Vail, Colorado

Travel Guide to Vail CO

vail ski resort coloradoThe town of Vail is in a narrow valley adjacent to Interstate 70 and the Eagle River and at the foot of Vail Pass. Vail Village and Lionshead are the two main villages with shops and restaurants, and there is housing in both east and west Vail. The town is a year round resort with the ski area, indoor ice rink and Nordic center, as well as a golf course, a bike trail that goes all the way to Summit County and to Glenwood Springs, the Gerald Ford amphitheater for both a music and a dance festival, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, and a summer lacrosse tournament that attracts teams from all over the country. The town like its competitor Aspen attracts the rich and famous as well as royalty – Princess Diana brought Princes William and Harry here to ski and also for summer rafting, and it was a second home to President Gerald and Betty Ford.

About Vail, Colorado

vail pass bike tours coloradoThe valley was originally home to the Ute Indians, who were driven out in the late 1800s by prospectors. Their parting gift was to set fire to the forest, and this deforested area now makes up the legendary back bowls of the Vail ski mountain. After the mining boom the area was mostly inhabited by sheep farmers, until Highway 6 from Denver was built in 1939. The chief engineer, Charlie Vail, gave his name to Vail pass and later to the town. Nearby Camp Hale between Leadville and the Vail valley was used during World War II to train the men of the 10th Mountain Division who went to fight in the European Alps. Three of these veterans, including Peter Seibert returned to the area to develop a ski resort in the European model. In 1954 plans were drawn up and construction started in 1962. In 1966 the town of Vail was incorporated. The ski area had the first gondola in the country. In 1974 Vail’s prominent resident, Gerald Ford, became president, and the resort became world famous. During the 1980s the resort became a year round destination with the construction of a golf course and bike paths.

The Mountain: Vail, Colorado

frisco ski rentalsVail Ski Area
Vail ski resort is unparalleled in North America with the amount of its ski terrain, with 5,289 acres, seven bowls as well as Blue Sky Basin. It is located in the town of Vail about a 45 minute drive or trip by ski shuttle. There are three main access points to the front side of Vail Mountain, in Vail Village and Lionshead Village as well as Golden Peak. Access to the newest mountain of Blue Sky Basin with its gladed runs, is through the back bowls which offer ungroomed black diamond powder runs on the entire back side of the mountain. Impossible to do all the runs in one visit, the mountain has something for everyone. Keystone and Breckenridge lift tickets are valid at Vail with the purchase of at least a three day lift ticket.

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