Here in the Vail Valley, we have two World Class Ski Resorts: Vail and Beaver Creek. Vail has the most skiable terrain in the United States at 5289 acres and an annual snowfall of 346 inches. This truly is a winter paradise. Whether youíre just learning to ski or you want to get back into Blue Ski basin, you can find terrain just for you. Vail is about ten minutes east of Avon and there are different options of getting into Vail. Beaver Creek is located right here in Avon and there is a free shuttle to get you quickly up to those powder runs. Beaver Creek is very much centered on the family, with activities that cater to the family, runs that are just for kids, and warm chocolate chip cookies served everyday at 3pm at the base. Most guests canít decide between the two and spend time at both. Other resorts that are within a driving distance are Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin. Lift tickets can be purchased in advance online at snow.com for any of the above resorts.
SNOWSHOENG/CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
So maybe downhill skiing isn't your thing, both snowshoeing and cross country skiing are activities that all skill levels can thoroughly enjoy. There is a Nordic center at both Beaver Creek and Vail Mountain. Here at Beaver Creek, McCoy Park at the top of the Strawberry Park chair lift is a playground for both snowshoers and Nordic skiing. This is an entire area dedicated to those that want to do something different outdoors then just ski. There are also trails aplenty across Arrowhead, Bachelors Gulch, and Beaver Creek Mountains and even one in between the three villages. If you decide to head into Vail, the Vail Golf Club turns their golf course into miles of a groomed track system for cross country skiing. These are truly distinctive sports that can be very rewarding. The concierge can point you in the right direction to get started on this fun sport
When you think of winter, Ice Skating is one of those time-honored activities that come to mind. There is nothing better than skating around a rink as children fall beside you laughing or maybe you are the one that is meeting the ice. Ice Skating is fun for every skill level. You will always be smiling at the end of this activity. We have three different Ice Skating rinks in the Vail Valley. One is located right in the center of the Beaver Creek Village and is open year around. Another is located in Vail at the Arrabelle Square. Lastly, there is one indoor ice skating rink also located in Vail. This is a great and fun activity for all skill level that always brings a smile to the kid's faces. If Ice Skating is not your thing, you can sit rink side by a blazing fire pit enjoying hot chocolate taking in the mountain scenery. This is a classic winter activity.
SLEDDING AND TUBING
This is a traditional winter activity that everyone in the family will thoroughly enjoy. Both Beaver Creek and Vail have tubing hills. Adventure Ridge is a hot spot for winter activities and offers everything from tubing to miniature snowmobiling for the kids to ice skating. This is a place that every family must visit while here in the valley. Here in Beaver Creek, a small version of the gondola will take you up to the top of the tubing hill. This is a great activity to do on those days when you just don’t feel like skiing but you still want to get out there and have some fun. If you want something a little bit more classic such as sledding, we have saucers here at the lodge that you can take over to Nottingham Lake that also has small hills. When you arrive, make sure to check in with the Concierge desk so that we can get you operating hours as well as pricing.
Crisp mountain air, starlit skies, and an open horse-drawn sleigh create a memory that will not soon be forgotten. 4 Eagle Ranch, twenty five minutes west of the lodge, offer a journey to the way Colorado use to be. The stars sparkle as you snuggle under a blanket in the frosty night air in a private ranch setting. Reservations are required for this memorable activity, so make sure to call the concierge desk so that we can book this trip for you! Bearcat Stables also offers a magical experience as their world class Percheron horse team's guide you and your family through the beautiful Rocky Mountains as you sip on hot chocolate and apple cider. Enjoy panoramic views of the New York and Gore mountain ranges on this magical excursion.
Dog sledding is reminiscent of a time past. Hear the barking of the dogs while thinking of the Iditarod. This is a fun activity for the entire family that will bring miles and rosy checks. Varying lengths of tours are offered. This is an incredible way to see the beautiful Rocky Mountains from behind a team of Huskies. Kids especially love going dog sledding and spending some time with the dogs before and after the actual tour. Small tots love these friendly animals and their slobbery kisses. Adults will love the adrenaline rush of being pulled by a tem of gorgeous, mountain dogs. This is an activity that the entire family will enjoy.
This exhilarating sport combines spectacular views, the need for speed, and entry deep into the backcountry. Whether you want to take the adventurous route and rent your own snowmobiles or take a guided trip, this activity is a great choice for that day that you want to take off of skiing. You will see views of the Gore Range, the Holy Cross Wilderness, and the Eagle Valley. These areas truly are a winter wonderland. There is the option of being a single or double rider sharing the experience with another. This is one of the most unique ways to see the Rocky Mountains. Make sure to talk to the Concierge to set up your snowmobiling trip for this winter.
HOT AIR BALLOONING
You'll never forget the enchantment of a hot air balloon ride. The trip begins a little after sunrise to ensure the best winds. Once you've successfully left the ground the pilots will show the scenery from its best vantage point and each excursion will take up to three and a half hours with the flight taking between one and two hours. Enjoy hot refreshments before the trip such as hot chocolate as well as a post flight ceremony that includes a certificate of flight and a complimentary champagne toast. There is only way to see the valley and that is from above, call the concierge to book a trip with Camelot Balloons. No children under the age of 6 are permitted.