No other mountain is as deeply ingrained in Colorado ski lore as Vail. Originally designed as a mountain for the people, Vail remains incredibly accessible for locals and tourists alike. Over 5,200 acres of terrain make Vail the largest ski mountain in Colorado. A bulk of that acreage is found in the enormous back bowls. Mother Nature did the hard work, carving the aesthetically ideal landscape into a collection of bowls that feature blue to double black runs. It's your choice how to ski them: groove down the smooth open slopes, crumble through the fields of steep bumps or twist through peaceful aspen and pine forests.
Letting the powder fly on Vail Mountain. — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Vail Mountain / Jack AffleckBlue Sky Basin is Vail's outpost mountain but be warned, it can take about 40 minutes from the frontside lifts to reach the deepest part of Vail. And please note that this is the locals' favorite, a place where powder can remain untouched for days and you can find yourself in the peaceful solitude of the Rocky Mountains even on the busiest of weekend. If skiing Vail is akin to visiting another world, Blue Sky Basin is like visiting another Vail.
The front side of Vail would be the envy of other ski mountains, even if you took away the bowls and Blue Sky. Modest bowls, fantastic blue cruisers and some of the biggest terrain parks on planet Earth can be found on the more popular and accessible face of Vail. Make sure to duck into the trees from time to time, there's lots of secret meadows and glades waiting to be found!
We Coloradans like to get there for first chair and tucker ourselves out in the back bowls before ending the day playing around on the front side terrain (the Northwoods Express lift is one of the best places to conclude your day). Remember, Vail is huge so come ready to rock and don't be surprised if it takes a few days to chisel the smile off your sun-kissed face.