Vail Summer Activities: 6 Ways to Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Vail, known to many as a top Colorado ski resort, offers way more than snowy slopes and trails. The city sits at the bottom of Vail Mountain, which provides the perfect place to play when temperatures warm up and the snow melts. In fact, families enjoy these top Vail summer activities for both adventure and new ways to bond with loved ones. When it’s time to book your summer vacation, read these picks for the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors.
6 Vail Summer Activities for Outdoor Family Fun
Go Biking and Hiking
With miles of biking and hiking trails, Vail ranks as a top mountain destination for both activities. The area has paved roads and rugged mountain terrain, providing families with options based on skill levels and interest. The Vail Bike Pass – one of the top trails in the area – measures 14.2 miles one way and reaches 1,500 feet in elevation. Visitors can bike the entire trail or turn around at any point for a shorter trip.
Hikers will also find a variety of options – from heart-pumping climbs to leisurely strolls through natural areas. One popular option is the Gore Valley Trail, which measures the full length of Vail at 12 miles. Along the journey, hikers will see waterfalls, river views and beaver ponds. For a more advanced hike, try the Booth Creek Trail or Pitkin Trail, both measuring more than 4 miles one way and reaching elevations between 2,900 to more than 3,000 feet.
Pick Your Tours
One fun way to see and learn more about Vail is booking a sightseeing tour. Whether looking for backcountry secrets or the best in dining, Vail offers dozens of different tours.
Sage Outdoor Adventures and Timberline Tours rank among the best according to online reviewers. Sage Outdoor Adventures offers side-by-side ATV tours, rafting adventures, horseback riding and more. Timberline Tours offers Jeep and rafting trips for all ages. Smaller groups and couples can also get a bird’s-eye view of the area on a hot-air balloon trip with Camelot Balloons. Each balloon ride offers views of the Rocky Mountains and lasts about an hour. Other tours include: Vail Valley Food Tours, Turtle Bus and walking tours.
Try Fly Fishing
Grab a pole and gear up for fly-fishing fun with the family. This activity ranks as a top way to relax in the water and see more remote spots located in Vail’s rivers and streams.
Start with a guided trip with Minturn Anglers, Gore Creek Fly Fishing or Vail Valley Anglers. Minturn has several locations in Colorado, and popular options include the Walk and Wade, float trips, and overnight float with camping and food. For more than 35 years, Gore Creek Fly Fishing has provided half- or full-day adventures for all ages. Vail Valley Anglers also offers several options, including biking and hiking paired with fly fishing. These trips combine the best of both scenic trails and relaxing water recreation.
Visit Epic Discovery
One of the newest spots for Vail summer activities is Epic Discovery, an outdoor amusement park. Families can purchase a one-day pass that grants access to ziplines, adventure courses, tubing, the Forest Flyer rollercoaster, bungee trampoline and more. Those who can’t play all day can purchase specialized packages, take a guided tour, or see the free Nature Discovery Center that showcases Vail’s history and natural landscape. Epic Discovery is only open during the summer, so don’t miss the chance to see this attraction.
Improve Your Swing
Vail also ranks as a top spot for golf in Colorado. Pristine courses set against majestic mountain views provide golfers an ideal place to play a friendly game or simply improve their score. Golfers will find several courses located throughout the area, including public Vail Golf Club, Red Sky Ranch in Edwards, and the semi-private Gypsum Creek course located minutes away from Eagle-Vail airport. Find Vail rentals in the mountains and near golf courses.
Enjoy Live Entertainment
Summer concerts and events rank as a must among the top Vail summer activites. The warm weather welcomes visitors to get out, listen to their favorite performers, and mix and mingle. Vail hosts several music festivals that showcase the best in classical, rock, jazz and more. Top Vail summer festivals include: Bravo! Vail, Hot Summer Nights at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail Jazz Festival, Vail summer Bluegrass and Summerfest. Guests will love live music, games, and sampling food and drinks from local vendors.
Gerald Ford Amphitheater also hosts several events in the summer and seats more than 1,200 people in the scenic outdoors. Picnics and lawn seating are available, and performances include the Vail International Dance Festival, big-name acts, and local chorale and theater productions.
Time for a break? Read our picks for the top Vail restaurants.