When it comes to ski resorts in North America, Vail Ski Resort is considered one of the best. With 5,289 acres of skiable terrain and an annual snowfall average of 354 inches, Vail has become a top destination for winter sports enthusiasts from all over the world.
If you’re wondering whether you can snowboard at Vail, the answer is yes! The resort features three terrain parks with various levels of difficulty, making it suitable for riders of all skill levels. Additionally, Vail’s back bowls offer some of the steepest and most challenging terrain for advanced riders who want to push their limits.
As with any ski resort, there are rules and guidelines that snowboarders need to follow. Knowing these rules beforehand can make your experience at Vail more enjoyable and safe.
“Snowboarding is not just a sport; it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle that requires hard work, dedication, and determination.” -unknown
In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about snowboarding at Vail Ski Resort. We’ll cover topics such as where to find the best terrain, how to stay safe on the slopes, and what equipment you’ll need for an unforgettable trip.
So grab your board and let’s hit the slopes!
The Ultimate Guide to Snowboarding at Vail
Getting to Vail: Transportation and Accommodations
Vail is a world-famous ski resort located in Colorado, USA. One of the reasons why it’s so popular among skiers and snowboarders is its accessibility. The closest airport to Vail is Eagle County Regional Airport, which is only 30 miles away from the resort. From there, you can take a shuttle or rent a car to get to Vail.
If you prefer driving, Vail is easily accessible by car too. Interstate 70 runs right through Vail valley, making it easy for visitors coming from Denver and other parts of Colorado. Once you reach Vail, there are plenty of accommodations available for all budgets. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious hotel room or an affordable shared dormitory, Vail has it all.
The Best Snowboarding Trails and Runs at Vail
Vail boasts more than 5,200 acres of skiable terrain, with 31 lifts that provide access to over 195 trails. This means that no matter what your skill level is, you’ll find something to suit your needs.
If you’re a beginner, head over to the Lionshead base area where you can find several green (easy) trails such as Born Free and Simba. Intermediates will love skiing on trails like Riva Ridge, while advanced riders can challenge themselves on steep runs like Prima Cornice and Black Diamond Bowl.
If you’re feeling adventurous, make sure to check out Vail’s back bowls. With over 3,000 acres of ungroomed terrain, this area is perfect for powder hounds who want to experience some serious off-piste riding. China Bowl and Blue Sky Basin offer plenty of black and double black diamond runs that are sure to get your heart pumping.
Equipment and Gear: What You Need to Know
Before hitting the slopes, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary equipment. If you don’t own your gear, you can rent everything you need from one of the many rental shops located in Vail village or Lionshead base area. Here is a list of items you’ll need:
- Snowboard (make sure to pick a board that suits your level and riding style)
- Snowboard boots (these should fit comfortably and support your ankles)
- Binding (connects your boots to the snowboard)
- Helmet (essential for safety purposes)
- Goggles (to protect your eyes from wind and sun glare)
- Gloves (waterproof ones are best)
- Jacket and pants (should be waterproof and insulated)
- Base layers (worn underneath your jacket and pants for extra warmth)
- Backpack (to carry snacks, water, and any other essentials you might need on the mountain)
Dining and Après-Ski Activities at Vail
Vail isn’t just about skiing and snowboarding; it also offers plenty of dining and après-ski options. With over 100 restaurants, cafes, and bars located throughout the resort, there’s something for everyone.
For fine dining, head over to Game Creek Restaurant or Kelly Liken, both of which offer excellent menus and stunning views. If you’re looking for a more casual meal, try The Little Diner or Vendetta’s, both of which serve delicious comfort food. For après-ski drinks, make sure to check out The Red Lion or Pepi’s Bar and Restaurant, two of the most popular spots in Vail.
“Vail’s atmosphere is just as enchanting as its skiing” – Forbes
In addition to dining and drinking, Vail also offers plenty of other activities. Take a snowshoe tour through the wilderness, go ice skating at the outdoor rink, or relax at one of the many spas located throughout the resort. There are also plenty of events held throughout the season, including live music performances, art shows, and festivals.
“Vail ski resort has truly embraced being both a world-class ski destination with an equal focus on diverse family-friendly offerings.” – Ski Magazine
As you can see, there’s no shortage of things to do and see when you visit Vail. From skiing and snowboarding to dining and relaxing, this resort truly has it all. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head over to Vail for an unforgettable winter vacation!
Why Vail is a Snowboarder’s Dream Destination
Natural Snowfall and Artificial Snowmaking
If you are a snowboarder looking for pristine powder, then look no further than Vail. The resort averages about 350 inches of natural snowfall each year, creating optimal conditions for carving through fresh powder on your board.
In addition to the abundant natural snow, Vail also has an advanced network of artificial snowmaking that can supplement the natural snowfall as needed. This ensures consistent coverage throughout the season and extends the riding opportunities well into the spring.
The Legendary Back Bowls of Vail
No visit to Vail would be complete without tackling the legendary back bowls. Spanning over 2,500 acres, they offer unparalleled freeriding terrain for all levels of snowboarders. From wide-open runs to challenging steeps, these bowls are sure to test even the most experienced riders.
Among the many notable back bowls at Vail is the famous “China Bowl” which boasts some of the steepest terrain in the region. It may not be for the faint of heart, but this bowl rewards those who take the challenge with incredible vistas and unforgettable rides down its steep slopes.
“Vail’s sheer size means there’s something here for everyone – whether you’re a beginner or expert skier/snowboarder, or just someone along for apres drinks at one of the area’s myriad ski-in-ski-out hotels.” -Forbes.com
Of course, there is more to Vail skiing and snowboarding than just back bowls and deep powder. The resort features several terrain parks designed for different ability levels, making it an ideal destination for both casual and competitive riders alike.
Another aspect that sets Vail apart is its exceptional guest services. From providing complimentary ski and snowboard storage to offering numerous dining options on the mountain, your experience at Vail will be nothing short of extraordinary.
“Vail’s commitment to curating an unbeatable slope-side experience has been unwavering since opening day back in 1962… The lifts whisk guests away from a central base area so quickly that you never find yourself waiting for long.” -Snowpak.com
So if you are looking for an unforgettable snowboarding adventure, then make sure to put Vail at the top of your list. From deep powder to challenging bowls, it offers everything a rider could ask for.
What Makes Vail One of the Best Ski Resorts for Snowboarding?
The Largest Ski Resort in the United States
Vail Ski Resort is one of the most popular ski destinations in Colorado, attracting millions of visitors every season. What makes Vail unique from other ski resorts is its size as it is considered the largest individual ski resort in the United States.
The total skiable area spans over 5,200 acres with 195 trails catering to all ability levels, and offering some incredibly steep double diamonds for experienced snowboarders seeking a challenge.
If you’re planning your next snowboarding trip and are looking for variety, consider Vail Ski Resort. You won’t regret it.
Variety of Terrain and Difficulty Levels
Vail is known for its fantastic terrain providing excitement for both beginners and seasoned riders, no matter what level of skill you may have.
The resort boasts a vertical drop of around 3,500 feet, twelve legendary bowls, tree skiing, groomed runs, plus an extensive network of marvellous backcountry access that can help you explore and enjoy nature at its best.
Whether you prefer a leisurely ride on gentle slopes or crave the extreme challenges of tackling black diamond tracks, Vail has everything you need to rock your vacation and come home thrilled and inspired!
The Best Snowboarding Schools and Instructors
If you want to improve your snowboarding skills while exploring one of the most incredible mountain ranges globally, Vail Ski School is where you should take lessons.
Their instructors are trained professionals, providing clear communication, patient instruction and constructive feedback, making learning much easier and enjoyable. And if you’re unsure about trying snowboarding, trust us; they provide excellent demonstrations, putting your mind at ease, preparing you for any challenge.
Vail has a team of instructors that will cater to your specific needs and help you develop your confidence and snowboarding skills safely. They can transform even the most hesitant riders into confident and competent snowboarders in just a few lessons.
The Latest Technology and Innovations for Snowboarding
Snowboarding is more than just strapping on a board and plunging down the mountain; it’s an experience. At Vail Ski Resort, they know this and continually strive to give visitors an incredible experience through innovative technology like the EpicMix application.
EpicMix provides guests with real-time updates throughout their skiing vacation. By connecting lift passes to their mobile phones, epic mix tracks numerous statistics from vertical feet climbed to maximum speeds achieved, share photos taken on their ride, seeing and comparing themselves among friends rankings and many other indicators available.
“The technological advancements in ski resorts have modernized the way we enjoy skiing and snowboarding.” -Ski Magazine
When snowboarding becomes too much, recharge by the fire pits spread across the resort or take a dip in heated pools located near various lodges- both excellent places to unwind, meet new people and recharge before hitting the slopes again!
To conclude, Vail Ski Resort is one of the premier destination resorts that offers fantastic opportunities for snowboarding lovers of all ages and skill levels seeking an unforgettable experience. Visit Vail today and see why it’s so popular.
Expert Tips for Snowboarding at Vail
Vail is one of the most famous ski resorts in North America, known for its stunning views and world-class snowboarding. However, if you’re new to the area, it can be intimidating to know how to make the most of your time there. Here are some expert tips from seasoned riders that will help you navigate the terrain and have an amazing experience.
How to Ride the Back Bowls Like a Pro
Vail’s back bowls are legendary among snowboarders, but they can also be challenging for those who aren’t used to the steep terrain and variable conditions. To ride the back bowls like a pro, start by warming up on some easier runs so that you’re feeling confident and comfortable. Once you’ve got a good feel for the snow, head to the back bowls and take your time exploring each one carefully. Avoid going out too fast or trying to prove anything to other riders – safety always comes first!
You’ll want to pay attention to any signs warning against avalanches or other hazards, and always follow the advice of the ski patrol when heading into unfamiliar territory. If you’re looking for some guidance on which trails to explore, don’t hesitate to ask locals or veteran riders – they’ll often have some great insider tips and advice that can help you get off the beaten path.
Dealing with Altitude Sickness
One thing that many visitors to Vail struggle with is altitude sickness, which occurs when your body isn’t used to the lower oxygen levels found at high elevations. Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue, all of which can seriously impact your ability to enjoy your snowboarding trip.
To avoid altitude sickness, it’s important to stay hydrated and well-rested. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your snowboarding sessions, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night. If you’re feeling unwell, take a break and rest for a bit – there’s no shame in taking it slow if that’s what your body needs.
Safety Tips and Guidelines
When snowboarding at Vail, safety should always be your top priority. Be aware of other riders around you, follow the rules of the mountain, and wear appropriate protective gear such as helmets and wrist guards. Avoid riding alone or going into off-limits areas, and never underestimate the importance of knowing your own limits and abilities.
- Stay on marked trails and avoid closed areas.
- Be prepared for changing weather and trail conditions.
- Always carry a cell phone and know how to use it in case of emergency.
- Inform someone of your planned route, expected return time and who they should contact if you do not return with a particular notification time.
- Create code words so if you are in trouble and calling for help (on your phone or in person) you can spell out one of these code words to let people know that something is wrong without alerting anyone else listening nearby.
Maximizing Your Time and Experience at Vail
The best way to maximize your time and experience at Vail is to plan ahead and be strategic about when and where you ride. Try to avoid peak hours when the slopes will be more crowded, and focus on hitting up lesser-known runs or backcountry spots that offer a quieter and more immersive experience.
Avoid last minute preparations, identify readily available express rental equipment options near the lift lines that help to skip long queues.
Take breaks regularly and get some food and drink into your system. Finally, enjoy Vail’s stunning natural scenery – while it’s important to stay focused on the slopes, don’t forget to take in the awe-inspiring sights around you!
“Snowboarding is an activity that is very popular with people who do not feel that they fit into the mainstream cultures of skiing or snowboarding.” -Michael Kennedy
From Beginners to Pros: Snowboarding Opportunities for All at Vail
If you’re wondering if you can snowboard at Vail, the answer is a resounding yes! Whether you’re just starting out or consider yourself an expert, Vail offers fantastic opportunities for all snowboarders. With countless trails, a terrain park, halfpipe and special events, there’s something for everyone.
The Best Trails for Beginners and Intermediates
If you’re looking to learn how to snowboard or simply want to take it easy on the slopes, Vail has several great options for beginners and intermediates. The most popular beginner run is Born Free, which is almost three miles long and winds its way down the front side of the mountain. For beginners who are a bit more confident, Simba is another great option that offers slightly steeper terrain but is still relatively easy.
If you’re an intermediate rider, head over to Game Creek Bowl where you’ll find a variety of blue runs with stunning views. Riva Ridge and Genghis Khan are both great options that offer a bit of challenge while still being manageable for intermediate riders. Regardless of your skill level, be sure to take advantage of the free mountain tours offered by Vail Mountain Ambassador program. These experienced guides will show you the best runs based on your ability and give you some valuable tips along the way.
The Terrain Park and Halfpipe for Advanced Riders
If you’re an advanced snowboarder looking for a challenge, Vail’s terrain park and halfpipe won’t disappoint. The Golden Peak Terrain Park is one of the largest in the country and boasts over 50 features including rails, boxes, jumps and a Superpipe. In fact, the Superpipe at Vail is consistently ranked as one of the top pipes in the world and is used for many major snowboarding competitions.
For those looking to push their limits even further, Vail also offers several backcountry tours that will take you into some of the most breathtaking alpine terrain in North America. These guided tours will challenge even the most experienced riders and offer a unique and unforgettable experience.
Special Events and Competitions for Snowboarders
Vail plays host to several special events and competitions throughout the year designed specifically for snowboarders. The Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships takes place at Vail each year and attracts the top riders from around the world. This event not only features incredible competition on the slopes but also includes live music, parties and more. In addition to the Burton US Open, Vail also hosts several other snowboarding events including Rail Jams, Boardercross races, Slopestyle contests and much more.
“Vail Mountain is an iconic destination for skiers and snowboarders worldwide,” says Sarah Lewis, vice-president of marketing for Vail Resorts. “The mountain’s wide variety of runs, exceptionally groomed terrain, and incredible talent amongst our ambassadors, coaches, and staff make it the perfect spot for riders of all abilities.”
If you’re looking for even more snowboarding fun, head just down the road to Beaver Creek Resort where you’ll find another fantastic selection of trails and terrain parks. No matter what your skill level or style of riding, Vail has everything you need for an amazing and unforgettable snowboarding experience. So grab your board and hit the slopes!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the snowboarding options available at Vail?
Vail offers a wide range of snowboarding options, including terrain parks, halfpipes, backcountry areas, and beginner-friendly slopes. With over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain, there’s something for every level of snowboarder at Vail.
Do you need to be an expert snowboarder to enjoy Vail?
No, Vail has a variety of terrain for all skill levels, including beginner-friendly areas. However, if you are an expert snowboarder, you’ll have plenty of challenging terrain to explore as well.
What is the best time of year to go snowboarding at Vail?
The best time to go snowboarding at Vail is from late November to early April. During this time, Vail receives an average of 350 inches of snowfall, ensuring great snow conditions for snowboarding.
Are there any beginner-friendly snowboarding areas at Vail?
Yes, Vail has several beginner-friendly areas, including Lionshead, Golden Peak, and the beginner terrain park. These areas have gentle slopes and easy-to-ride lifts, making them perfect for those new to snowboarding.
What equipment do you need to bring for snowboarding at Vail?
You’ll need a snowboard, boots, bindings, helmet, goggles, and appropriate clothing such as waterproof pants and jacket. You can rent equipment at Vail or bring your own. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and lip balm as well.
How much does it cost to go snowboarding at Vail?
The cost of snowboarding at Vail varies depending on the time of year and the type of ticket you purchase. Lift tickets range from $129 to $209 per day. Equipment rentals start at around $50 per day, and lessons start at around $200 for a half-day session.