Vail, Colorado

Vail, Colorado

Vail in Eagle County, Colorado, just 100 miles west of Denver, is known globally as one of the best ski resort towns in the world. This small town with just under 5500 residents attracts tourists to the area year-round by offering a 5-star travel experience with luxurious accommodation, dining, and activity options in the Rocky Mountains. The most popular pitstop of Vail is Vail mountain, where visitors can enjoy the winters skiing down the snow-filled slopes and the summers hiking.

Geography And Climate In Vail

Vail, Colorado
The scenic landscape around Vail.

Vail’s location in the Rocky Mountains provides the town with extraordinary mountain views and wildlife. The Gore Range mountains and 2.3 million acres White River National Forest encircle the town while the Gore Creek flows through it. Winters in Vail are cold, with large volumes of snowfall that can create poor driving conditions along Vail Pass. Sunshine is seen for most of the year, but during the warm summers, it makes the snow left on the mountain tips glimmer, which is why the Ute Tribe referred to Vail as “The Shining Mountains.”

History Of Vail

Vail, Colorado
Picturesque settings of Vail. Editorial credit: Andriy Blokhin /

Before settlers arrived in the area around the 1860s and 1870s, the original inhabitants of Vail were the Native American tribe of the Ute. What attracted settlers to Vail was the mining potentials of the Gore Range. Eventually, the mining craze of the area withered away, and in the 20th century, the second World War would play a role in the town’s formation. Veterans Bill “Sarge” Brown, Bob Parker, and Pete Seibert did military training for the U.S. Army in Vail during World War 2. These three men decided to return to the region after their military service in the war because they were fascinated by mountains and believed they could turn it into a great skiing area. In 1962, the famous Vail Ski Resort opened at Vail Mountain, and four years later, in 1966, Vail was incorporated as a town. As the decades went on, Vail built and grew itself off of the popularity it was getting from skiing and snowboarding at Vail Mountain, which gave it the reputation of being the popular travel destination it is today. 

Infrastructure And Transportation In Vail

Because Vail was built to mirror the setup of European ski towns, the Interstate 70 highway is the single road in place, and the main transportation methods are walking, biking, and shuttles. The Interstate 70 connects Vail to Denver, Denver International Airport, and provides access to U.S. Highway 24 from the west. Along Interstate 70, and not far from Vail Ski Resort, is Vail Pass, which can be used to access the White River National Forest, the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area, and the Copper Mountain Resort. Shuttles in Vail are free, which cuts down expenses for those wanting to explore the area. The Colorado Department of Transportation runs intercity buses through the Bustang Westline route and the Eagle County Regional Transportation Service (ECO Transit), which conveniently stops at the Eagle County Regional Airport, where air travel is accessible.

Tourism And Activities In Vail

vail, colorado
Tourists exploring Vail. Editorial credit: Alex Cimbal /

Tourism is seen throughout the year in Vail, with most activities being mountain-based because of the geographical features of the town. Skiing and snowboarding at Vail Ski Resort bring the most attraction to the area from December to March. The famous Vail Mountain at Vail Ski Resort has 5317 acres of skiable land, seven back vowels, and 31 lifts, making it the biggest ski resort on the continent. Other popular activities during cold temperatures are snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and sleigh rides. Warmer months in Vail are generally cheaper to travel during and can be enjoyed by camping, biking, golf, visiting the farmers market, catching a show at the Gerald R Ford Amphitheatre, and water activities such as kayaking. 

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. Vail, Colorado

More in Places