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Overview

Vail's international reputation may have been built on skiing, but the region also has huge summertime appeal. The White River National Forest surrounds Vail, and local entrepreneurs provide facilities for mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, hot-air ballooning and even llama trekking. Hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails run in and out of Vail Valley, including many on Vail Mountain itself, and Mount Holy Cross is one of the most dramatic and popular fourteeners due in part to a mysterious cross pattern etched into its rocks. Vail is also a big festival town, with the Brews and Chili Festival and the Annual Vail Jazz ...

Vail's international reputation may have been built on skiing, but the region also has huge summertime appeal. The White River National Forest surrounds Vail, and local entrepreneurs provide facilities for mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, hot-air ballooning and even llama trekking. Hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails run in and out of Vail Valley, including many on Vail Mountain itself, and Mount Holy Cross is one of the most dramatic and popular fourteeners due in part to a mysterious cross pattern etched into its rocks. Vail is also a big festival town, with the Brews and Chili Festival and the Annual Vail Jazz Party in the summer. Watch for off-season deals, especially immediately post-ski season when inventory-shedding restaurants invite tourists to "drink the bar dry." The weather is generally mild this time of year, and exploring the rest of Vail Valley, including generic Eagle, quaint Minturn, growing Edwards and hoity-toity Beaver Creek is well worth visitors' time. In the latter town, the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch is the Rockies' best hotel this side of Aspen, with plentiful high-end shopping.

Steve Knopper
About the Expert

Steve Knopper is the Denver-based author of Moon Handbooks Colorado as well as a contributor to numerous Fodor's city guides.

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Steve Knopper for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer (for Vail festivals), spring and fall (for deals, particularly in Minturn and Beaver Creek)