Under blue skies more than 300 days each year, Vail is the world’s premier mountain resort destination. The year-round alpine destination delivers a superior, seamless experience for every guest, from the vast terrain and natural grandeur of the surrounding Gore and Sawatch Ranges to world-class events, shops and spas, and the abundant culinary options and luxurious accommodations that line the pedestrian-friendly streets of Vail and Lionshead Villages. Vail offers more than 5,300 acres of developed ski and snowboard terrain, including seven limitless Back Bowls in winter, and expanded offerings of summer activities through Epic Discovery. Coupled with the enduring spirit of innovation inherent in Vail’s founders, and a timeless pursuit of excellence in all aspects of guest service and operations, Vail is like nothing on earth.
Protecting our Outdoors: Sustainable Travel in Vail
Our mountains are our business and our future, but most importantly they’re our home. As a company deeply rooted in the great outdoors, we’re committed to achieving a zero net operating footprint by 2030 across all 41 of our resorts—including Vail Mountain. Our industry-leading Commitment to Zero creates the opportunity for one mountain resort company to have a big impact on preserving the environment through its three pillars: zero net emissions, zero waste to landfill, and zero net operating impact on forests and habitat.
Each of our resorts in Colorado are doing their part to move us closer to a zero net operating footprint, from composting and recycling, to energy efficiency and land stewardship. Below, you’ll find our Commitment to Zero is pervasive throughout all of Vail Mountain’s summer activities, spotlighting our natural environment and working with local and national partners to create eco-discovery experiences all summer long.
Summer in the mountains has taken on a whole new meaning at Vail with Epic Discovery, which debuted in 2016 and has quickly become the #1 summer activity in Vail. Do you want to soar like an eagle? Travel through the forest canopy like a squirrel? Find out if you’re as strong as a bear? See the world through the eyes of a trout? Epic Discovery provides a unique, connected, on-mountain summer experience, immersing guests in activities which provide big-time thrills, allowing them to challenge themselves physically, guiding them to explore and better understand their natural surroundings, and ultimately creating lifelong memories. Whether traveling through Colorado or staying in Vail, guests can experience Epic Discovery a-la-carte or take advantage of the all-access Adventure Pass.
Vail Mountain continues its focus on the environment and operating sustainably, with key partnerships with local and national organizations such as the National Forest Foundation, White River National Forest Ski Conservation Fund, the Nature Conservancy, Walking Mountains Science Center, Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance, and more.
Eco-discovery experiences are at the forefront of Vail Mountain’s summer offerings, to promote education and awareness of our unique mountain environment. Our Commitment to Zero is foundational so that we may maintain the health of our valuable forests.
Epic Discovery Activities
- Forest Flyer™: This gravity-based alpine coaster allows guests on individual sleds to descend on a raised track through the forest while giving riders full control of their speed.
- Summer Tubing: High atop Vail Mountain at Adventure Ridge, grab a tube and hop a ride on Vail’s summer tubing hill. A new take on the mountain tubing adventure, summer tubing provides guests the opportunity to feel the thrill of the mountain just like winter tubing on snow.
- Aerial Challenge Courses: Looking for a physical challenge? Guests can conquer an aerial challenge course, The Holy Cross Adventure Course, each featuring multiple levels of elements to maneuver including ladders, rope bridges, swinging logs, cargo nets and more, all within the safety of a harness. The course has more than a dozen different elements requiring balance and upper body strength to successfully complete.
- Paramount Peak Rock Climbing Wall: Guests can navigate their way up 36 feet of rock face, choosing between 16 routes to the top. This is the second-tallest, permanent outdoor climbing wall in Colorado.
- Bungee Trampoline: Soar to new heights on the bouncing bungee harnessed trampoline.
- Little Eagle Zipline: Kids aged five and older, between 30 and 100 lbs. will enjoy flying through the air on the single-zipline spanning nearly 200-feet.
- Interactive Trail System: Fireweed and Eagle’s Loop Trail transform into a wilderness exploration trail with the addition of story stakes that feature mountain flora and fauna, and a series of animal ability installations that each resemble an animal’s vision, stride, agility and strength. Vail has partnered with the United States Forest Service and Walking Mountains Science Center to bring interpretive elements to the Epic Discovery experience.
Activities for All Ages at New Heights
- Guided Mountain Biking: Vail Mountain offers guided mountain biking led by friendly, knowledgeable staff. The guided tours are perfect for lower-level 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. The mountain biking tours are approximately three to four hours long.
- Gore Creek Mini Golf: Family-friendly putting returns to the Lionshead base area for another summer season. Children and adults of all ages can practice putting their “hole-in-one" 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.
- Gondola One and the Eagle Bahn Gondola: Enjoy scenic rides and bike hauls on Gondola One and the Eagle Bahn Gondola this 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 dining options and adventurous activities for all ages and abilities at your fingertips.
- Nature Discovery Center & Guided Nature Hikes: Ride the Eagle Bahn Gondola to the Nature Discovery Center, an all-season yurt, at Eagle’s Nest. Join a guided nature walk with an expert naturalist from Walking Mountains Science Center 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 United States 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 Forest Service and Walking Mountains.
- Mountain Top Yoga: Breathe in the crisp Rocky Mountain air with Mountain Top Yoga at the top of Gondola One. These 50-minute yoga classes overlooking the Gore Range are held Saturdays, June 18 - August 27 mid-morning. Top it all off with a healthy lunch afterward at Mid-Vail or the 10th Restaurant. Yoga classes are $10 each with a 2022-23 Epic Pass, or $60 without (includes Scenic Gondola ticket).
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 20 miles. All ages and abilities can take advantage 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)
- Fireweed Loop: Beautiful wooded trail between Eagle’s Nest and Mid-Vail. (1 mile)
- Berrypicker: This intermediate trail offers a steep climb from Vail Village or Lionshead through peaceful aspen trees and wildflowers, up to Eagle’s Nest. Or, wind down the trail from Eagle’s Nest into town. (3.2 miles)
- 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. (1.4 miles)
- Grand Escape: This trail offers an alternative hiking experience with spectacular views of the Gore Range. (1.1 miles)
- Cabin Trail: This intermediate trail offers a scenic hike through the forest up to Mid-Vail. (2.1 miles)
Mountain Biking on Vail Mountain
Vail’s mountain bike 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 40 miles of mountain biking trails and some of the many include:
- Lower Lucy’s Loop: Beginner loop between Eagle’s Nest and Mid-Vail. (1.6 miles)
- Village Trail: A two-way dirt road navigating the eastern side of Vail Mountain between Mid-Vail and Vail Village. Beautiful views of the town and Gore Range. (5.8 miles)
- Fred's Lunch: Classic single-track mixing tight, wooded sections with open meadows that leads from Mid-Vail to lower Gitalong Road, providing spectacular views. )2.2 miles)
- Grand Traverse: Vail's signature single-track traverses the Back Bowls from Eagle's Nest, offering excellent views of Mt. of the Holy Cross. (4 miles)
- Hanks Hideaway: A challenging, winding single-track through aspen groves with an option at the end to return to Vail Village (requires some climbing) or Lionshead. (2 miles)
- Big Mamba: Freeride Biking Trail. An exhilarating combination of flowing rollers and smooth switchbacks that will take you across open meadows, into dense pine forests, and through sunny aspen groves. (2.7 miles)
- Radio Flyer: Freeride Biking Trail. Dozens of banked turns and rollers wind from Eagle's Nest down through Vail's lodgepole pine forests. (1.7 miles)
Dine at new heights atop Vail Mountain this summer, from the smokey barbeques at Talon’s Deck and Sarge’s at Mid-Vail, to the fast and fun bar service at Bistro Fourteen.
- Talon’s Deck Outdoor Grill: Relax on Vail’s largest deck at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola and bask in the spectacular views of the Gore Range and Mount of the Holy Cross while enjoying fresh, delicious smoked barbecue at 10,350 ft.
- Sarge’s Mid-Vail: Conveniently located at Mid-Vail at the top of Gondola One, Sarge’s offers a unique outdoor mountain BBQ experience.
- Bistro Fourteen: Indulge in fun at Eagle’s Nest at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Bistro Fourteen is a convenient bar to grab drinks and take in breathtaking mountain vistas.
For more information on Vail Mountain Summer operation and activities, including age, height and weight requirements, please visit www.vail.com/epicdiscovery.