Photo courtesy Jack Affleck

Hiking

September and October are some of the most beautiful months to be in Vail. As the temps drop, the aspen trees begin to change colors to a beautiful gold, lighting up the entire valley.

Nature lovers won’t have to go far (or even break a sweat) for an amazing color explosion in the fall months. Shrine Pass, just off I-70 at the top of Vail Pass, is forever popular. Or take the gondola up Vail or Beaver Creek mountains and see a totally different side of your favorite ski runs. Keep in mind, the gondola schedule changes during the month of September. It is open Fri-Sun and closes at the end of September. Make sure to double check the schedule before you plan your day:  Vail Gondola Schedule  & Beaver Creek Gondola Schedule 

Want to skip the hassle of deciding on the perfect hike and driving to the trailhead? Walking MountainsScience Center offers full and half day guided hikes. These Nature hikes led by environmental experts and native explorers offer an impactful experience when the natural surrounding views and trails are paired with insightful knowledge of the flora and fauna.

Photo courtesy Jack Affleck

Beginner Hikes:

  • Eagle’s Loop: Short ridgetop loop with great views of Mount of the Holy Cross. 1 mile (1.6 km), 15–20 minutes.
  • Nature Valley Complimentary Hike in Beaver Creek: Easy guided hike. Begins at the top of Centennial Express (Meet at Spruce Saddle)

Intermediate Hikes:

  • Berry Picker: This trail winds down from Mid-Vail or Eagle’s Nest to Vail Village or Lionshead. 3.2 miles (5.1 km), 2–3 hours one way
  • Upper Piney Trail: The trail is mostly in open meadows above the Piney Lake and Piney River before entering aspen groves and becoming a bit rougher before reaching the cascading falls at just under 3 miles.
  • Booth Creek: The trail climbs steeply from the trailhead through aspen groves for the first mile, then climbs more gradually following along BoothCreek. At mile 2, the trail passes 60 foot Booth Creek Falls.
  • Eagle Lake: There are majestic views of the Sawatch Mountain Range, Burnt Mountain, and William’s Mountains. There are excellent wildlife viewing opportunities for such animals as deer and elk.
  • Beaver Lake: This trail follows Beaver Creek as you hike through aspens and thimbleberry on an old wagon trail then onto single track up through coniferous forest to the Holy Cross Wilderness boundary

Photo courtesy Jack Affleck

Biking

Biking can be one of the best ways to enjoy the autumn leaves. The canopies over the trails turn from green to gold making it absolutely spectacular when you ride under them!

    • The town of Eagle is the latest hit destination for both local and out-of-town enthusiasts with a wealth of trails and a flourishing biking subculture. The Haymaker Trail in Eagle is a great introduction to mountain biking for all ages and abilities, with easy trailhead access and plenty of parking.
    • If the downhill is your favorite part, let the lifts do the work at Vail or Beaver Creek. After a scenic ride up on the gondola, you can proceed downhill at your own pace. First time? Take a guided tour for an exhilarating journey down Vail Mountain’s network of mountain bike trails. Be sure to check the fall gondola schedule before you go. Vail Gondola Schedule  & Beaver Creek Gondola Schedule 

Looking for bike rentals? Venture Sports , Base Mountain Sports , Charter Sports  , Vail Sports , Beaver Creek Sports

Activity Providers

Sure, Vail is world-renowned for its skiing and snowboarding, but the Vail Valley offers plenty beyond vast bowls of bluebird powder days and grippin' groomers. Whether you prefer your adventure water-drenched, iced, air-borne, cliff-side, cycled, motorized or snowy out mountain recreation covers it- and much, much more.

Restaurants & Bars

In the Vail Valley, eating isn't merely sustenance - it's an important part of the lifestyle. From fine dining hotspots to casual comforts, it's not hard to find great food. Colorado is known for their locals breweries, distilleries and even wineries. Come sample a taste of Colorado and even international spirit favorites.

Vail Valley Events

Ski terrain and wonderful snow put the Vail Valley on the map, but it's more than just a ski resort. The calendar is packed with events that are a big part of the Vail Valley's culture. From outdoor concerts at the Ford Amphitheater to bull riding at the rodeo, it's easy to stay busy.