What are the best places to ski in Vail?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Larry Olmsted

As the largest ski mountain in North America, Vail offers every kind of terrain for every ability, but its signature attraction is the Back Bowls, seven huge, mostly treeless and powder filed bowls offering an endless variety of lines. Some of these bowls are bigger than other whole destination ski areas. Blue Sky Basin, is divided into two bowls, Pete’s and Earl’s. Pete’s has the best intermediate skiing of any of the bowls on one face and short but challenging expert runs on the other. Earl’s is much les visited, which is why its black diamond Champagne Glade run is one of the best kept secrets on the mountain, holding its powder a long time with great skiing in and out of the trees. Most of the trails in the other major bowls, Sun Up, Sun Down, China and Siberia are single black diamonds, but experts seeking more snow and fewer other skiers should keep heading out to farthest Siberia, especially its two far mini-bowls, Inner and Outer Mongolia. On the front side of the mountain, the best learning area is off the Sourdough Express chair; the best beginner area is off the Eagle Bahn Gondola; and the best intermediate skiing is off the Mountain Top Express, Eagle’s Nest, and Game Creek Express lifts. The best expert skiing is in Game Creek Bowl, and many visitors don’t realize that there are slew of ultra-challenging double blacks right off the Vail Village gondola, very easily accessed from town.

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