Vail started Martin Luther King Day with 83% of their mountain open with 25/33 lifts serving 264/317 trails, or 4,413 acres of available terrain. Most of the terrain not currently open rests in the outer corners of the resort, i.e. Inner & Outer Mongolia bowl. Most guests that visit the resort will never even make it that far, so with that being said, most of the prime terrain is open to the public! Most people that visit Vail to ski are aware of the two gondolas that service Vail Village and Lionshead Village; they are also aware of the morning lines which can range anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the day and how much snow was reported. The lines are much better than last year since they are packing the gondolas to full capacity (you will need a face mask to enter).
We get this question a lot. If you're an intermediate skier and want to escape the crowds of Mid-Vail and Lionshead, we recommend starting from Golden Peak's Chair 6: Riva Bahn Express. This chairlift has virtually no line all day and will take you up to Northeast Bowl to the left of Chair 11: Northwoods Express. Instead of going to Northwoods Express, traverse down to Chair 10: Highline Express, via Choker Cutoff to avoid lines. This chairlift will take you to the Chair 14: Sourdough Express; you can reach this chairlift by taking Tinpants or Flapjack. Again, there's usually a short line at this lift, so you won't have to wait very long to get a lift up the mountain. When you've reached the top of the mountain, you will be right next to Two Elk Lodge, which usually gets busy around 11:45; If you plan on stopping for a quick bite, make sure you have a reservation and proof of vaccination.
Two Elk accesses China Bowl via Poppyfields (groomed everyday) and you have the option of stopping at Chair 21: Orient Express, Chair 36: Teacup Express, and Chair 37: Skyline Express, which gives you access to Blue Sky Basin.
If you're flying into Denver International Airport, the most preferred method of getting to the mountain is via Private SUV or Private Shuttle transfer. The vehicles are equipped with state-of-the-art safety equipment and snow tires and driven by the best winter drivers. Avoid the long wait and complicated rental car process and get to Vail in a safe and timely manner. Many of the rental cars available are not equipped with snow tires and will have trouble on mountain roads. Weather in the i70 corridor can change at a moment's notice and pedestrian drivers are not always keen to the safest driving habits. Our chauffeurs are aware of this and will use cotrip.org to anticipate traffic and road hazards. They have knowledge of alternate routes to avoid traffic and have the know-how to navigate the chaotic weekend traffic.
Most of the time, with rental cars, you only use them when your traveling between the airport and resort. If your staying in a condo, you can always order groceries and have them dropped off with Resort Delivery and take the in-town busses and property shuttles free of charge! Why pay for a car you're only going to use to get to/from Vail when you can book a private SUV/Shuttle and leave the driving to a professional driver? Mr. Chauffeur's private transfer service from Denver to Vail includes flight tracking so we'll be ready at the curb when your bags arrive at baggage claim.
Our private SUV's can hold up to 6 people and have plenty of space for baggage and skis. Our private shuttle executive van can hold up to 14 passengers and all of their equipment as well. What sets these vehicles apart is the 4-wheel drive capability, studded tires, and professional chauffeurs driving them. Our drivers will track flights to ensure that we're ready when you're ready. There will be plenty of room in the car for passengers and vehicles are equipped with ski boxes just in case we have to transport over-sized luggage. Our chauffeurs are knowledgeable about local restaurants and activities, so feel free to ask us what our favorite spots are!
Traffic is inevitable on i70 during a winter storm in the following locations: Vail Pass, Eisenhower Tunnel, Idaho Falls, and Floyd Hill. The roads in these areas are windy and can sometimes have ice on the road. There can be a traffic jam just around the corner. Knowing traffic patterns is an integral part of traveling safely through the mountains to ensure that you arrive in one piece. Slow and steady wins the race, and you're not going to save much time traveling over the speed limit. Many locals talk about a phenomenon known as "Mad-Pow Disease." It usually runs rampant whenever Vail or another major ski resort reports more than a few inches of snow. People will drive fast and aggressively even if it means compromising their own safety or other drivers on the road. Lift lines will also be busy as well as highway. This is what we do, this is what we see, and we want to ensure the best possible experience for you and your group. Give us a call at +1 970-401-0821 for any questions regarding travel advisories and to book your next trip.
Be safe and have a great winter season.