined in the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act and is a small-scale example of some of the things proposed in the larger Epic Discovery plan, anticipated for summer 2016.
New in 2015 at Adventure Ridge was a kids zip line and kids low ropes course, too! Kids aged five and older, between 30 and 100 lbs, will enjoy flying through the air on the single-line, nearly 200-foot zip line. The new kids ropes course is the perfect introductory course for children who are not yet big enough to try Vail’s larger ropes challenge courses, featuring six distinct obstacle areas including rope bridges, suspended wood bridges, swinging logs, and other balance elements. It is designed for kids aged five and older, between 30 and 100 lbs.  

Head to The 10th for Lunch this Summer
Vail’s newest on-mountain table-service dining experience, The 10th, is open in the summer for weekend lunch service. Serviced by Vail’s Gondola One, which transports guests from the base of Vail Village to Mid-Vail, the more than 13,000 square-foot restaurant features a main dining room with spectacular views of the Gore Range, a cozy bar and lounge with fireplace, and a south-facing outdoor deck that captures the afternoon sun and views of the Look Ma and Challenge trails. The restaurant’s beautiful design and finishes befit its mountain location while still offering a bit of contemporary flair. The venue is also available for group events and weddings.
Activities for All Ages at New Heights
Guided Mountain Biking & Hiking Tours
Vail Mountain offers guided mountain biking and hiking tours, led by friendly, knowledgeable staff. The guided tours are perfect for lower level hikers and bikers – individuals, groups or even families – who are unfamiliar with the trail system, new to mountain biking or not comfortable venturing out on their own yet. The mountain biking tours are approximately three to four hours long while the hiking tours are approximately two hours.
Gore Creek Mini Golf
Family-friendly putting returns to the Lionshead base area for the second summer season. Children and adults of all ages can practice putting their hole-in-ones on Vail Mountain’s nine-hole mini golf course. Located in front of the Lionshead summer ticket office, the course features a unique interpretive animal theme that spotlights a different local animal species at each hole. More information is available at
Top-of-the-Mountain Tour
The popular Top-of-the-Mountain Tour returns for summer 2016 combining accessible adventure for all ages with incredible views of Vail’s legendary Back Bowls, the Gore Range and Mount of the Holy Cross. The motorized mountain tour starts its 11-mile loop at Eagle’s Nest, passing Two Elk and Patrol Headquarters with a final destination of the Orient Express Lift (#21) at the top of China Bowl. Top of the Mountain Tours can also be combined with lift and lunch packages.
Gondola One and the Eagle Bahn Gondola
Enjoy scenic rides and bike hauls on Gondola One and the Eagle Bahn Gondola in summer, offering views of magnificent peaks and a variety of trails for hiking and biking. Ride to Eagle’s Nest on the Eagle Bahn Gondola where you’ll also find an array of affordable dining and adventurous activities for all ages and abilities at your fingertips. Stay tuned for summer operation hours.
Friday Afternoon Club
Guests and locals alike kick off the weekend with Vail's Friday Afternoon Club (FAC) at Adventure Ridge, high atop Vail Mountain. FAC starts at 5 p.m. on Talon's Deck every Friday beginning mid-June through the end of summer and features the best views in the valley with amazing sunsets, free live music and activities, food and drink specials, and more. Exact dates and band lineup TBA.
Climbing Wall, Rebound Trampoline
Race to the top of the climbing wall at Adventure Ridge, starting at 10,350 feet, or soar to new heights on the bouncing bungee harnessed trampoline at Adventure Ridge.
Disc Golf
Vail Mountain’s 18-hole self-guided disc golf course begins at the top of the Pride Express Lift (#26), winds up to the western edge of the ski area boundary, wraps below the Eagle Bahn Gondola through the Little Eagle Lift (#15) area and ends near Thunder Cat Cave. Maps are recommended and available at the information desk at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. The course is designed for all ability levels and is free to those with their own equipment. Discs, putters and drivers can be rented at Eagle’s Nest and disc golf equipment can also be purchased at the Vail Sports location at Eagle’s Nest.
FREE for All! Slackline Park, Horseshoes, Bean Bag Toss and Dino Dig
Grab your friends and family and try your luck at horseshoes, bean bag toss or the new slackline park where kids and adults can test their balance at a variety of levels. Children age four and up are invited to dig through sand to uncover dinosaur bones and learn about prehistoric creatures through an educational display. Digging tools and a map are provided.
Nature Discovery Center & Guided Nature Hikes
Ride the Eagle Bahn Gondola to the Nature Discovery Center, an all-seasons yurt, at Eagle’s Nest. Join a guided nature walk with an expert naturalist from Walking Mountains and learn how plants and animals adapt to the high-elevation alpine environment as you identify signs of life on Vail Mountain. The Nature Discovery Center is a community-based partnership between Vail Resorts, the U.S. Forest Service and Walking Mountains and has provided the visiting public with meaningful access to the wonders of the natural world since opening its doors in 2000. Please come prepared to spend an hour outside in the dry summer environment with appropriate clothing, hiking boots and water. Walks are provided compliments of Vail Resorts, the U.S. Forest Service and Walking Mountains. Summer 2016 schedule TBD.
Enjoy Nature on Foot and Bike
Vail Mountain and the surrounding valley offer expansive trail systems for the outdoor enthusiast that wind through lush forests, brilliant wildflowers and native wildlife to provide breathtaking views of the surrounding environment.
Hiking and Trail Running on Vail Mountain
Vail Mountain offers a wide variety of hiking trails for you to choose from, encompassing more than 24 miles. All ages and abilities can take advantage of miles of trails that offer the chance to escape into nature. A few favorites include:
  • Eagle's Loop: Short, “green” ridge-top loop with great views of Mount of the Holy Cross. 1 mile, 15-20 minutes
  • Berrypicker: Starting at Lower Fireweed, this intermediate trail winds down from Eagle's Nest to Vail Village or Lionshead. 4.6 miles, 2-3 hours
  • Ridge Route: Intermediate climb from Eagle's Nest to Wildwood and back with spectacular views of Mt. of the Holy Cross and the Sawatch Range. 2.8 miles, 1.5-2 hours.
  • Ptarmigan Loop: This scenic, 360-degree-view trail through shaded woods connects with Ridge Route at Wildwood to Ptarmigan Point and back. 1.2 miles, 30-40 minutes; Loop with Ridge Route: 4 miles, 2.5 -3 hours.
  • Grand Escape: This trail offers an alternative hiking experience with spectacular views of the Gore Range. Combine with Ridge Route for a loop. 1.5 miles; 1.5-2 hours one way.
Big Mamba and Radio Flyer, New Mountain Biking Flow Trails
Late in the summer of 2011 Vail opened a new flow trail, Big Mamba, followed by a second flow trail, Radio Flyer, during the summer of 2012. The gondola-served flow trails are built slightly wider than typical downhill trails and designed for intermediate mountain bikers as well as with sustainability in mind. According to the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), characteristics of a flow trail include synergy with the landscape, forgiving and natural terrain that is accessible to a wide range of riders, and banked turns and rollers that are designed to maximize a rider’s forward momentum.
More Mountain Biking on Vail Mountain
As the host of two previous Mountain Bike World Championships, Vail’s trails suit the amateur and the seasoned professional. Family cruisers can ride the gondola, explore the forests on two wheels and enjoy a mountaintop barbeque. Downhill junkies can ride uphill then seek out the most technical terrain for their descent. Vail Mountain encompasses more than 52 miles of mountain biking trails and some of the many include:
  • Lucy’s Loop: Beginner loop from Eagle’s Nest to Mid-Vail and back.
  • Village Trail: Longest and most pleasant beginner route on the mountain, the Village Trail is a winding gravel road that traverses the mountain in a descent. 7 miles.
  • Fred's Lunch: An alternating single and double intermediate track path that leads from Mid-Vail down the mountain, providing spectacular views. 3.2 miles
  • Grand Traverse: Vail's signature intermediate trail crossing the Back Bowls, starts easy and becomes more difficult, accessed from Adventure Ridge or the Wildwood connector. 5.3 miles
  • Hanks Hideaway: A fun yet challenging single-track that leads from Lion Down to Lionshead Loop. 1.2 miles.
On-Mountain Dining
Dine at new heights atop Vail Mountain this summer, from the smokey barbeque at Talon’s Deck to the eclectic and family-friendly dining at Bistro Fourteen to the distinctive fine dining, extensive wine list and spectacular valley views of Game Creek Restaurant.
Game Creek Restaurant
Ride the Eagle Bahn Gondola to Eagle’s Nest where you’ll meet a shuttle for transportation to Game Creek Restaurant, located in an old-world chalet nestled within Vail’s Game Creek Bowl. Game Creek Restaurant offers distinctive American cuisine with all-natural and organic products and the freshest ingredients, an award-winning wine list, and superior service complimented by magnificent views and sunsets. Game Creek is an experience not easily forgotten.
Enjoy late-afternoon drinks and appetizers on the sunny deck overlooking the Vail Valley or a complete culinary experience with three-or four-course dinner menu, plus an optional chef’s menu beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. 
Sunday brunch including fresh fish, pastries, braised meats and more has never been better set amongst Vail Mountain’s scenic views, wildlife, flora and fauna at Game Creek Restaurant, a cozy chalet nestled in Vail’s legendary Game Creek Bowl. Sunday brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For sample menus and other details, visit
Talon’s Deck
Relax on Vail’s largest deck and enjoy amazing views of the Gore Range and Mount of the Holy Cross while enjoying delicious barbeque. Talons Deck serves a casual selection of daily lunch menu items ranging from burgers and barbeque to chicken Caesar salads. Open daily.
Bistro Fourteen
Bistro Fourteen is a convenient, full-service restaurant at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola at Eagle’s Nest. A celebration of Colorado’s highest peaks, Bistro Fourteen features family friendly cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. It's the perfect stop for lunch or dinner before and after experiencing the fun at Adventure Ridge, and kids always eat for just $10! Enjoy dinner Thursday through Saturday or lunch Friday through Sunday.
For more story ideas, facts and figures, photos and the latest news, visit

Consumer Site: or Mobile Consumer Site:
General Vail Summer Media Contact
Kristin Yantis, Malen Yantis Public Relations, (970) 949-7919,

<< Back