Kick Back and Enjoy
December 13, 2016
On mountain decks are the perfect spot to take a breather, or grill with family and friends
Blue bird days on the mountain call for sunny groomer laps, and big views of the peaks around Vail on one of the resort's spacious deck areas. Bring the kids, a pack of burgers, and some sunscreen, as Vail's decks are a popular stopover that often turns into the day's main attraction.
Hawke's Deck is often the life of the party on Vail Mountain, and can be found at the top of Chairs 4, 11, and 5, with grills available on a first-come-first-served basis. Nearby Henry's Hut also has deck space — without the sweeping views available at Hawke's Deck — and a small warming hut for colder days.
Jebbie's Deck can be found under the Avanti Express Lift, and near the Blackforest Public Racing course on the mountain. While it doesn't attract quite the host of characters as Hawke's Deck, it's a great family friendly option that's near beginner and ski school frequented runs.
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Known by locals as "Window's Deck," Parker's has some of the best views in the valley, and overlooks Sun Down Bowl and Mt. of the Holy Cross. The deck is found most easily by heading down Ramshorn from the Mountain Top Express Lift, and then following signs for The Skipper and Windows Road to the left.
The beacon of Blue Sky Basin, Belle's Camp is the perfect stopover for a hot cocoa and ready-made sandwiches in the small — and typically packed — lodge, before heading out to the expansive deck seating complete with first-come-first-served grills. As lifts for Blue Sky Basin stop running before the rest of the mountain closes, grills at Belle's Camp shut down in the early afternoon.
If a bump run down Game Creek Bowl has got your legs burning, take a pit stop at Ouzo Deck, which is located above the Game Creek Lift. Picnic tables overlook the lift, and as it's easily accessible from Eagle's Nest, it makes for a great meeting place with friends and family.
Keep in mind that decks close at 4 p.m. in accordance with National Forest Regulations, and to help ski patrol clear the mountain and head down for the day.