We know that skiing Vail Mountain as a beginner can be a little daunting. However, we, at American Ski Exchange, can help you navigate the vast terrain. It is our recommendation to stay on the front side of Vail Mountain. If you venture to the back side, you will be faced with intermediate and difficult runs ONLY. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of long, beautiful, groomed runs on the front side of Vail Mountain.
If you don’t have your own ski or snowboarding equipment, we would be happy to fit you with the correct boots and equipment for your skill level. We also rent ski clothing (in case you haven’t bought your own yet or couldn’t fit it in your suitcase.) We are happy to give you some pointers about where to go on the mountain! Below are a list of our favorite beginner runs here on Vail Mountain:
From Wildwood Express Lift (Lift 3)
A) Lost Boy in Game Creek Bowl
Easily accessible after riding Vista Bahn Express Lift (lift 16) from main Vail Village onto the mountain. Then, ski over to the Wildwood Express lift (lift 3). At the top, you have the choice of either skiing The Meadows down to the same lift, or venturing past the top of Game Creek Express lift (lift 7). From there, you will take a catwalk to Lost Boy. This run is aptly named for a young boy that got lost on Vail Mountain in 1964. As the story goes, the boy skied into the undeveloped Game Creek Bowl and spent the night in a tree well until being discovered by Ski Patrol the next day.
This run features incredible views of the Gore Range – a favorite photo opportunity. This run features rolling hills that are fun to get your legs warm early in the morning. Then take Game Creek Express Lift up to the top of Game Creek Bowl.
From Mountaintop Express (Lift 4) and/or Northwoods Express (Lift 11)
Also easily accessible after riding Vista Bahn Express Lift (lift 16) from main Vail Village onto the mountain. Then, ski over to the Mountaintop Express lift (lift 4). At the top, you have the choice of either skiing Ramshorn or Swingsville down to the same lift. Both of these are usually groomed to perfection. They are nice, long runs.
From Sourdough Express (Lift 14)
A) Tin Pants
The easiest way of accessing these runs are from the Vista Bahn Express Lift (lift 16) to Mountaintop Express Lift (lift 4). Then, ski down Timberline Catwalk. Make sure to get plenty of speed along this catwalk, it is not hard to get stuck. At the end of the catwalk, you will reach the Sourdough Lift (lift 14). Take this lift to the top (you will see Two Elk Lodge – a great place to stop for some buffalo chili or a burger while skiing). From the top of this lift you can either take Sourdough, Boomer, Tin Pants, or Flapjack to the base of the Sourdough Express (lift 14). These runs are a favorite of Ski School. As a beginner, you will be in good company on these pleasant, groomed runs.
From Vista Bahn Express (Lift 16) to Avanti Express (Lift 2)
A) Top of Lion’s Way
Easily accessed by taking the Vista Bahn Express (lift 16) in main Vail Village (lift 16). Then, ski down Lion’s Way. At the end of the run, you will be at the Avanti Express Lift (lift 2). Take the Avanti Express Lift up. At the top, ski down Overeasy to end at the Wildwood Express (lift 3) and Mountaintop Express Lift (lift 4).
From Eagle Bahn Express Gondola (Lift 19)
A) Cub’s Way
B) Bottom of Lion’s Way
C) Bottom of Born Free
From Lionshead Village, take the Eagle Bahn Express Gondola (lift 19). At the top, take the meandering Cub’s Way run down to the top of Giant Steps Lift (lift 1). From there, take the bottom half of the Lion’s Way run to the bottom half of the Born Free run. You will end this long assortment of beginner runs at the base of Lionshead Village.