Beginners Guide to Skiing & Snowboarding in Vail

Skiing in Vail Guide to BeginnersHow to Have Fun Skiing & Snowboarding at Any skill level


Welcome to Vail, whether you're a novice to skiing or snowboarding or visiting for the first time! With a sprawling 5,317 acres, there's something for everyone. To ensure you have a fantastic day, don't let the mountain's vastness overwhelm you. Instead, start with a basic plan of where you want to explore and let your enthusiasm guide you.

Embark on a beginner-friendly frontside mountain tour with the following steps:

  1. Commence your tour in Lionshead Village, riding the Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) to Eagle’s Nest. This not only serves as a great starting point but also offers scenic views and a bird’s eye perspective of the mountain's expanse.

  2. Head towards Little Eagle Chair (#15) at the top. Here, choose to ski down or practice on Chair #15. When ready for a change, take Practice Parkway away from Chair #15.

  3. Follow Practice Parkway until you spot Ledges (transitioning into a green run). This wide, rolling path provides excellent spots near the tree line to take a break.

  4. Continue down Ledges as the mountain naturally rolls eastward. Follow Cub’s Way, guiding you to the Avanti Express (#2). Take this lift to the top.

  5. Follow signs for Eagle’s Nest and Eagle’s Nest Ridge. Descend Practice Parkway, and your next run will be Minnie Ha Ha.

  6. Take Minnie Haha to Chair #2, ride it to the top, and follow Eagle’s Nest Ridge down to Game Creek Bowl via Game Trail. You are now in your first Back Bowl.

  7. At the bottom of Game Trail, take Game Creek Express (#7) to the peak. Enjoy the view of Mount Holy Cross, Game Creek Bowl, and Sun Down Bowl.

  8. Your next run is Lost Boy, a Vail fan favorite. Follow the signs, traverse Game Creek Bowl, and savor wide turns on a gradual pitch. At the bottom, find Chair #7.

  9. From the top of Game Creek Bowl, head left towards the Wildwood Smokehouse. Follow The Meadows to Mid-Vail and Wildwood Express (#3).

  10. Take Chair #3, enjoying the scent of Rocky’s Roadhouse as you approach the top. Follow The Meadows until you find Overeasy, another serene run.

  11. Hop on Mountain Top Express (#4) at Mid-Vail, following signs for Timberline Catwalk. Cruise to Sourdough Express (#14).

  12. Lunchtime at Two Elk Lodge, providing a break, recharge, and a scenic view.

  13. After lunch, explore runs outside Two Elk Lodge. Start with Tin Pants, a wooded run. From the bottom, ride Chair #14, enjoying laps on Boomer and Sourdough.

  14. After Sourdough, pass Chair #14, follow Flap Jack run, and traverse Northface Catwalk leading to Skid Road.

  15. At the bottom of Skid Road, above Golden Peak Village, take Highline Express (#10) to the top.

  16. Gather your group at the top of Chair #10, and follow Flap Jack down, enjoying a quieter side leading to the Northwoods area.

  17. Chair #11 at the bottom of Flap Jack takes you up for your final run.

  18. To return to Lionshead, follow Swingsville, leading to Mid-Vail, then Upper Lion’s Way and Lower Lion’s Way.

  19. Look for signs for Born Free and take it—a classic run well within your capabilities.

  20. Congratulations on conquering the mountain! Now, relax and savor a well-deserved après ski at Tavern on the Square. Well done on skiing the entire frontside and one of Vail’s legendary Back Bowls!

  21. Head back and relax at your Gorecreek Rental!


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