Travel Tips: Thrifty Thrills In Vail-Spring


The mud season in the Vail Valley is arguably the most undesirable time to explore the area.  It can be rainy, snowy, or sunny and magical all in the same day.  Vail and Beaver Creek shut down mountain operations.  The snow is too plentiful for traditional mountain biking.  The water starts running at an alarming rate slowing down the fishing opportunities.  Hiking through mud and slush?  No thank you.   From mid April through early June, the landscape and adventure opportunities are limited.  Or, is this the best opportunity to seek cheap thrills?

Backcountry Skiing

No lift ticket required, and often stable continental snowpack late in the season.  Loveland Pass offers riding for novice backcountry enthusiasts and experts alike.  The good news about Loveland Pass is accessibility.  The short boot pack, combined with the opportunity for car pooling and hitchhiking to the top offer ease of use.  The bad news is there are often inexperienced riders with little, to no backcountry etiquette and understanding.  Use caution.  The western bowl and beyond offer challenging lines for those willing to work; lower angle terrain can be accessed more northern closer to the road, or southern accessed on the west side of the road. 

Vail Pass offers great backcountry access that holds snow late into the spring.  Park, and head up Shrine Ridge or the west side of the pass accessed from the parking lot.  If you want to ride some of the gnarliest terrain around the I-70 corridor, head over to the north side of the pass and skin up Uneva; access to the Gore Range is beyond that offers steep, challenging backcountry pucker sessions.

Whitewater Adventures

Spring offers optimal conditions for rafting and kayaking.  Even though some rivers offer exceptional rafting all summer into the fall, the spring season is best.  The Arkansas, Clear, and Colorado rivers generally offer the best conditions late spring through early summer.  The Eagle River and Gore Creek offer whitewater adventures spring only, usually ending sometime in July.  Book your trip now through Sage Outdoor Adventures for the best customer service and staff.

Thrifty Dining?

Dining in the Vail Valley isn’t easy on the wallet.  However, during the spring off-season, our fine restaurants offer great food at a discount.  Typically, restaurants promote specials that are exceptionally reasonable.  Most establishments will offer 2-for-1 entrees, or at The Northside Kitchen, currently they are offering a 3 course dinner for $29.95.  Even though the discounts offered don’t lower the prices to what we would call thrifty, this is the only opportunity to enjoy world class cuisine for a reasonable price. 

The Vail Valley is known for the winter riding season and beautiful summer scenery.  Consequently, most travelers pay the price for the peak times.  The Bunkhouse is currently offering room nights for $25.00 per night.  Enjoy a day of rafting or backcountry riding and finish with a great dining experience.  We’re sure you’ll have a memorable stay without breaking the bank.