Vail Winter Activities: 6 Ways to Have Fun in the Snow
Known as one of the best ski resorts in the western U.S., Vail offers more than 5,000 acres of skiable terrain with trails for beginners, intermediate and experts. However, the mountain also provides other activities snow bunnies enjoy. For some of the most popular, check out the top Vail winter activities and gear up for cold-weather fun.
Vail Winter Activities to Add to Your Bucket List
Ski Vail Mountain
Vail Mountain has a peak elevation of 11,570 feet and receives approximately 350 inches of snowfall per year. Skiers have access to 195 named runs, with 1,600-plus acres on the front side and more than 3,000 acres of back bowls. Its longest run, Riva Ridge, measures 4 miles and offers both intermediate and expert sections.
Those new to skiing in Vail have a few ways to learn the slopes. Vail’s ski and snowboard school offers beginner, intermediate and expert lessons – all provided by certified instructors. In addition, private and family options are available. For more info, read this Vail ski guide.
Try Ski Biking
Ski biking combines bicycles with skis. Among the top Vail winter activities, ski biking is growing in popularity as it offers an easier way to ride slopes. To get the full experience, book a two-hour guide tour.
Guests should note: This activity is for intermediate and experts only. Participants should be level 6 or higher and comfortable on blue runs. Additionally, children 10 to 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
Ride the Mountain Coaster
Located in Adventure Ridge, Forest Flying Coaster provides an adrenaline rush down the mountain. This must-ride attraction travels 3,400 feet down Vail mountain along the natural landscape. Hours of operation depend on weather.
To ride Vail’s mountain coaster, visitors must be 54 inches to ride alone. Children ages 3 and older measuring at least 38 inches tall may ride along with someone older than 16.
Book Gondola Rides
Need something more laid back? Ride the scenic gondola, which gently travels over Vail Valley and Gore Range. Two gondolas operate in Vail: one at Eagle Bahn and another at gondola one. Both take guests 10,000 feet over the area and provide 360-degree views.
Take a Snowshoe Tour
Guests 14 years and older can get a workout during a guided snowshoe tour. Ranked among the top Vail winter activities, snowshoeing offers a chance to learn about wildlife, history and natural surroundings.
Snowshoe tours suit visitors of all abilities. Each includes all equipment, such as boots, snowshoes, poles and drinking water. While walking, expect to see plants and wildlife that live in the Rocky Mountains.
Go Tubing With the Family
Families with smaller children enjoy tubing. Vail offers a 900-foot-long multi-lane tubing hill complete with music and long runs. Riders also have access to a covered carpet that helps them reach the top of the hill.
This activity suits children 42 inches and taller, and tubers under 5 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Families are welcome to tube together or separately. Important note: Some hours require a lift ticket to ride.
Winter Events in Vail
In addition to these top Vail winter activities, the city also hosts several wintertime events. Opening Day usually occurs in November and brings celebrations, parades, smiles and snowy fun.
In December, visit during Vail Snow Days. This early season party features four days of free concerts, apres ski events, shopping and local vendors. Later in December, Santa and his friends invade the village during Vail Holidays. The three-week celebration begins with a tree-lighting ceremony and ends with a New Year’s fireworks extravaganza. Other winter events in Vail include snowboarding competitions, sponsored ski days and food festivals.