Hiking, biking trails now open at Vail
NOW OPEN ON VAIL MOUNTAIN
• Grand Escape
• Big Mamba
• Hank’s Hideaway
• Cub’s Way
• Gitalong Road
• Lion Down
• Fred’s Lunch
• Village Trail
• Onza Alley
• Magic Forest
• Mane Lane
• PMT Middle
• Lower Old 9 Line
VAIL — Lionshead Village was alive on Friday, with the Vail Arts Festival attracting crowds and the Eagle Bahn Gondola escorting guests up the mountain.
The Lionshead Parking Structure was full by 10 a.m., and the gondola saw a steady stream of crowds all day as guests enjoyed an opening day of sorts at Eagle’s Nest atop the gondola. While the lift has been offering scenic rides for a couple of weeks now, hiking trails opened on Vail Mountain for the first time this summer on Friday, and the gondola began offering bike hauls for the first day of the season, as well.
Matt Thompson took a day off work to enjoy some time on the bike.
“We’re stoked to check out the downhill trails,” he said Friday.
The former World Champion master’s downhill racer took his son Cash, 10, up the Eagle Bahn for a few downhill rides.
“Had to take the day off for the gondola opener,” he said.
In town from Nebraska, the Wilke family took a couple scenic rides on the Eagle Bahn. While they were curious about hiking, they said they were interested in one activity Vail Mountain has yet to offer.
“I want to catch some fish,” said 5-year-old Alex Wilke.
In addition to hiking and biking, the ropes courses at Eagle’s Nest also opened on Friday, as well as open air rides on the Little Eagle lift.
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The new alpine coaster — a 3,400-foot descent down the west side of the mountain — saw steady traffic all day, and disc golf on Vail Mountain got underway Friday with a newly remodeled back nine.
Steve Klehfoth with the Flying Eagle Disc Society said their organization was proud to assist with some of the course changes for this year.
“The major difference for this year is the back nine,” he said. “We have a brand new hole number 14, which weaves through a tunnel of trees for a pretty cool new experience.”
New mountain biking trails also forced the relocation of Hole No. 13, known as “The Lodgepole Hole,” but Klehfoth said disc golfers won’t be disappointed with the new layout.
“It’s still a nice, big downhill toss,” he said.
Disc golfer Taylor Parris tried out the new course on Friday.
“I like it,” he said. “I don’t think I’m going to lose as many discs this year.”
Local Tyler Moore said the new layout doesn’t involve as much turf surfing.
“I found it to be a little easier to walk the course,” he said.
Vail expects to have their summer tubing operation up and running yet this weekend. A fast cruise down an astroturf surface, the summer tubing was unveiled last year and will complement a variety of new activities at Adventure Ridge this year.
As guests await the opening of Epic Discovery, testers on the new zipline canopy tour wowed crowds at Eagle’s Nest on Friday. Epic Discovery will be launched later this month with a first-of-its-kind summer adventure tour featuring ziplines, canopy tours, wildlife trail exploration and interactive learn-through-play activities. The Vail Arts Festival continues through Sunday.
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