Getting into the backcountry is a truly wonderful way to experience summer in the Rocky Mountains. Most backcountry guides provide a variety of services, including rafting, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and four-wheel-drive tours.


A hot-air balloon ride is an unparalleled adventure in the mountains. It provides a bird’s-eye view of the valley’s numerous mountain ranges, streams, meadows and peaks. Ballooning operations offer rides into the skies throughout the year. In addition to recreational outings, commercial balloonists offer rides for special occasions, particularly weddings.
Camelot Balloons | 328-2290 or
Camelot Balloons specializes in year-round hot air balloon tours above Vail, Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch. Flights are in custom-designed and -crafted FAA certified hot air balloons. Pilots are FAA certified and experienced mountain aeronauts. Camelot is the oldest locally operating full time hot air balloon company with over 20 years of flying experience – and 20 years of happy passengers!


Bicycling has been popular since the resort’s founding in the early 1960s. By its very nature, Vail has always been a town well-suited to bicycling, ironically because of its pedestrian character. Automobiles are not allowed into the central area of either Vail or Beaver Creek.
One of the most enjoyable routes is the paved bike path over Vail Pass which begins in Vail Village and ends in Summit County. If you don’t want to travel that far a distance, begin in the village, pedal along Gore Creek to East Vail, turn around and return to the village. Your toughest challenge will be keeping your eyes on the path while the Gore Range and its spectacular jagged peaks compete for your attention.  Wildflowers and waterfalls can be viewed along the trail.


Float serenely on a high-country lake with the Rocky Mountains serving as a backdrop. You may even catch a fish or two! Visit Nottingham Lake in Avon for paddle boat rentals.
Nottingham Lake, Avon | 748-4086


Don’t miss the latest and greatest 
addition to Beaver Creek Summer Fun: the bungee trampoline. This wild and wacky trampoline is open to kids and adults. Jump as high as you can, do flips and go crazy.


If you’re planning a backpacking or camping excursion, or just a leisurely 
day hike, many popular trails and 
several campgrounds abound. For more information on trail conditions, accessibility and camping facilities, call the U.S. Forest Service in Minturn at 827-5715 or (800) 280-CAMP.


Float or wade Colorado’s best public and private waters. Some of the best trout 
fishing in the nation is right here in the Rockies. Outfitters offer guided, half- and full-day, float or wade fishing trips on the Colorado, Eagle and surrounding rivers.
Alpine River Outfitters | 926-0900
Alpine River Outfitters provides you with all the necessary equipment to get on the water for a memorable and scenic experience. Guided wade trips are the most popular, or choose a float trip on the lower Colorado or Roaring Fork River. Alpine River Outfitters offers guided fly fishing trips on public and private water. The fly shop in Edwards has all of the gear you’ll need for a successful day: rods, reels, waders, wading boots, tippet, leader, maps, Colorado fishing licenses and advice from experienced guides who live locally and fish statewide. Shop is located at 97 Main Street, Edwards.


Alpine River Outfitters | 926-0900
City Market, Vail | 476-1017
City Market, Avon | 949-5409
Safeway, Vail | 476-3561
Wal-Mart, Avon | 949-6442


Colorado weather and elevation are 
perfect for golf. At over 8,000 feet, which can enable up to 10 percent more distance on a drive, you have the opportunity for that ever-elusive perfect round of golf. Designers and developers have done their part to create the best possible environment, building 18-hole championship courses up and down the Vail Valley. You’ll also find a par-3, 9-hole course in Eagle-Vail and a short course at Cordillera.


Beaver Creek Golf Club | 754-5775
Cordillera Mountain Course | 926-5100
Cordillera Short Course | 926-5550
Cordillera Summit Course | 926-5100
Cordillera Valley Course | 926-5950
Cotton Ranch | 524-6200
Country Club of the Rockies | 926-3021
Eagle Ranch | 328-2882
Eagle-Vail Golf Club | 949-5267
Red Sky Golf Club | 754-8400
Sonnenalp Golf Club | 477-5371
Vail Golf Course | 479-2260
Willow Creek Par 3 | 845-PAR3


Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Vail Valley on a ride up the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead or the Centennial Express chairlift in Beaver Creek.
Eagle Bahn Gondola | 476-9090
Atop Vail Mountain is Adventure Ridge, where you’ll view magnificent mountain peaks and have plenty to discover: horseback tours and pony rides, Vail Mountain Guided Hikes, Top of the Mountain open air vehicle tours, a rebound trampoline, climbing wall, dinosaur dig, disc golf, volleyball, bocce ball, the Discovery Center and guided nature hikes. An observation deck overlooking Mount of the Holy Cross is the perfect backdrop for a family photo. Outdoor dining at Bistro Fourteen.
Visit for dates, hours and rates
Centennial Express in 
Beaver Creek | 754-5200
Take a leisurely chairlift ride to Spruce Saddle Lodge at 10,200 feet. Spruce Saddle offers grilled sandwiches and cold beverages to help you refuel. Hiking, mountain biking and other activities available at the top of Beaver Creek Mountain.
Visit for dates, hours and rates


The traditional approach to experience the mountains is hiking. The Vail Valley has dozens of trailheads and a variety of difficulty levels. From a short morning hike to Booth Falls or Beaver Lake, to a full-day trek in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area, there is an option for all ages and ability levels.
Consider, too, the ski mountains. Ride the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Vail or the Centennial Express Chairlift in Beaver Creek. From the top, trails weave their way through high country flowers, wild strawberries and open glades. The ski areas provide access to marked trails, and hikers will enjoy the scenery without the rigors of a long day of uphill hiking.
Beaver Creek Hiking Center | 754-5200 or
TrailWise Guides | 827-5363
U.S. Forest Service | 827-5715

Vail Mountain | 476-9090
Vail Nature Center | 479-2291


Gallop along with ranch hands during a day-long cattle drive, or work your way into remote areas on gentle paths where 
few have ventured. There’s plenty of riding right here too, and it’s still one of the best ways to soak up the scenery. Historic, authentic 
ranches are less than an hour’s drive from the Vail Valley.
Vail Stables |476-6941 or
Walking, scenic rides, advanced rides for the adventurous type, gentle horses, charming wranglers, something for kids, a picnic table and a view – it all awaits you at Vail Stables. Kids must be 6 or older to go on trail rides, but parent-led pony rides, wrangler-led pony rides along with a petting zoo filled with little critters will keep your little ones happy.
Camps by Vail Stables | 476-6941 or
Nature Camp, Critter Camp, Pony Camp and Horse Camp are all offered by Vail Stables. Attend for one day or as many as you like, full or half day. Helmets provided, horses and ponies are gentle and the counselors have all taught at the camps for the past several summers.


Outdoor summer ice skating at The Black Family Ice Rink is located in the center of Beaver Creek Village and is open to the public every evening. Skate rentals available.
Black Family Ice Rink | 845-0438


See high-elevation lakes and alpine meadows unfold before you. An experienced guide will drive you through backcountry that few people have ever seen, or to legendary ghost towns.
Visit or
There’s no better way to enjoy mountain rivers than in a kayak. You’re sitting at water level, feeling every bend and rapid, gliding smoothly through the gorgeous river valley.  For the less experienced, find the same thrills on an open bow, inflatable ducky.


Avon Public Library | 949-6797
Beaver Creek Children’s Museum | 845-9090
Beaver Creek Children’s Theater
 | 754-4636
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens | 476-0103
Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival
 | 827-5700
Colorado Ski Museum | 476-1876
Vail Jazz Festival | 479-6146
Vail Public Library | 479-2185
Vilar Performing Arts Center | 845-8497


Those lift lines you stood in all winter are transformed into beautiful, alpine 
miniature golf courses in the summer. All ages and abilities can enjoy this game together, and with village locations a game of miniature golf will blend perfectly with your day of mountain activity.


Ski mountains are ideally suited to mountain biking, using access roads that serve as catwalks in the winter. Trails exist for all ability levels and maps can be picked up at ticket offices. Dozens of forest service trails originate throughout the Vail Valley and run the gamut from the wooded singletrack of East Vail to the open desert-like terrain of Berry Creek in Edwards. Bike rentals are available at many local shops.


Culture and the arts have become increasingly prominent in the Vail Valley.  After an active day of mountain adventure, relax during an evening filled with classical music, outdoor concerts and dancing.
Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival | 827-5700
World-class orchestras, world-class soloists and world-class venues – it’s how Bravo! stands apart as one of the leading music festivals in the country. With four resident orchestras and guest soloists from around the world, Bravo! brings first-rate culture to the Vail Valley. The Festival is a summer tradition that is not to be missed.
Vail International Dance Festival
 | 845-8497
The 2011 Vail International Dance Festival brings the world’s greatest dancers, choreographers and musicians to stages throughout the Vail Valley for a two-week celebration of dance.
Vail Jazz Festival | 479-6146 or (888) VAILJAM (824-5526)
The annual Vail Jazz Festival performances range from free outdoor concerts featuring regional and national jazz favorites, to the Labor Day Weekend Party, which draws exceptional musical talent and jazz aficionados from around the country.
Vilar Performing Arts Center | 845-8497
Beaver Creek’s state-of-the-art Munich-inspired performing arts venue attracts discerning audiences with entertainment ranging from jazz to opera, ballet to magicians.


Betty Ford Alpine Gardens | 476-0103
Don’t miss the spectacular Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. The gardens are the highest public botanical gardens in the United States, and include a diverse and unique living collection of alpine, sub-alpine and other mountain plants and flowers in four distinct garden settings.
TrailWise Guides | 827-5363
Quality private backcountry tours with your own guide in the White River National Forest to view waterfalls, rushing streams and vistas from high ridges. All-day hikes available to alpine lakes and summits of 13,000-feet and 14,000-feet peaks. Learn natural history about wildflowers, forests, animals and birds along the way. Transportation included from your door in the Vail/ Beaver Creek area. Quality experiences.
Vail Nature Center | 479-2291
The Vail Nature Center is nestled along the banks of Gore Creek in the heart of Vail. The seven acres of forest, meadow and streams are a delightful and peaceful place known by many locals and visitors as their favorite place in Vail. The Nature Center staff offer a wide variety of educational programs, both at the Nature Center and out in the wild mountain country that surrounds us. Located on the southeast side of Ford Park across from the Ford Amphitheater.


Paragliding thrives in areas like the Rocky Mountains, where you can depend on sunshine, blue skies, plenty of up 
currents over the sun-warmed rock faces, and lots of high mountains from which to fly. A paraglider is the most basic form of flying machine that man has yet devised, a cross between a glider and a parachute. This magical world is available to beginners with tandem flights. It’s the closest you’ll ever feel to flying.


From float trips to wild rides, you’ll experience a sense of adventure on local rivers. The Colorado River meanders lazily through ranching country and the Glenwood Canyon. The Eagle River offers exciting whitewater adventure through the Vail Valley. For those interested in longer trips, visit the Arkansas River.


Break out your cowboy boots for the Beaver Creek Summer Rodeo Series Thursday evenings. The rodeo promises excitement each week with bull riding, bronco busting, barrel racing, team roping, a calf scramble and mutton busting. Other family activities include a petting zoo, pony rides, live entertainment, shopping and an authentic barbecue dinner. The rodeo is located behind Chapel Square in Avon, 
with free parking and shuttles from the 
Covered Bridge in Beaver Creek Village. Visit for more information.


Before you head out into the pristine, natural playground, prepare your mind and body for outdoor pursuits at a local spa or exercise facility. From pumping iron to a full body massage or an invigorating Zumba class, discover that point where physical endeavors are rewarded and a perfect balance of mind, body and spirit is achieved.
Sonnenalp Spa | 476-5404
Indulgence or necessity – the Sonnenalp Spa at the Sonnenalp Resort of Vail is an exquisite resource to rejuvenate mind and body. With pampering massage, yoga, skin treatments, manicures and pedicures, the spa offers world-class pleasures. Review services, facilities, yoga class schedule and more at
The Vitality Center | 476-7721
Vail’s first in-depth, comprehensive spa experience providing clients with wellness programs based on selected medical, nutritional and spiritual practitioners in conjunction with the professional staff of The Spa at Vail Mountain Lodge and The Vail Athletic Club.


Avon Recreation Center | 748-4060
Eagle-Vail Swim Club | 949-4257
Eagle Swim Club | 328-5277
Gypsum Recreation Center | 777-8888


More than 50 courts are located in the Vail Valley, ranging from public courts to exclusive clubs. Just as the elevation can improve your golf game, tennis is a new experience at 8,000 feet and you may want to purchase high-elevation balls.
Beaver Creek Resort |754-4636
Eagle-Vail Tennis Center | 949-5356
Nottingham Park | 949-9191
Town of Vail | 479-2294
Vail Recreation District | 479-2294


Wildlife abounds in the Rocky Mountains, and is especially visible during the summer months when animals are active and hungry. You’re likely to see deer, elk, bald and golden eagles, fox and many others. Several area outfitters offer tours.
TrailWise Guides | 827-5363
Vail Nature Center | 479-2291