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Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Vail, Colorado, Might Be Better In The Summer!


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Rochell Sturgis



Welcome to Vail, Colorado, where outdoor adventures and breathtaking scenery await you all year round. While Vail is famous for its world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter, there’s a whole other side to this mountain paradise that shines during the summer months. With warm temperatures, blue skies, and an abundance of outdoor activities, Vail transforms into a summer playground for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and anyone seeking a refreshing escape.


Surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Vail offers a plethora of outdoor activities suitable for all levels of adventure seekers. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or prefer a more relaxed pace, there’s something for everyone in this mountain oasis.


From hiking trails that lead to stunning vistas, to mountain biking routes that wind through picturesque forests, Vail’s natural beauty is waiting to be explored. Lace up your hiking boots, hop on a bike, or simply take a scenic drive to immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes that surround this charming town.


If you’re a fan of water activities, Vail has you covered. From paddleboarding and kayaking on serene lakes, to rafting down rushing rivers, the options are endless. And let’s not forget about fishing, with numerous creeks and rivers where you can cast your line and try your luck at catching trout.


Golf enthusiasts will find themselves in golfing paradise, with multiple championship courses nestled amongst the mountains. Whether you’re aiming for a hole-in-one or just looking to enjoy a leisurely round, Vail’s golf courses offer stunning views and a challenge for players of all skill levels.


For those who prefer a more relaxed outdoor experience, horseback riding provides a unique way to enjoy the beauty of Vail’s countryside. Explore scenic trails, meadows, and forests on horseback, guided by experienced equestrians who will ensure you have an unforgettable adventure.


If you’re craving an adrenaline rush, Vail’s adventure parks offer thrilling activities such as ziplining, rope courses, and alpine coasters. Get your heart pumping as you soar through the air, conquer challenging obstacles, or race down the mountainside on a thrilling coaster ride.


Vail is not just about outdoor activities. The town also has a vibrant cultural scene, with art galleries, museums, and live performances. Immerse yourself in the local culture and be sure to check out the various events and festivals that take place throughout the summer, showcasing music, art, and local traditions.


After a day filled with outdoor adventures, Vail’s dining and shopping options will satisfy your cravings. Indulge in delicious cuisine ranging from gourmet restaurants to casual cafes, and browse through charming shops and boutiques offering unique souvenirs and locally made goods.


So, why wait for the winter season? Discover the wonders of summer in Vail, Colorado, where outdoor activities, natural beauty, and a welcoming atmosphere combine to create a truly memorable experience. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures or peaceful moments surrounded by nature, Vail has it all, waiting to be explored and enjoyed.


Outdoor Activities in Vail

Vail, Colorado, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities to keep visitors entertained all summer long. From hiking and biking to water sports and golf, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this mountain paradise.


One of the best ways to experience Vail’s natural beauty is through its extensive network of hiking trails. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice, there are trails suited to every skill level. Embark on a scenic hike to Booth Falls, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of cascading waterfalls. For a more challenging adventure, tackle the Berry Picker Trail, which takes you to the summit of Vail Mountain for breathtaking panoramic vistas.


If mountain biking is more your style, Vail has an array of trails that cater to all levels of riders. The legendary Vail Pass offers an exhilarating downhill ride surrounded by awe-inspiring mountain scenery. For a more leisurely ride, explore the Gore Valley Trail, a paved path that winds through meadows and alongside the Eagle River.


Water enthusiasts will find plenty of options in Vail. Stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking on pristine alpine lakes such as Piney Lake or Nottingham Lake offer a serene and picturesque experience. If you’re seeking a more thrilling adventure, try your hand at whitewater rafting on the nearby Colorado River or Eagle River.


Golf aficionados will be delighted by the championship courses that Vail has to offer. With stunning mountain backdrops and meticulously designed fairways, courses such as the Vail Golf Club and Red Sky Ranch provide an unforgettable golfing experience. Whether you’re a pro golfer or just looking to enjoy a leisurely round, Vail’s courses are sure to impress.


Vail also offers the opportunity to explore its scenic landscapes on horseback. Take a guided trail ride and discover hidden gems as you meander through meadows, forests, and streams. Equestrian centers offer a variety of riding options, including sunset rides and overnight camping trips for those seeking a truly immersive experience.


For adrenaline junkies, Vail’s adventure parks are a must-visit. Soar through the air on ziplines, navigate challenging rope courses, and experience the thrill of alpine coasters that speed through the mountains. These parks provide an exciting and unique way to get your heart racing while enjoying the stunning surroundings.


When it comes to outdoor activities, Vail truly has it all. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a combination of both, Vail’s diverse range of options ensures that everyone can find something to enjoy. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this mountain paradise and create lifelong memories as you explore the great outdoors.


Hiking Trails and Scenic Drives

Vail, Colorado, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, and there’s no better way to experience it than through its numerous hiking trails and scenic drives. From easy strolls to challenging treks, Vail offers a diverse range of trails that cater to every level of hiker.


One of the most popular hiking destinations in Vail is Booth Falls. This moderate trail offers a rewarding experience with its breathtaking views of towering waterfalls and lush alpine meadows. As you make your way up, you’ll be surrounded by the soothing sounds of rushing water and the fresh scent of pine trees. The trail takes you through aspen groves and mountain streams, offering a truly immersive nature experience.


For those seeking a more challenging adventure, the Berry Picker Trail is a must-try. This steep and rigorous hike takes you to the summit of Vail Mountain, where you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Along the way, you’ll pass through wildflower-filled meadows and dense forests, making it a feast for the senses.


If you prefer a leisurely walk, the Gore Valley Trail is a perfect choice. This paved path stretches for miles alongside the Eagle River, providing a peaceful and scenic route for walkers, joggers, and cyclists. Take in the tranquil beauty of the river and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding meadows and forests as you meander along this picturesque trail.


In addition to hiking trails, Vail is also home to some of the most stunning scenic drives in Colorado. One standout route is the famous Vail Pass, which winds its way through the White River National Forest and offers awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains. As you climb to an altitude of over 10,600 feet, you’ll be treated to sweeping vistas of alpine meadows, dense forests, and crystal-clear lakes.


Another scenic drive not to be missed is the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway. This breathtaking route takes you through the heart of the Rocky Mountains, offering jaw-dropping views of towering peaks, pristine lakes, and charming mountain towns. Witness the beauty of Independence Pass, a stunning mountain pass that reaches an elevation of 12,095 feet, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness.


Whether you prefer to explore on foot or by car, Vail’s hiking trails and scenic drives will take you into the heart of its natural splendor. From dramatic waterfalls to majestic mountains, the beauty of this mountain paradise is truly unparalleled. So lace up your hiking boots or hop in the car, and let Vail’s breathtaking landscapes leave you in awe as you create unforgettable memories in the great outdoors.


Mountain Biking and Cycling Routes

Vail, Colorado, is a haven for mountain biking and cycling enthusiasts, offering a vast network of trails and routes that cater to all skill levels. With its stunning mountain scenery and diverse terrain, Vail provides the perfect backdrop for an exhilarating biking adventure.


For adrenaline seekers, the legendary Vail Pass is a must-ride. This iconic mountain biking trail offers a thrilling downhill descent from an elevation of over 10,600 feet. As you navigate the challenging terrain, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The trail is suitable for intermediate to advanced riders and provides an adrenaline-pumping experience that is sure to leave you with a lasting memory.


If you’re looking for a more leisurely ride, the Gore Valley Trail is an excellent choice. This scenic paved path follows the meandering Eagle River, offering a peaceful and enjoyable cycling experience. With its gentle slopes and picturesque surroundings, the Gore Valley Trail is perfect for cyclists of all ages and skill levels. Take your time to soak in the breathtaking views of the river, forests, and stunning mountain vistas along the way.


Vail’s surrounding areas also offer a multitude of mountain biking and cycling routes. The nearby town of Eagle is known for its extensive trail system that caters to riders of all levels. From beginner-friendly loops to challenging singletrack trails, Eagle has something to offer every cyclist. Explore the diverse terrain and soak in the beauty of the surrounding mountains as you pedal through Eagle’s pristine landscapes.


If you’re up for a more adventurous ride, head to the scenic town of Aspen, located just a short drive from Vail. Aspen offers a variety of mountain biking trails that wind through beautiful valleys and forests. Ride along the Rio Grande Trail, a stunning route that follows the Roaring Fork River and offers breathtaking views of the nearby mountains. For a more challenging ride, tackle the classic Government Trail, which takes you through aspen groves and offers panoramic vistas of the Elk Mountains.


Whether you’re a seasoned mountain biker or a casual cyclist, Vail’s mountain biking and cycling routes will cater to your every need. With its breathtaking scenery, well-maintained trails, and options for riders of all levels, Vail is a destination that is truly a paradise for biking enthusiasts. So grab your helmet, hop on your bike, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.


Water Sports and Fishing

Vail, Colorado, may be famous for its winter sports, but when summer arrives, the town transforms into a haven for water enthusiasts. With its pristine lakes, rushing rivers, and scenic waterways, Vail offers a multitude of opportunities for water sports and fishing.


One of the most popular water activities in Vail is paddleboarding. Glide across the tranquil waters of Piney Lake or Nottingham Lake, surrounded by the stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Paddleboarding provides a peaceful and serene way to explore the beauty of Vail’s alpine lakes while also getting a great workout. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced enthusiast, paddleboarding is a must-try activity in Vail.


Kayaking is another thrilling water sport that Vail has to offer. Grab your kayak and navigate the rushing waters of the nearby Colorado River or Eagle River. Feel the adrenaline rush as you navigate rapids and maneuver through scenic canyons. Kayaking in Vail provides an exciting and unforgettable experience for both thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike.


Fishing enthusiasts will also find themselves in paradise in Vail. With numerous rivers, creeks, and lakes in the area, Vail is a prime destination for anglers of all levels. Cast your line into the pristine waters and test your skills at catching trout, including the coveted Colorado cutthroat trout. From fly fishing in the serene Eagle River to casting your line in the hidden corners of Gore Creek, Vail offers ample opportunities for a rewarding fishing experience.


If you’re looking for a more unique water experience, try your hand at whitewater rafting. Embark on an adventure down the adrenaline-pumping rapids of the nearby Colorado River or Eagle River. Feel the rush of the water and the thrill of conquering the rapids as you navigate through stunning canyons and scenic landscapes. Whitewater rafting in Vail is an adventure that will leave you with lifelong memories and a newfound appreciation for the power of nature.


Whether you choose to paddleboard on a serene lake, kayak through rushing rivers, cast your line in tranquil creeks, or brave the rapids on a whitewater rafting trip, Vail’s water sports and fishing opportunities are second to none. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Vail’s waterways, feel the rush of adrenaline, and create unforgettable memories in this mountain paradise.


Golf Courses and Miniature Golf

Attention all golf enthusiasts! Vail, Colorado, offers a golfing experience like no other. With its stunning mountain vistas, well-manicured fairways, and challenging courses, Vail is a golfer’s paradise.


For those seeking a championship golfing experience, Vail has several top-notch courses that will delight players of all skill levels. The Vail Golf Club, located at the base of Vail Mountain, offers a challenging 18-hole course surrounded by breathtaking scenery. As you navigate the fairways, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. The course’s thoughtful design and well-maintained greens make it a must-play for golfers looking for a memorable round.


Another standout golf course in Vail is Red Sky Ranch, designed by the legendary Tom Fazio and Greg Norman. This exclusive club offers two championship courses, the Fazio Course and the Norman Course, both offering a unique golfing experience. The Fazio Course showcases stunning mountain views, meandering streams, and challenging holes, while the Norman Course features dramatic elevations and strategic challenges. A round of golf at Red Sky Ranch is bound to leave golfers with lifelong memories.


If you’re looking for a more laid-back golfing experience, Vail also offers options for miniature golf. The Vail Valley Miniature Golf, located in the Lionshead Village, is a family-friendly course that combines fun and competition. Perfect for all ages, this 18-hole course features creative and challenging holes set against a backdrop of lush greenery and beautiful landscaping. Take a break from the main courses and enjoy a leisurely round of miniature golf with friends and family.


Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting out, Vail’s golf courses and miniature golf offer something for everyone. Whether you’re teeing off on a championship course or honing your putting skills on a mini-golf course, you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of Vail’s natural landscapes. So grab your clubs, practice your swing, and get ready to enjoy a round of golf in one of the most picturesque settings in the country.


Horseback Riding and Equestrian Centers

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Vail, Colorado, by exploring its breathtaking landscapes on horseback. Vail offers a variety of horseback riding options and equestrian centers that cater to riders of all levels, making it an ideal destination for both seasoned equestrians and those who have never ridden before.


Take a guided trail ride and discover the hidden gems of Vail’s countryside. As you meander through peaceful meadows, dense forests, and crystal-clear streams, you’ll feel a deep connection with nature. Experienced trail guides will lead you on scenic routes, share their knowledge of the area, and ensure you have a safe and enjoyable adventure.


Vail’s equestrian centers provide a range of horseback riding experiences to suit your preferences. Whether you prefer a short trail ride for a few hours or a full-day excursion, you’ll find options that fit your schedule and desired level of adventure. Some centers even offer overnight camping trips, allowing you to experience the magic of Vail’s wilderness under a starlit sky.


For those looking for a unique equestrian experience, Vail offers more than just trail rides. Consider signing up for a horsemanship clinic where you can learn the art of riding, grooming, and caring for horses. These clinics are not only educational but also provide a hands-on experience that can deepen your understanding and connection with these majestic animals.


Whether you’re a horse enthusiast or a newbie, horseback riding in Vail is an unforgettable experience. Traverse rugged terrains, soak in the scenic landscapes, and witness the natural beauty of Vail from a different perspective. The gentle rhythm of the horse’s hooves and the fresh mountain air will transport you to a place of tranquility and harmony.


Vail’s horseback riding experiences are suitable for all ages and skill levels, making it a fantastic activity for families, couples, and solo travelers alike. So saddle up and embark on a horseback journey through Vail’s stunning landscapes, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


Adventure Parks and Ziplining

If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush and a thrilling outdoor experience, look no further than Vail, Colorado’s adventure parks and ziplining courses. Vail offers a variety of attractions that cater to adventure enthusiasts of all ages, providing a perfect blend of excitement and natural beauty.


One of the highlights of Vail’s adventure parks is the exhilarating experience of ziplining. Soar through the air as you traverse between platforms and whiz past towering trees and stunning mountain vistas. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you take in the panoramic views below. With multiple ziplines to choose from, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the beauty of Vail’s landscapes from a unique and thrilling perspective.


But ziplining is just the beginning. Vail’s adventure parks offer a host of other exciting activities such as rope courses, climbing walls, and alpine coasters. Challenge yourself on a high ropes course, navigating obstacles and testing your balance and agility. Conquer your fears as you scale a climbing wall and enjoy the satisfaction of reaching the top. And for those seeking the ultimate adrenaline rush, hop on an alpine coaster and speed down the mountainside, twisting and turning through the scenic terrain.


These adventure parks provide a safe and controlled environment for thrill-seekers to push their limits and create lifelong memories. Experienced guides and staff are there to ensure your safety and provide instruction on how to navigate the various challenges.


Vail’s adventure parks are a great option for families, groups of friends, or individuals looking for a dose of adventure. With activities suitable for both children and adults, everyone can partake in the excitement. Bond with loved ones as you conquer obstacles together or experience the thrill of ziplining side by side.


Whether you’re a daredevil or just looking to step outside of your comfort zone, Vail’s adventure parks and ziplining courses offer an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. So gear up, embrace the adrenaline, and let the natural beauty of Vail be the backdrop for your thrilling adventure.


Cultural Attractions and Events

While Vail, Colorado, is known for its outdoor activities and natural beauty, it also boasts a vibrant cultural scene that is not to be missed. From art galleries and museums to live performances and festivals, Vail offers a diverse range of cultural attractions and events that will captivate visitors.


Immerse yourself in the world of art by exploring the numerous galleries that line the streets of Vail. Admire works of local and international artists, showcasing a wide range of mediums and styles. From contemporary paintings and sculptures to stunning photography and mixed media installations, Vail’s art scene offers something for every discerning art lover.


In addition to galleries, Vail is also home to cultural museums that showcase the history and heritage of the region. The Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum is a must-visit for winter sports enthusiasts, detailing the rich history and evolution of skiing and snowboarding in the area. Explore the exhibits and learn about the pioneers who helped shape Vail into the world-class skiing destination it is today.


Vail also hosts a variety of live performances, ranging from theater productions to musical concerts. The Vail Valley Foundation’s Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater is an iconic outdoor venue that hosts a wide array of performances throughout the summer season. Enjoy the sounds of symphony orchestras, famous musical acts, and theatrical performances against the backdrop of the stunning Rocky Mountains.


For those who appreciate the performing arts on a smaller scale, Vail’s local theater companies and performing arts centers offer intimate and captivating shows. From thought-provoking plays to entertaining musicals, these performances showcase local talents and provide an enriching cultural experience.


Be sure to check out the various events and festivals that take place in Vail throughout the year. From culinary events that celebrate the region’s gastronomic delights to music festivals that showcase a wide range of genres, there’s always something happening in Vail. Experience the vibrant energy of lively street festivals or immerse yourself in the traditions and cultural heritage of the area.


Vail’s cultural attractions and events provide a perfect balance to its outdoor adventures. Take a break from the trails and slopes to explore the local art scene, indulge in live performances, and immerse yourself in the rich heritage and traditions of the region. Whether you have a passion for art, music, history, or cuisine, Vail’s cultural offerings have something to captivate every visitor.


Dining and Shopping

Vail, Colorado, not only offers breathtaking natural beauty and outdoor adventures but also features a vibrant dining and shopping scene that will satisfy your cravings for great food and unique finds.


When it comes to dining, Vail boasts a diverse range of culinary options that cater to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re in the mood for gourmet cuisine, casual comfort food, or international flavors, Vail’s restaurants and cafes have got you covered. Local eateries showcase fresh and locally sourced ingredients, ensuring that every dish is a feast for the senses.


Indulge in a gourmet dining experience at one of Vail’s fine dining establishments. From upscale steakhouses to award-winning restaurants helmed by renowned chefs, these establishments offer impeccable service, unique flavor profiles, and beautifully presented dishes. Pair your meal with a carefully selected wine or craft cocktail for a truly exceptional dining experience.


If you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, Vail is also home to cozy cafes and upscale casual restaurants. Enjoy classic American fare, indulge in comfort food with a twist, or savor international cuisine from around the world. Vail’s dining options cater to a variety of budgets and preferences, guaranteeing that you’ll find the perfect spot to satisfy your cravings.


After a satisfying meal, take some time to explore Vail’s diverse shopping scene. The town is dotted with charming boutiques, art galleries, and specialty stores, offering unique and locally made goods. Browse through clothing and accessory boutiques to find stylish and fashionable items. Discover one-of-a-kind artworks, jewelry, and home decor created by local artisans.


Vail’s shopping scene also features specialty stores catering to outdoor enthusiasts. Stock up on gear and equipment for your next adventure, from skiing and snowboarding equipment in the winter to hiking and biking gear in the summer. Explore sporting goods stores that offer a wide range of products for all your outdoor activities.


Don’t forget to visit Vail’s farmers’ markets and food markets, where you can find fresh local produce, artisanal products, and handmade goods. Browse through the stalls, sample delicious treats, and engage with local vendors to get a taste of the region’s culinary delights.


Whether you’re looking to indulge in a gourmet meal, find unique souvenirs, or simply enjoy a relaxing shopping experience, Vail’s dining and shopping options won’t disappoint. Immerse yourself in the town’s vibrant culinary and retail scene, supporting local businesses and discovering treasures along the way.



Vail, Colorado, truly shines in the summertime, offering a bounty of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and culinary delights. From hiking through picturesque trails and mountain biking along scenic routes, to paddleboarding on tranquil lakes and rafting down rushing rivers, Vail’s natural beauty is waiting to be explored.


For those seeking a slower pace, Vail offers horseback riding adventures through idyllic meadows and dense forests, as well as peaceful rounds of golf on championship courses with stunning mountain backdrops. And let’s not forget the adrenaline junkies, who can zip through the air on thrilling ziplines, tackle challenging rope courses, or brave alpine coasters.


Beyond the outdoor adventures, Vail’s cultural scene invites visitors to explore art galleries, museums, and live performances. Experience the rich history and traditions of the region, and immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of festivals and events that showcase music, art, and local customs.


Vail also satisfies epicurean cravings with its diverse dining scene. From gourmet fine dining to casual eateries, Vail’s restaurants offer a blend of flavors and culinary styles that will tantalize your taste buds. And for those looking to find unique souvenirs and one-of-a-kind items, Vail’s shops and boutiques offer an array of choices, from fashion and artwork to sporting goods and handmade goods.


In conclusion, Vail, Colorado, is a place where adventure, nature, culture, and culinary delights converge. Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor activities, engaging in cultural experiences, or indulging in culinary delights, Vail has something for everyone. So, come and explore Vail’s wonders in the summer months, and create lifelong memories in this mountain paradise.