Vail Mountain begins summer operations for hikers, bikers and gondola riders
Vail Mountain enjoyed its first days of summer operations over the weekend, with the Vail Village and Eagle Bahn gondolas taking guests up and down the slopes.
Popular hiking trails like Berry Picker, Kinnikinnick and Meadows Loop opened to guests on Friday, with free gondola downloads for those in shape enough to make it up the mountain.
The Fireweed upper and lower trails also opened, connecting Mid Vail to Eagle’s Nest, for those looking to ride one gondola up the mountain and take another back down.
Scenic gondola rides were $50 for adults as of Sunday. Gondolas are scheduled to operate daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 5, and Friday through Sunday from Sept. 9 to Oct. 2.
Vail Mountain’s new Northeast Rim Trail, taking hikers from Mid Vail to the Mountain Top area near Vail Ski Patrol Headquarters, is now open as well, although muddy conditions and some snow are present on the trail.
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For mountain bikers, dry trail conditions exist on most trails below Mid Vail, which sits at an elevation of 10,250 feet. Popular trails like Big Mamba, Fred’s Lunch and Eagle’s Nest Road all opened over the weekend.
A summer bike haul ticket was $72 as of Sunday, and Vail Mountain is also selling a summer bike haul pass for $384.
In the Wildwood Area atop Chairs 3 and 7, two new lifts are being installed, one of which is in completely new terrain, connecting the bottom of Sun Up and Sun Down bowls to the top of the Wildwood area.
The Chair 7 Game Creek Express has already been removed from the mountain and will be recycled. It is being replaced with a six-seat lift, and while construction is on hold due to elk calving restrictions, crews were able to remove the lift prior to the start of the seasonal restrictions on May 6.
Construction on both lifts will resume in July, but the popular Ptarmigan Loop trail which crosses under Chair 7 and usually opens on July 1 is likely to remain closed for most of the summer due to the construction.
The Chair 7 four-person lift was Vail’s oldest lift and also serviced Vail Mountain’s summer zipline tour, which has not been in operation for the last couple of years. It’s likely to remain off Vail’s menu of summer offerings this year, as well.
A summer “Adventure Pass,” however, will offer access to one zipline on Vail Mountain this summer. The pass will be available starting June 24.
The Vail Mountain Adventure Pass sells for $129 and offers a day of access to Vail’s rollercoaster, bungee trampoline, climbing wall, tubing hill, mini-golf area, a ropes course, and the Little Eagle Kids Zipline. With most activities located atop the Eagle Bahn Gondola at Eagle’s Nest, lift access will be required to use your Adventure Pass.