5 different summer activities in Vail
The Rocky Mountains of Colorado are known for hiking, skiing and rafting. But there’s more to do around the Vail Valley than that. From zip lining to unusual versions of yoga, these activities welcome everyone, from beginners to experienced athletes.
Rentals — and purchases — for e-bikes are growing. You can find them all over the valley, especially powering uphill, since the electrically assisted pedaling makes biking challenges accessible to those who are beginning, or simply don’t like going uphill.
The assistance technology allows bike riders to go for even farther rides, extending a 50-mile ride to a 100-mile ride. And the technology also helps negate the effect the altitude can have on those adjusting to the elevation, which could help make exploring the area more enjoyable.
Pedego is one vendor that sells and rents e-bikes in the area, and it offers a two-and-a-half hour Vail 101 e-bike tour that gives a history of Vail and the top 10 places in Vail to go to.
“Kind of the heart of Vail is everybody that lives here just loves the outdoors and loves going out and being active, and sometimes it’s difficult for the guests to do that because they aren’t from this elevation” Eric Minishred said. “What the pedal assist electric bikes do is let them experience everything locals can experience.”
To rent an electric bike, some options include:
In Vail, the two-and-a-half hour Vail 101 Pedego tour costs $59.99. Pedego rentals range from $49 to $99, depending on the hours rented and the type of bike. To book a rental or the tour, visit http://www.pedegoelectric bikes.com/dealers/vail or call 970-470-4180.
In Avon, Rocky Mountain Adventure Rentals offers rentals that cost $40 for a full day. To book a rental, call 970-471-8491.
In Wolcott, 4 Eagle Ranch offers a Fat Kat bike tour that costs $150 per person for a two hour tour around 12 miles of the 4 Eagle Ranch. To book a tour, call 970-926-3372 or visit http://www.4eagleranch.com/fat-kat-e-bikes.
4. SUP yoga
For those looking for a unique and challenging approach to yoga, stand-up paddleboard yoga — also known as SUP yoga — is a rising trend in the valley.
Participants stand on paddleboards and work through a series of yoga poses, which can be modified according to comfort level.
“It’s a whole new way of being challenged in basic poses in the best, most beautiful yoga city in the world,” Stand Up Paddle Yoga instructor Trinity Wall said. “You have the sun on your face and fresh air, and you’re not stuck in a yoga studio, with other people sweating next to you.”
SUP yoga still isn’t a widespread phenomenon yet, but many of those who participate agree that it has the potential to take off.
“I consider SUP yoga a hidden secret in the valley,” Whitney Willits, an avid SUP yogagoer, said. “It’s probably one of the most fun activities that I know about as a local. Come fall, it’s so hard for me to go back into a studio because what better yoga studio here is there than Nottingham Lake?”
Paddleboards are provided, and no experience is needed.
To participate in SUP yoga, some options include:
In Eagle-Vail, Paddle Yoga Colorado offers classes at the Eagle-Vail Pond with a suggested donation of $10. Classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. To book, call Julie at 970-393-3328.
In Avon, Stand Up Paddle Yoga offers classes at Nottingham Lake on the weekend that cost $20. To see the schedule and book a class, visit http://www.standuppaddlecolorado.com/nottingham-lake.
3. Goat yoga
Rain or shine, you can find people on the hills at the Vail Stables doing yoga, or rather at a yoga class playing with goats.
The class offers a taste of a “pure” yoga class, with the added fun of goats running around. The goats are meant to help get people out of their heads and in the moment, essentially distracting yogis from any anxiety they may have surrounding.
The classes vary – mostly depending on the goats’ moods. Sometimes, the goats will cuddle up and fall asleep, and other times the goats will climb on people or nibble on their shirts, according to Kym Luck, owner and “fun-maker” of Vail Stables.
“It’s kind of a gateway to yoga because a lot of the people who are otherwise intimidated by yoga will actually come try this,” Luck said.
Goat yoga is offered at Vail Stables and costs between $35 and $50. To book a class, visit http://www.vailstables.com.
2. Zip lining
Speed demons and adventure seekers can soar above the valley holding onto a zip line high above the ground. There are a few zip lining adventures in the area, with different experiences at each. With options for even the little members of the family, there is plenty of fun to go around.
To zip line, head down to Wolcott:
In Wolcott, Zip Adventures offers two-and-a-half hour zip line tours that take participants along six successive zip lines. Tickets cost $170 per person, and can be booked online at http://www.zipadventures.com.
1. Mushroom hunting
The fauna and flora of the valley is extensive, and at times, delicious.
Mushroom hunting offers a new perspective on Vail and the surrounding area. Tours and events happen rarely due to the short season of mushrooms — and the difficulty of pinning down a tour guide — but they can be arranged nonetheless.
Walking Mountains offers annual mushroom foraging tours, and private tours can be arranged. The purpose of these tours are not necessarily massive hauls of mushrooms, but rather to learn more about the local mushrooms.
Walking Mountains guides are not mushroom experts, but they offer a wide knowledge of local habitats.
Mushroom enthusiast Michael Heim also offers tours, but he needs advance notice to accommodate both his schedule and the mushroom season. He is not a professional mycologist, “just a guy that is really impassioned and enthusiastic” about mushrooms.
“Getting out into nature, I’m able to not think about a lot,” Heim said. “But, if I add mushrooms to it, I’m able to focus on one thing and one thing only, and that’s just being there. It’s like unlocking little secrets that are just hidden along your hike.”
Those interested in foraging for personal consumption off of the forest property where the mushrooms were gathered should collect the free permit from the ranger’s station.
To take a mushroom foraging tour, some options include:
Walking Mountains can be reached at http://www.walkingmountains.org/project/custom-private-programs.
Michael Heim can be reached at http://www.ensofarmandforage.com/contact.