Known as one of the ultimate ski resort destinations in the state of Colorado, the little town of Vail is located in Eagle County and has a population of just over 5,000 people. Home to the Vail Ski Resort, which is the largest single mountain ski resort in Colorado and the third largest of its kind in all of the United States, Vail is well-known as a highly popular tourist and recreational area.
The town is also regarded as one of the wealthiest resort towns in all of America, home to luxurious properties, deluxe hotels, classy restaurants, and prestigious annual events like the Vail Film Festival. The town is situated near the center of Colorado and was actually incorporated as a town a few years after the opening of the Vail Ski Resort, which opened up in 1962.
Therefore, Vail, which covers a total area of 4.69 square miles, has always been a skiing destination and has grown over the years, seeing a surge in popularity through the 1960s, 70s, and 80s in particular. The ski resort covers over 5,000 acres of land and features almost 200 individual runs, more than half of which are classed as black or advanced ski runs. The resort is also fitted out with over thirty chair lifts and various other amenities for visitors to enjoy.
Elevation of Vail
The elevation of a place is a measurement of how high it is compared to sea level. The town of Vail has an elevation of 8,022 feet (2,445 m), which is very high and means that Vail is even higher than another of Colorado’s popular ski resort towns, Aspen, which stands at an elevation of around 8,000 feet (2,400 m). The Vail Ski Resort, meanwhile, has a minimum elevation of 8,120 feet (2,470 m) and reaches a high point of 11,570 feet (3,527 m). Due to its mountainous location, Vail is one of the highest towns in all of Colorado and is much higher than the vast majority of towns and cities all around the United States.
Due to its high elevation, Vail has different conditions than many low-lying areas. Temperatures get colder as altitude rises, and changes in air pressure can also affect visitors to the area. If you spend much of the year in an area of relatively low elevation and are planning a trip to Vail, you’ll need to be prepared for the sudden change in conditions. Wrapping up warm is essential, along with staying hydrated at all times and monitoring alcohol intake, as the effects of alcohol are more potent at high elevations and altitudes.
The state of Colorado is actually the highest in the entire United States on average, with a mean elevation of 6,800 feet (2,070 m), so Vail is higher than the mean elevation of Colorado and higher than many other major cities like Denver, which has an elevation of 5,280 feet (1,609.344 m); Aurora, which has an elevation of 5472 feet (1,668 m); and Colorado Springs, which has an elevation of 6,033 feet (1,839 m). It is not, however, the city with the highest elevation in the state; that honor belongs to the town of Leadville, which is located in the Rocky Mountains and has an elevation of 10,152 feet (3,094 m), making it the highest town or city in America.
Climate and Things to Do in Vail
Due to its geography and location, Vail has an alpine humid continental climate, which means that the temperatures in the day can drop quite suddenly after the sun sets and night sets in. Temperatures regularly approach 80°F (27°C) through the summer months like June, July, and August, but can drop below freezing point at many times of the year, especially at nights from late fall through to early spring. With warm summers and very cold winters, weather can vary greatly in Vail and the elevation of the town and ski resort means that there is often a moderate breeze on most days.
Vail is a ski resort town and the primary activity in this area is skiing. The Vail Ski Resort is one of the most popular and most visited skiing destinations in the United States, with dozens of runs to explore. Skiing can be enjoyed in Vail by people of all ages and experience levels, but if skiing isn’t one of your key interests, the city plays host to major annual film and music festivals in the form of the Vail Film Festival and Bravo! Vail.