Wide open. Easy-going. Friendly. At seven miles across, Vail Mountain is the largest ski resort in the United States - so big, you can always find space for yourself. In fact, on an average day, there are only two skiers per acre, and on a busy day, only four! And, with 31 lifts, you'll never have to wait in line for long (if at all) - even on weekends.
In 2011, Vail, Colorado, took the #2 spot in the SKI magazine poll for its steeps, cliffs, powder, tree runs and terrain parks. Featuring three terrain parks, one super pipe, one half-pipe, seven bowls and 5,289 acres of free-ride terrain, Vail Mountain comprises three areas, each with its own distinguishing characteristics:
- Front Side - More than 1,600 acres of easier terrain that's perfect for skiers who are newer to the sport.
- Back Bowls - The best place to be when it's a powder day, with more than 3,000 acres of the mountain's most difficult terrain.
- Blue Sky Basin - The latest addition to Vail's terrain offers gladed skiing, with nearly half of it classified as intermediate.
Vail Mountain places a big emphasis on grooming, running its snowcats all night and during the day. This means that during ski season, finding fresh tracks is as easy as finding breathing space. If you time it just right, you can ski four miles of luxurious carpet from top to bottom on Riva Ridge, the mountain's longest run.
Vail Mountain Fast Facts
Dates and Hours
- Ski Season: November 16-2012 - April 14, 2013
- Hours of Operation (MST): 9:00am - 3:30pm (hours extend over the course of the season)
- Base Elevation: 8,120 feet / 2,476 meters
- Mid Elevation: 10,250 feet / 3,125 meters
- Peak Elevation: 11,570 feet / 3,527 meters
- Vertical Rise: 3,450 feet / 1,052 meters
- Snowmaking: 461 acres / 187 hectares
- Average Annual Snowfall: 354 inches / 889 centimeters
- Total Skiable Area: 5,289 acres / 2,141 hectares
- Front Side: 1,627 acres / 658 hectares
- Back Bowls: 3,017 acres / 1,221 hectares
- Blue Sky Basin: 645 acres / 261 hectares
Trail Classification (Total Mountain Acreage)
- 53% Expert/Advanced
- 29% Intermediate
- 18% Beginner
- Conventional Trails: 193
- Longest Run: Riva Ridge, 4 miles / 6.4 kilometers
- Total number of lifts: 31
- Gondola: 2
- High-speed quads: 16
- Fixed-grip quad: 1
- Triple chairs: 2
- Double chairs: 1
- Surface lifts: 3
- Conveyors: 3
- Total uphill capacity per hour: 59,069
- 3 Total: Bwana, Pride and Golden Peak
- Pipes: 1 super-pipe, length 450 feet, walls 22 feet / 1 mini half-pipe with 13-foot walls
Alternate Mountain Activities
- Adventure Ridge
- Ski bikes
- Kids snowmobile track
- Tubing lanes
- Nordic Activities
- Backcountry snowshoe tours
- Skiing tours
- Telemark and cross country skiing
- Private tours
Climate (Temperatures in Fahrenheit)
- In winter, daytime low temperatures are in the teens, with averages in the 20s and 30s, and below 30 degrees at night.
- In summer, average temperatures are 75 degrees in the daytime and 45 degrees at night.
- Vail experiences more than 300 days of sunshine per year.