While visiting the Vail Valley, you encounter nature at every turn. By practicing how to Leave No Trace, we preserve and care for the Vail Valley. Whether you are spending time on our world-famous slopes, camping in our expansive forests, or fishing in our clear waters, take some time to appreciate your surroundings. Read on for the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace and opportunities to learn about, explore, and care for the beautiful landscapes of Colorado.
- Plan Ahead & Prepare
- Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Others
Interested in learning about the natural wonders of the Valley? Stop by Walking Mountains Science Center to explore nature, gain a scientific understanding of the Valley’s environment, and learn through their many natural science and sustainability programs. Consider visiting the Nature Discovery Center on Vail Mountain, the Vail Nature Center in the heart of Vail, or Avon Tang Campus to learn about the Valley’s wildlife, natural history, and to get outdoors. All ages are welcome at all locations and hiking trails are close to each facility. If you take advantage of them, practice leaving no trace!
If you want to experience the Valley’s hiking trails, the Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance provides information on trails and their conditions. Interested in preserving our trails? Volunteer with them for a trail crew shift and give back to our Valley. Please always respect wildlife and any posted closures.
Want to explore the great outdoors, but not on foot? If you’re visiting the Valley in the summer horseback riding lets you see the Valley from an entirely new perspective. We recommend 4 Eagle Ranch, Beaver Creek Stables, Piney River Ranch and Sage Outdoor Adventures if you’re interested in horseback riding. Or consider grabbing a pair of wheels and trying mountain biking or cycling. The Valley is full of both mountain paths and paved bike paths for you to cruise and enjoy our scenic views. Visit one of our local bike shops for any rental needs or local’s tips. Remember to stay on the trail and please don’t recreate on muddy trails.
With an abundance of rivers and creeks in the Vail Valley, opportunities to enjoy Colorado waters are plentiful. Fishing and fly fishing are well-known and well-practiced activities for both visitors and locals wanting to experience our waters. Vail Valley Anglers provides guided fishing trips, fly fishing lessons, and fishing reports for multiple areas in the Valley, giving you access to the most up to date information on our waters. You can also check out Gore Creek Fly Fisherman for advice, equipment, and guided trips. Local guides can teach you about how to fish safely and responsibly, while respecting our waters and wildlife. And our water tastes great right out of the tap, so bring a reusable water bottle and forgo the plastic bottles!
If you’re interested in learning more about the Rocky Mountain ecosystem, stop by Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is one of the most beautiful and distinguished high altitude (8,200 feet) botanical gardens in the world that is dedicated to the conservation of high mountain plants and habitat. With paved paths, flowering plants, and beautiful footbridges, you’ll enjoy the Gardens’ atmosphere while learning about its importance. Located in Ford Park, east of Vail Village, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens can help you better understand the necessity of caring for our environment and teach you more about the Valley’s wilderness.
Everyday our community is working towards a sustainable future. You can learn more about these efforts by visiting our “know before you go” page.
This blog was made possible through a grant from the Colorado Tourism Office.