Uphill Skiing At Vail

Skinning up Riva at VailVail Mountain Uphill Access Policy  (as of 11-27-20)   Cross-country skiers, snowshoers and hikers, etc are bound by Colorado Skier Safety Act, as amended, and should abide by Your Responsibility Code. Skiers must not impede or obstruct ski area operations at any time. When engaged in any of these activities one should:

Checklist for Uphill Travel:

  • Call the Trails Hotline (970) 754-1023
  • Uphill travel is permitted on designated routes from 30 minutes after the lifts close until 15 minutes before first chair.
  • Wear reflective materials
  • Stay towards the side of the trail
  • Position yourself so that you are visible from above
  • Wear brightly colored clothing
  • Dogs are prohibited at all times
  • Obey all pertinent signage
  • Avoid all areas where machinery is operating
  • Carry a light or headlamp
  • Be aware that ski area emergency services are NOT available
    Link to uphill page on Vail's website.

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Alpine Touring, also known as skinning and uphill skiing, has become very popular at Vail. The main route is up Simba from the base of Lionshead to the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola, a gain of 2213' of vertical.  Many people go up at sunrise on the Dawn Patrol. 

Prior to going up, call Vail's uphill hotline at 970-754-1023 to find out if there will be any snowcats or snowmaking on the route that you are planning on taking.

When you stay at the Vail International condos, you can walk to the base of Lionshead and be on your skis heading up in the mountain in less than 10 minutes.

 

Bachelor Gulch at sunrise

Other Uphilling Near Vail
Meadow Mountain is another great ski touring route that is close to Vail. You can park for free in the Forest Service parking lot which is just off of I-70. There are several routes that go to an old shack at the top and many times, you'll find nice untracked powder on your way down through rollilng fields. 

Heading a bit farther west, Arrowhead is very popular with skinners, especially at sunrise and sunset. The two main routes up are Cresta and Little Brave. There are also several good routes on Beaver Creek Mountain. Call their uphill line at 970-754-5907.

For more adventure, there are several good routes on Vail Pass, including Uneva Peak as well as Chicago Ridge near Ski Cooper. If it's your first time, go with someone who is experienced to show you the safest routes.