Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Why Vail Epic Discovery?
- Exploring Vail, Colorado
- 7 Reasons Why Vail Epic Discovery is Awesome!
- Scenic Gondola Ride
- Test Your Skills on Adventure Courses
- ZOOM Down Vail’s Summer Tubing Hill
- Zip Through Trees and Mountains Like the Monkeys
- Fly on the Alpine Coaster!
- Learn through Play Adventures
- Add More Optional Adventures
- How Much Does the Vail Epic Discovery Pass Cost?
If you’re truly searching for an epic experience in Colorado, Vail Mountain is much more than ski resorts! The top of the mountain Vail Epic Discovery gives you more reasons to book your Colorado family vacation in the summer and fall. Zip, fly, hike, bike, tube, roller coaster and more with its one pass, unlimited all-day adventures for all ages. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains with majestic Instagram-worthy views, read this grandma’s reasons why Vail Epic Discovery is awesome, and your multigenerational family will love it!
Why Vail Epic Discovery?
At Vail Ski Resort, your summer and fall Colorado mountain 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 views while strategizing your day.
Zip, fly, tour, tube, climb, 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, the Rocky Mountains and skiing, right?
There’s a saying in Colorado. “People come for winter, but stay for the summer.” And the fall!
In 2016, Vail Resort’s $25-million Epic Discover investment turned 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.
Located in the heart of Vail in Lionshead Village, this adventure park is accessible via the Eagle Bahn Gondola (Gondola 19). If your family (like ours) is an adventure-loving, thrill-seeking one, then you’ll feel right at home with all the activities offered at Vail Epic Discovery.
We love sharing tips and stories with our fellow Traveling Grandparents. Join our private Facebook Group to become part of our community!
Adventure Passes include scenic lift ride access, three total rides on the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster, and unlimited uses on all other activities including Little Eagle Kids Zipline, Bungee Trampoline, Paramount Peak Climbing Wall, Marmot Mini Kids Tubing, Eagle’s Nest Tubing, and Mini Golf. Please note that there are height, weight, and age restrictions for each activity and all activities require fully enclosed shoes.
Exploring Vail, Colorado
When Epic Discovery first opened, our skip-gen Vail summer adventure with me (Grammie) and two of my grandchildren began the night by overnighting at the Vail Austria Haus and another time at Antlers at Vail Creek.
On our first visit, 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.
Since then, we’ve returned to Vail several times with the whole family, expanding our adventure. We’ve explored Lionshead Village with our four-legged family member, walked along Gore Creek, and reveled in Colorado’s cool mountain summer.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Don’t forget you’re closer to the sun, so be sure to apply sunscreen often! Also, altitude sickness is real — make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
7 Reasons Why Vail Epic Discovery is Awesome!
Alpine roller coasters, ziplines, aerial adventure courses, rock climbing, hiking, and biking trails – oh my. Enjoy as many of these adventures with the all-inclusive adventure day pass, or take it slow and select ala carte adventures.
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 Kids 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 zip lines 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.
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 Mountain Coaster.
My grandkids and I screamed our way down the mountain (yes, Grammies do scream!). We 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)!
Read More: What is an alpine coaster any way?
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” which 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 $109 for all ages, the Ultimate Adventure Pass provides unlimited all-day access to the above thrilling activities, including the Forest Flyer™ mountain coaster!
If you have a little one under 54 inches, purchase an unlimited pass with a child ride-along ticket for $122.
At $49, the Little Explorer Pass, designed for the 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.)
Enjoy Vail Epic Discovery daily 10:00 am. to 4:00 p.m. from mid-June to Labor Day Weekend, and then weekends only through the first of October. Reservations are strongly suggested.