Vail’s Best Ski Trails for Bumps and Jumps

September 9th, 2022 | Posted By: Christiane Thoma | Posted in Blog

ONE BIG MOUNTAIN

Vail is one of the largest ski resorts in the world. It’s 5,317 skiable acres, to be exact.

Standing at the base of such a sizable mountain trying to plan your day can be intimidating. Sure, you could just “wing it” and have a fantastic day. However, those in search of specific terrain will want to be more strategic with their planning.

Vail offers terrain suitable for all levels and types of skiers which means there are areas of the mountain distinctly catering to beginners, for example. Beginners have a blast in that designated area but advanced skiers looking for thrills may become bored quickly.

If you are an advanced skier who wants to find all the moguls, jumps, terrain parks, and tree runs, this guide is for you!

Vail Trail Map

VAIL’S DIFFERENT SKI AREAS

Vail is split into a number of areas where similar terrain is grouped together. Of course this rule can’t be applied to every single run in the area but it helps to know the general lay of the land.

Lionshead

Best for beginners, mostly greens and blues with few bumps or surprises. Beginner terrain park. Kids ski school spends a lot of time here.

Front Side/Mid-Vail

A huge area with varied terrain. This technically includes Lionshead, Vail Village, and Golden Peak areas but we’ll speak about the center of the mountain. Approachable for all levels with varied terrain. Most routes offer greens and blues with a black alternative. Some trails have moguls and trees, if you know where to look! The most popular area of the mountain, accessed mainly by Gondola 1. When heading to other areas, most traffic passes through here at some point.

Golden Peak

A smaller area where the local ski team practices racing. Some greens and blues plus a terrain park with larger features and tougher skills. Also a starting point for ski school.

Back Bowls

Incredibly varied terrain that can be enjoyed by most but is best loved by advanced skiers. Expect bumps, jumps, trees, and freestyle terrain galore. We would be remiss to exclude Vail’s most legendary ski spot: Blue Sky Basin. While not technically a bowl, it’s proximity to the Back Bowls and similar terrain mean it’s usually lumped in with the bowls. The most remote area of Vail Mountain and the most time consuming to access. Expect a crowd on a powder day!

MOGULS

Prima

Area: Front Side
Level: Double Black Diamond
Access via: Chair 4 or 11

Lindsey’s to Pepi’s Face

Area: Front Side
Level: Black Diamond
Access via: Chair 1 or 2

The Divide

Area: Blue Sky Basin
Level: Black Diamond
Access via: Chair 37

Forever

Area: Sun Down and Sun Up Bowls
Level: Black Diamond
Access via: Chair 5

Look, Ma

Area: Front Side
Level: Black Diamond
Access via: Chair 3

FREESTYLE TERRAIN AND TREES

Hairbag Alley

Area: Front Side, Northwoods
Level: Black Diamond
Access via: Chair 11

The Narrows

Area: Front Side
Level: Double Black Diamond
Access via: Gondola 1

Champagne Glade

Area: Blue Sky Basin
Level: Black Diamond
Access via: Chair 37 or 38

Steep and Deep

Area: Blue Sky Basin
Level: Black Diamond
Access via: Chair 37

WFO

Area: Sun Up Bowl
Level: Black Diamond – high skills needed, backcountry conditions
Access via: Chair 4, 5, 11

TERRAIN PARKS

Avanti’s’s Park

Best for terrain park newbies and kids.

According to Vail.com, the park offers:
2 Small jumps
2 Extra Small boxes
Small snow features
2 wide beginner rails

Golden Peak’s Park

The next step up and offers higher level rails, boxes, and jumps. It used to be host to the U.S. Burton Open and even had a professional-sized half pipe!

Golden Peak Terrain Park Includes:
Medium jump triple line
4 Small jumps
Over 15 beginner rollers, berms and features
13’ Mini-pipe
Variety of Medium to Large rails, jibs and boxes

KIDS ADVENTURE ZONES

These fun learning zones are featured throughout Vail’s front side and are a great introduction to skiing trees and bumps.

MORE TO LOVE

These are just a few suggestions from a local’s perspective. Vail has so many fun trails with trees, bumps, and jumps that we couldn’t possibly include them all. Which are your favorite challenging trails? You’ll have to see for yourself!