It’s hard to believe that summer in Vail, Colorado, is considered off-season when there’s so much more that’s offered during this time of year.
Vail may have the largest ski mountain in Colorado, but unless you love skiing all day every day, there isn’t much more to do in winter except freeze outside or sit indoors by the fire.
Summer brings a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities, special events, and beautiful weather to Vail, making it the preferred season by locals.
Here are just some of the many reasons why you should make Vail your next summer holiday.
Why Summer is a Better Time to Visit Vail
Cheaper Hotels and Activities
For starters, you’ll find that Vail hotels can be booked for a fraction of the price you’d pay during the peak winter season. Enjoy an ultra-affordable summer getaway or take advantage of the savings by extending your stay.
Summer activities are also much more budget-friendly than the cost of winter skiing. Many summer activities, such as hiking, biking, and local concerts, can be enjoyed free of charge.
Even paid activities are usually low-cost and include things like scenic gondola rides, mountain coasters, zip lines, kayaking, and fishing.
Hiking and Biking Trails
Incredible summer hiking and mountain biking trails can both be accessed by taking the Eagle Bahn Gondola or Gondola One up Vail Mountain.
Bike haul tickets can easily be purchased to get your bike up the mountain, and trails range from easy-to-manage green trails (perfect for beginners) all the way up to extreme double-black-diamond trails (perfect for Evel Knievel wannabes).
Take to the pine and aspen forests of Booth Falls Trail or try the 12-mile paved Gore Valley Trail which runs the length of Vail.
Hike along the Colorado or Eagle River to spot marmots and deer and keep an eye out for black bears, moose, and bobcats as well. For something truly unique, Vail even offers the chance to hike with a llama!
Take on the Arkansas River to tackle adrenaline-pumping whitewater rafting trips that run through the picturesque Rocky Mountains.
Feel what it’s like to be a pinball in Class IV-V rapids or opt for a much calmer floating trip that’s perfect for all ages.
Try your hand at fly-fishing or drop a line in a number of rivers, like the Blue River or Colorado River. Catch some beautiful rainbow, brook, and brown trout.
If fishing isn’t your thing, try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) or simply plop yourself in a kayak and scan the banks of the river for wildlife.
The GoPro Mountain Games
Whether you engage in adventure sports yourself or just like to be a spectator on the sidelines, Vail’s Summer GoPro Mountain Games are not to be missed.
The GoPro Mountain Games event is the country’s largest celebration of adventure sports. It even includes engaging live music and art.
Register for competitions involving running, climbing, biking, paddleboarding, disc golf, fly-fishing, and more. There are even competitions for dogs.
The event takes place in June and spectators get in absolutely free. Enjoy free concerts in Vail’s Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, enter photo competitions, and browse the public outdoor art displays.
Photo credit: SarahTz
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I love Colorado in the summer :)
It’s the best!
Glad you enjoyed the post :)
Wow that,s fantastic,great location.
One of our favorites :)
Hey! I live so close haha. Though, it’s starting to get to that time of year where my car won’t make it to Vail. ?
Goes to my statement that summer is better :D!
Absolutely! Colorado in the summer is incredible!
Glad you also think so! I much prefer the sun to the snow :D
Wonderful View … Mountain Landscape, by all means, – Will present … Peace … and you.
Glad you enjoyed the post, I hope you have the chance to visit Colorado soon :)
It seems like Colorado is a bit of a dream Land made for the solo Traveller.
It is indeed, especially if you’re excited by outdoor adventure :)
Vail in summer is definitely more fun! We went tubing at at Epic Discovery and LOVED it. You can really hike with a llama??!
Glad you had a fab time Martha. Re the Llama, absolutely! Paragon Guides organize the hikes, and it’s really fun! + they can carry your gear (the llamas :D) Definitely a good enough excuse to plan a return trip!
Never heard of the Go Pro mountain games, but sounds fun :)
Glad we could give you the heads up!
Makes sense that the snowmelt makes for epic rapids!
Absolutely Jeremy, I can highly recommend rafting in Vail :)
Don’t miss Vail Oktoberfest; It’s a great time to be here, lots of music & food tents and of course beer activities. One of my personal favorite events, especially when combined with all the other activities and the nice Sept weather (and leaves might be changing then too).
Thanks for the tip! Sounds like it’s definitely an excuse for us to plan another trip :)
We love ski towns in the summer! They’re always cooler (literally and figuratively) than our hometown, plus great hiking/biking on those ski trails. :)
Absolutely – very underrated if you ask me!