When it comes to winter holidays, nothing beats spending time in a world-class resort and riding down the snowy slopes.
And if your destination is Colorado, you might want to visit Vail and Beaver Creek ski resorts as they are among the top destinations for Colorado skiing.
All you have to do is plan your next winter getaway to experience these sensational resorts in Colorado. But where should you start? Or can you actually ski from Beaver Creek ski area to Vail resort?
Well, the most likely response is not. You cannot ski from Beaver Creek ski area to Vail ski resort because you won’t find a clear trail between these resorts.
However, you can try skiing between Beaver Creek and Vail resorts if you have a lot of skiing experience. And while this can be a challenging adventure, backcountry skiers can have lots of funskiing down the rough slopes as long as they plan ahead.
Beginner skiers and tourists should not attempt skiing from Beaver Creek to Vail as they may not be able to deal with the risks such a trip brings. They should instead look for other transport options when riding in these ski areas.
The most convenient and safe method to use when traveling from Beaver Creek resort to Vail resort is by a bus or taxi. But don’t give up yet, we’ll discuss how these resorts are linked to help you decide where to start.
How Far is Beaver Creek Resort from Vail?
Beaver Creek Resort is 12.9 miles from Vail Resort, and it usually takes less than 20 minutes to travel from one ski area to the other, depending on your transportation mode.
Eagle County Transit runs a bus service that helps tourists travel from Vail to Beaver Creek and vice versa, and they are very affordable.
So, if you want to travel from Beaver Creek ski area to Vail, you can catch a bus at the reception center near the main gate and pay about $7.
To catch a bus from Vail to Beaver Creek, you can go to the Vail Transportation Center. The buses leave From Beaver Creek and Vail every 30 minutes between 6:00 am to 12:00 am.
You can also use a High Mountain Taxi or car services, as they are available in both resorts as well.
Can I Ski from Beaver Creek Resort to Vail Resort?
Since Beaver Creek and Vail resorts are among the most famous ski areas in Colorado and are located only 12.9 miles apart, many people wonder whether they can actually ski between the two areas.
While the answer is possibly not, advanced skiers can technically ride from Beaver to Vail. But before you embark on such a challenging endeavor, you should keep several things in mind.
The first major obstacle is that the terrain between Beaver Creek and Vail ski resort is extremely challenging, and you may not be able to navigate if you lack experience skiing on rugged terrain.
Another important thing you want to bear in mind is that you won’t find any established trail to lead you to Vail resort. So, you’ll need to bring your own GPS to avoid getting lost on your way.
You should also remember that traveling from Beaver Creek ski area to Vail resort on your skis is advised against for tourists as it can be difficult to handle the extreme terrain.
As mentioned earlier, the distance between Beaver Creek and Vail resort is 12.9 miles, and this can be a long trip for tourists or intermediate skiers.
The terrain between the two resorts is quite hard to navigate, and the snow conditions might be tricky to ride on, especially with recent snowfall.
Having said that, traveling to Vail from Beaver Creek on your skis can be an adventurous and rewarding experience, but for highly experienced skiers only.
The views between these resorts are phenomenal, and the feeling of accomplishing such a challenging adventure would leave you with a lot of excitement.
But this doesn’t mean you should skip the bus, car, or shuttle just because of the views. You can still enjoy the views while traveling by vehicle.
Overall, skiing from Beaver Creek resort to Vail isn’t a good alternative for tourists or intermediate skiers. The best way to travel between the two resorts is by bus, taxi, or car.
Taxis are the most convenient as you’ll be in the next resort within 30 minutes. However, they are the priciest.
Taking a bus is the cheapest way to travel to Vail, and it also allows you to enjoy the spectacular mountain views. But you’ll need to be a bit patient as the ride usually takes 45 minutes.
Beaver Creek or Vail: Which is the Best to Visit?
Both Vail and Beaver Creek are fantastic resorts with a special experience. I have been to these resorts several times and never regretted it.
The two resorts have all the things that skiers and snowboarders could ever ask for, from stunning slopes and nature to comfortable accommodations.
Now that both Vail and Beaver Creek are excellent, which is the best one to start with or visit if you had a chance to choose one? It can be confusing, right?
Let’s discuss the main differences between Vail and Beaver Creek to help you choose the best one for your next winter holiday.
Vail Resort Vs Beaver Creek: Size
Vail Resort is a popular and huge ski area, encompassing a whole 5,289 acres that are skiable and open for snowboarders. It provides an array of varied types of riding slopes.
This ski area is actually the third largest single-mountain resort in the US, with seven bowls and intermediate skiing terrain. There are 195 groomed skiing trails, 31 lifts, and 3 snow parks in Vail resort.
Beaver Creek, however, is a small resort with approximately 1,832 acres accessible to skiers and boarders. But it still has some fun slopes and beautiful nature to behold.
If you are looking to do a shorter ski trip for your winter holiday, Beaver Creek is the best option. You’ll easily become used to the slopes and navigate the mountain with ease.
However, if you are looking to spend much time in a ski resort and enjoy skiing in different places, Vail has longer slopes to explore.
It’s also essential to keep in mind that Vail tends to be more overcrowded than Beaver Creek, given that most skiers and boarders love long runs and variety.
So, if you want a tranquil area for skiing or snowboarding, you won’t stress about long line ups and hordes in Beaver Creek.
Night Life in Vail and Beaver Creek
If you want to enjoy shopping and dining in a beautiful resort, then Vail village is your best choice. This resort is inspired by the European style and has various shops and hotels to visit.
Whether you are looking for Italian, exotic Asian, or Mexican cuisine, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when skiing in Vail.
If you fancy seafood, Yummy Seafood, Vail Cheaphouse, and Ludwig’s Restaurant got you covered.
On the flip side, Beaver Creek has a smaller village compared to Vail village. But this doesn’t mean that there is no exciting nightlife in this skiing area.
There are several establishments like bars and restaurants that can give you the night adventure you are yearning for in Colorado. You’ll have a wide range of dining options in the parlors, cabins, lodges, and restaurants in Beaver Creek.
For perfect dinners when skiing in Colorado, you can try out the Golden Eagle Inn, Hooked, Grouse Mountain Grill, or Splendido at the Chateau in Beaver Creek.
There is a good reason why Vail has become synonymous with Colorado mountain skiing. The legendary resort has several world-class hotels where you can toast to the good life with your loved ones and have an unforgettable experience.
The elegant hotels in Vail offer stunning views, on-site dining, heated pools, warming fireplaces, and more. No matter which hotel you visit in Vail, you’ll enjoy cozy accommodation and good vibes.
If you are yearning for a pampering experience, the luxurious hotels in Beaver Creek will provide you with a memorable Colorado mountain retreat.
You’ll enjoy freshly cooked cookies prepared every afternoon in this resort. The overall atmosphere in Beaver Creek hotels is fresh and friendly to skiers and snowboarders.
You can come with your whole family to Beaver Creek and spend an extraordinary night in one of the beautiful lodges in this ski area after a fun skiing day.
If you want a super comfy and relaxing hotel with breathtaking views, the Pines Lodge and Park Hyatt are great options.
As you can see, most hotels and lodges in Vail and Beaver Creek are luxury options, which can be a bit expensive. But, trust me, the ski experience is definitely worth every penny.
If you want to enjoy skiing on the mountain without spending lots of money on accommodation and meals, there are cheaper options in the small centers near the main resorts.
Entertainment and Extra Activities
Apart from riding on the beautiful Vail Mountain slopes, you could also enjoy other activities on the mountain, and both resorts have uncountable options.
Extra activities like music take place in the two Colorado resorts from winter to summer. You can engage in activities like GoPro Games, Competitive Cycling Vail Jazz Festival, and more.
Some of the exciting activities to try out in Vail valley include Nordic Skiing, Vail Backcountry tours, dog sledding, and snowshoeing.
When the summer approaches, you can prepare for activities like mountain bike riding and hiking on the Vail trails.
Both Beaver Creek and Vail offer a world-class skiing experience for skiers of all levels. Whether you are a beginner or traveling with your kids, there are appropriate zones for different ski ability levels.
If you are just a tourist looking to have fun on the mountain, both resorts have beginner terrain where you can learn skiing or snowboarding.
You’ll also find intermediate runs on Vail and Beaver Creek, where you can build your ability while enjoying lovely mountain views.
In both resorts, kids less than four years can ski free and participate in activities like ice skating, the Mountain Coaster, and more.
There are also various ski schools in both resorts with ski lessons tailored to different skill levels.
Nonetheless, Vail resort is the best option for skiers and snowboarders looking to tackle longer runs.
How to Get to Vail and Beaver Creek
Vail and Beaver Creek are located in the Vail Valley, and there are several ways to get to the resorts from Denver.
Vail is located about 100 miles from Denver and only 30 miles from Eagle County Regional Airport. You can get to the ski area using a bus or taxi.
You can also use a shuttle since Colorado Mountain Express offers shuttle services to guests from the Eagle Airport, Denver International Airport, and downtown Denver.
If you land at the Eagle County Regional Airport, you can use the Epic Mountain Express Shuttle services to get to Beaver Creek within 30 minutes.
For skiers looking to tour the mountains in both resorts during their getaway, you can travel from one ski area to the other using bus, taxi, or shuttle. But I’d recommend choosing one of the resorts if your holiday is four days or shorter.
The reason is that Vail and Beaver Creek have a lot to offer, and it’s impossible to explore both ski areas effectively and feel the vibe of the luxurious hotels within four days.
If you plan to spend more than four days on your winter holiday, you can buy a lift ticket with more skiing days. Keep in mind that lift tickets bought at Vail are valid at Beaver Creek and most other resorts operated by Vail.
Why You Should Visit the Vail Valley
The Vail Valley is a top Colorado destination where skiers and tourists from all over the world can visit and have fun with friends and family.
When spending your holiday at the Vail Valley, you get to enjoy a true mountain experience and feel all the luxury of the world-class resorts, from 5-star accommodation to European-inspired dishes.
Along with marvelous accommodation and dining at Vail and Beaver Creek, you’ll find endless sports and events to enjoy during your getaway.
Not to mention the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains
While most resorts have the best activities during the winter season, the Vail Valley has plenty of fun activities throughout the year.
You can visit the area any season, and you’ll find popular enjoyable activities to engage in, no matter which resort you stay in.
During the winter, the best activities to participate in while in the Vail Valley include skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, cross-country skiing, riding fat bikes, and tubing.
Snowshoers and skaters can also have a great time spending their winter holiday in the Vail Valley.
If you are a nature lover, you can visit the Vail Valley during summer and enjoy activities like mountain biking, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, golfing, and even kayaking.
I recommend hiking along the peaks of the ski areas in the summertime, especially the Berrypicker Trail in Vail.
Q: Can I Ski from Beaver Creek Resort to Vail?
A: No, you cannot ski from Beaver Creek ski area to Vail resort since there are no established trails connecting the two areas.
However, experienced skiers who can handle the rugged terrain can ski the distance between Vail and Beaver resort as it is only 12.9 miles.
But this is not something that tourists or intermediate skiers and boarders should try as they would have to ride on truly extreme terrain.
If you don’t have much experience riding on rough terrain where you can find your own paths and direction, then you shouldn’t attempt skiing from Beaver to Vail resort.
Otherwise, you might get injured on the mountain and lose direction, and you won’t find any ski patrols to rescue you.
For a skier who wants a feel of backcountry skiing in Vail, you can visit the legendary Blue Sky Basin. You’ll find truly stunning nature and get a feel of the huge Vail mountain.
Blue Sky Basin is situated just a few miles from Vail Village and is designated for experienced skiers to have fun on the open meadows and glades while exploring the mountain.
When backcountry skiing on Blue Basin Ski, you’ll have several places to grab lunch or dinner, including Belle’s camp and the Dawg Haus.
The grills set up also make it more exciting for advanced skiers since they can bring their own food and maximize the facilities.
Q: Does Vail and Beaver Creek Connect?
A: No, there is no defined trail that connects Vail and Beaver Creek. However, there are many methods of transportation that you can use to move from Vail to Beaver Creek within a short time.
Some of the transportation methods in Beaver Creek and Vail resort include buses, cars, taxis, and shuttle service.
For many years, there have been several plans to build a chairlift that connects Beaver Creek and Vail. But the ski resorts have never embarked on this and will most likely not do it because of the wildlife protection established on the mountain.
If you are wondering whether there is a skiing trail connecting Vail and Beaver Creek, the answer is no. So, you cannot ski or snowboard from Vail to Beaver Creek, especially if you are not a well-seasoned skier ready to deal with the highly challenging terrain.
Q: How Far Apart Are Beaver Creek and Vail?
A: Vail is 12.9 miles from Beaver Creek, almost 21 kilometers. Depending on your transportation mode, it takes about 15 to 45 minutes to travel from Vail to Beaver Creek.
Taxis and shuttles are the fastest, but they can be expensive. And while buses are pretty cheap, they are the slowest options, as they usually take 45 to 60 minutes to move people from Vail to Beaver Creek and vice versa.
Q: Is Vail or Beaver Creek Nicer?
A: Both Beaver Creek ski area and Vail resort are nice destinations for skiers and snowboarders. They provide an excellent skiing and boarding atmosphere.
You can visit Vail or Beaver Creek with your family or friends since the two resorts are family-friendly.
Even so, most people who visit Beaver Creek recommend it for younger families as the resort has consistent trails for young children and beginners.
Vail is also a good option for families with children, but it works best for older families and experienced skiers who want longer runs and a touch of incredible nightlife.
Both Vail and Beaver Creek resorts feature an array of skiing and snowboarding slopes, including beginner trails, intermediate trails, and difficult runs for advanced riders.
Whichever resort you choose, you’ll have a great experience in all the skiing or snowboarding aspects. You will have lots of fun on the slopes and enjoy posh accommodation and world-class cuisine.
Q: Is Vail Crowded than Beaver Creek?
A: Yes, Vail is much more crowded than Beaver Creek. If you want to ride on serene slopes with your family, Beaver Creek is your go-to resort.
Vail resort is a big resort, and many people, from skiers to snow-shoers, flop onto the mountain every winter to have fun on their exciting slopes.
It features long lift lines, many ski lifts, and incredible runs for skiers and snowboarders.
On the other hand, Beaver Creek is a smaller resort compared to Vail. It has shorter lines and less ski lifts. While the ski area is far from Denver International Airport, you can still have a big time spending your winter holiday in this resort!
Q: Is Aspen or Vail Better?
A: The best ski area for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Aspen Mountain is your ultimate ski area if you prefer calm ski areas with fewer crowds.
But if you want a lively partly-like experience, Vail is your best bet! While the two resorts provide nearly the same luxury feel, Aspen tends to be more expensive than Vail.
Aspen has four resorts with varying aspects, including Aspen Highlands, Ajax, Buttermilk, and Snowmass.
Q: Which Gondola is Better in Vail?
A: Eagle Bahn Gondola is the better gondola in Vail. It is a great option for skiers and non-skiers looking to enjoy the sweeping views of Vail’s back bowls.
It carries 12 riders each round and is open at night during winter and summer. With this gondola, you can smoothly access the slopes and restaurants.
Q: Is Vail Village or Lionshead the Main Village?
A: The main village in Vail Mountain is Lionshead, located at the base of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Even so, the two villages are only a walking distance apart as you can walk from Lionshead to Vail Village in 10 to 15 minutes.
Skiing from Beaver Creek to Vail can be one of the toughest challenges that skiers or snowboarders can pursue.
That’s why it’s not recommended to travel between the two resorts on your skis or snowboard unless you have a lot of experience and are adequately prepared for the extreme terrain.
Overall, the safest and the most convenient way to travel from Beaver Creek to Vail is by vehicle, and there are several options, including buses, cars, shuttle services, and taxis.
Whether you choose to visit Vail or Beaver Creek first, you can be sure of a unique experience riding the outstanding slopes and spending quality time in some of the fanciest hotels.