Ultimate Guide to Snowboarding & Skiing in Vail, Colorado

For ski and snowboarding enthusiasts, there’s no place on earth quite like Vail. Designed by nature to inspire with its soaring peaks and over 350 inches of snowfall per year, it’s an ideal place for beginners and experts alike to experience big mountain fun. Here, downhill adventurers can access more than 5,300 skiable acres, including Vail's legendary Back Bowls and the most groomed terrain on the planet. When you’re ready to make the most of winter on Vail Mountain, you’ll find the best of it all is within reach.

Where To Ski And Snowboard In Vail

Vail offers skiers and snowboarders a refreshingly balanced range of terrain to explore for skill levels of all types.


Never-ever kids have easy access to magic carpets at both Eagle’s Nest, the base of Lionshead, and Golden Peak. Never-ever adults can also start at Eagle's Nest and chair 15. This is a great option before transitioning to the beginner (green) trails. Beginner terrain is located on the front side of the mountain and some of the most popular trails include Practice Parkway, middle Ledges and Minnie Ha Ha to Cub's Way, Meadows, Overeasy, Swingsville and Lost Boy.


Intermediate skiers and snowboarders will find that just around 30 percent of Vail is dedicated to intermediate (blue) terrain and trails. Some of the best intermediate runs include Born Free, Simba, Lodgepole, Columbine, upper Avanti, upper Pickeroon, Cappucino and Christmas.


If you’re an advanced skier, you’ll find over half of Vail is designated for expert runs. The legendary Back Bowls are a favorite, along with Blue Sky Basin. If heading to the latter allow plenty of time to get there. There are also plenty of black runs and double-black diamonds on the front side. The runs off of the Highline lift are popular, as are Prima and Pronto.

Gear To Bring

Having the right gear and apparel ready for your ski or snowboarding adventure in Vail ensures added fun and comfort along the way. We recommend:

  • Always dressing in layers when you hit the slopes as temperatures tend to fluctuate throughout the day.
  • Outdoor adventurers are also going to want to have quality ski goggles on hand as well as sunglasses, waterproof gloves, ski pants, and parkas.
  • Ski and snowboard accessories that are important to pack include sunscreen, lip balm, a collapsible water bottle, a neck gaiter, and a cell phone!
  • When you don’t have your own skis or snowboard, rentals are made simple at places like Performance Sports in Lionshead. Considering a more laid-back experience? Snowshoes are also available on a first-come, first-serve base - simply ask the front desk!

No matter when you arrive in Vail in the name of fun, having amazing accommodations in place only makes it all that much better. Reach out to the team at the Lodge at Lionshead today to learn more about our incredible vacation rentals available and how we can help you elevate your Colorado experience from start to finish. We can’t wait to see you here soon!