Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame#7 in Best Things To Do in Vail
Before hitting the slopes, consider taking a quick tour of the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame. This small facility in central Vail pays tribute to the region's reputation as a winter wonderland. The museum's exhibits focus on the development of the area ski resorts (and the evolution of the sport in general), as well as other favorite slopes found throughout the state. Visitors also learn about how the U.S. Forest Service – particularly the 10th Mountain Division, the ski troopers of World War II – has worked to ensure the safety of skiers for decades. Afterward, take some time to honor the people that have helped make Colorado a skiing haven at the hall of fame.
According to recent travelers, the Colorado Ski Museum is a must-see for powder hounds and history buffs. Reviewers particularly praised the artifacts on display (specifically the Olympics memorabilia) and the on-site gift shop. Though you'll breeze through the exhibits in less than an hour, visitors say it's worth a stop.
You'll find the museum located on the third level of the Vail Village parking structure. Parking is free during the warmer months and after 3 p.m. during the ski season. The facility is open every day from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. during ski season, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the warmer months. Admission is free, although a $5 donation is suggested. For more information, check out the museum's website. Note: The facility closed for remodeling in April 2017 and plans to reopen at the beginning of the 2017-2018 ski season.
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#1 Vail Hiking
Though Vail's ski terrain receives much of the spotlight, the area's many hiking trails are just as impressive. If you've got a car, you may want to consider driving to Eagles Nest or Holy Cross – two wilderness areas with impressive trails well-suited for backpackers. If you're hoping to trek closer to town, you'll find several trails on Vail Mountain, accessible from the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Here, you'll find trails ranging from short 1-mile hikes (Eagle's Loop and Fireweed) to more intermediate treks (Berrypicker and Ridge Route). Though you will have to pay for the gondola ride ($36 for adults; free for children accompanying a paying adult), the hiking trails won't cost you a thing to access.
If you'd rather not pay the gondola fee, you'll find several hikes on National Forest Service land that are accessible via Vail's free bus system, including Bighorn Creek, Booth Creek, Deluge Creek, Gore Creek, and Pitkin Creek, among others. Recent visitors especially liked the Booth Falls Trail, which sits a little more than a mile from Interstate 70 in East Vail. It's a steep trail, but a favorite among travelers for its wildflowers, waterfalls and view of the Gore Range. You can also sign up for a guided hike of the area with an interactive hiking expert. For more details, visit the Vail resort website.
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