With the addition of its expanded adventure park, Vail Epic Discovery at Vail Mountain gives you more reasons to visit Colorado in the summer and fall with its one pass, unlimited all-day adventures. Zip, fly, hike, bike, tube and more. Read on for 7 reasons why Vail Epic Discovery is awesome, and your family will love it!
Why Vail Epic Discovery?
At Vail Epic Discovery, your summer and fall Colorado adventure will only be limited by time, open from summer to fall (with weekends only September to October). Take the gondola to the top of Vail Mountain. Breathe in the fresh air and soak up the spectacular Rocky Mountain view while strategizing your day. Zip, fly, tour, tube, and connect with nature – it’s all up to you, once you purchase your all-inclusive Ultimate Adventure Pass.
If you’ve traveled to Colorado, chances are Vail is already on your must-see travel list. Um yeah, Rocky Mountains and skiing, right? There’s a saying in Colorado. “People come for winter, but stay for the summer.” And the fall! Vail Resort’s $25-million Epic Discover investment is turning this ski area into a year-round playground. And it’s easy to get here from Denver, just 100 miles west via scenic Interstate 70.
Our Vail summer adventure began the night before when staying at the Vail Austria Haus. We explored Vail Village, took a quick swim in the hotel’s outdoor pool, and then snuggled into our comfortable beds, excited for our full-day adventure at the inaugural summer of Epic Discovery on Vail Mountain.
Mountain coasters, ziplines, aerial adventure courses, hiking and biking trails – oh my, and enjoy as many of these adventures, as many times as you want with the all-inclusive pass.
Here are 7 reasons why Vail Epic Discovery is Awesome!
Scenic Gondola Ride
Start with a scenic gondola ride to the top of Vail Mountain (included in your Adventure Pass). To access the main Epic Discovery adventures, take the Eagle Bahn Gondola out of Lionshead village to the top of Eagle’s Nest. And sit back and enjoy the spectacular and magical mountain views of Gore Range while the gondola glides you up above 10,000 feet.
- Test your Skills on Adventure Courses
Challenge yourself with the three Ropes Courses: Holy Cross Adventure Course, Gore Range Adventure Course, and for little tikes, the Pine Cone Adventure Course. My grandkids (ages 11 and 9) couldn’t wait to test their skills. These adventure courses challenged both equally with ropes, obstacles, bridges, logs, and balancing elements with the beautiful Rocky Mountains as your backdrop. NOTE: You will sweat and you will be tested, make no mistake.
Two more adventures are located in this area and included in your Ultimate Adventure Pass:
- Mountain Goat Climbing Tower where harnessed kids scramble up the 25-foot climbing wall. 45-250 lbs, ages 3+
- Bungee Trampoline. Soar on a super-bouncy trampoline while safety harnessed to series of bungee cords.
ZOOM Down Vail’s Summer Tubing Hill
Who needs snow to tube? Grab a tube, take the lift to the top of the Eagle’s Nest (42”, age 7+) or step onto the Marmot Mini (30-100 lbs, age 3+) “hill,” and glide down the mountain. We giggled (yes, this Grammie still giggles!) our way down the hill. Totally fun, and worth doing several times, which we did.
Zip through Trees and Mountains Like the Monkeys
While there may not be monkeys in Colorado, we ziplined like monkeys — and screamed with laughter — while riding on the Golden Eagle Zipline. Smaller adventurers can try a pint-size thrill on the Little Eagle Zipline.
Although we really wanted to (which we’ll do first next visit!), we simply ran out of time for the Game Creek Aerial Adventure Tour (not included in the Adventure Pass!). The 4-hour tour features 7 ziplines flinging harnessed riders screaming down the mountain at speeds up to 60mph. The longest zipline is half-mile between towers while riders dangle 300 feet above the slopes! Bring it on, I say!
The Golden Eagle and Little Eagle Ziplines are included in your Ultimate Adventure Pass. For only $189, experience the Game Creek Aerial Adventure, which also includes the Ultimate Adventure Pass, an $89 value! Reservations required. (See #7)
Fly on the Alpine Coaster!
Reaching speeds of 25 mph, brace yourself for the alpine coaster ride of your lifetime. Buckle in and ready, set, go on a 2-minute descent on the Forest Flyer. My grandkids and I screamed our way down the mountain (yes, Grammies do scream!), and then kicked back while pulled back to the top, only to disembark and get in line again for the twisty, curvy ride through the trees again – and again. Total of 8 times. Yeah, this was our favorite!
Although both grandkids rode in their own coaster, my grandson wanted to ride down with me — and he hit the video button to show just how much fun is the Alpine Coaster (those are his big feet)!
Learn through Play Adventures
Really. More adventures surround the top of this mountain. Although we just didn’t have enough hours left in the day, the Learn Through Play series is an amazing introduction to the Rocky Mountains and the White River National Forest. Scattered around Vail Mountain are “Story Stakes” allow families to learn about the forest, flora, fauna and animals. How many feathers does an eagle have? How can you tell pinecones apart? What is a paintbrush flower? Just a great way for your kids to learn about Colorado’s outdoors! This is included in your all-day activity pass.
Add More Optional Adventures
In addition to the Game Creek Aerial Adventure (see #4 above), for additional costs, you can add 3 more adventures: Mountain Top Tours, Guided Hiking, and Bike Clinics. Please note all of these require advance reservations and are not included in an All-Day Activity Pass. Space is limited; book early.
- Mountain Top Tours are open air, guided off-road adventure with views of Vail’s Back Bowls, Gore Range and the Mount of Holy Cross. Your guide will also teach you about Vail’s ecosystem and geology. Note: In order to participate in this tour, no children on laps or in carriers.
- Guided Hiking is just that – an opportunity to experience a Colorado hike on Vail Mountain through the White River National Forest with a hiking expert.
- Bike Clinics: Vail Mountain is an amazing network of mountain bike trails. If you’re looking for some basic instructions or upping your bike skills, then take a ride with an experienced guide.
How much does the Vail Epic Discovery Pass Cost?
At $89, the Ultimate Adventure Pass provides unlimited all-day access to the above thrilling activities, including the Forest Flyer™ mountain coaster! Ideal for adults and kids alike, this pass includes a FREE parent ride-along ticket for the Forest Flyer (so parents can join their kids if they can’t ride alone) and a Scenic Gondola Ride up the mountain to reach Epic Discovery.
At $49, the Little Explorer Pass, designed for smallest guests, provides an introductory Epic Discovery experience. This pass includes a Scenic Gondola Ride up the mountain to reach Epic Discovery. (Note: This pass does not include access to the Forest Flyer™ mountain coaster.)