Take a Late Summer Trip to Vail


August and September are Vail’s best kept secret; the weather is stunning this time of year, and cooler evenings and nights make this time a welcome respite form the long hot dry days of July in Colorado.  August is a perfect time to squeeze in one last family vacation before school begins, and September is time for the grown-ups to sneak away while the kids are safely settled back in their routines.  Plan a vacation around these great activities and events that are perfectly suited for the late season of summer.

Road Biking on Vail Pass
This iconic mountain ride to the top of Vail Pass is a real challenge, but one of the most rewarding things you can do on your late summer trip. A beautiful, newly paved bike path occupies the route of the old Highway 6, the original road access to Vail before I-70 was built. The climb, from the start of the path in East Vail, takes you 8.7 miles up a beautiful 2-way paved bike road with plenty of room to share conversation and enjoy the scenery with absolutely no motorized vehicle traffic allowed. It is one of the few car-free paved rides in Colorado, and does not disappoint in scenery or degree of difficulty. The ear to ear smiles of those riding downhill will keep you motivated on this 1,831ft uphill climb as you meander through aspen trees, evergreens and open meadows toward the stunning apex of the pass. 

Zip Lining in Alkali Creek Canyon
The sagebrush and trees start taking on an ever-so-subtle change of hue during August, which expends to a full-blown orang and gold leaf change in September. From the 6- zip line course, you get a fantastic vista of this beautiful vibrant landscape. Zip Adventures was recently recognized with the coveted 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, thanks to the rave reviews from travelers who have voted this the #1 zipline experience in Colorado. Six different zip lines within the course allow for downside-up ziplining on the safest, most advanced harnesses and equipment available in the industry. Enjoy the view of historic Alkali Creek Canyon while guided by the witty, athletic staff on this top-notch elevated Colorado experience. It's easy to book your zip trip online here.

Fly Fishing the Eagle River
It’s a fantastic time of year for fishing.  With August rains and dropping nighttime temperatures cooling off the area’s rivers, the prolific brown and rainbow trout that inhabit the Eagle River are happy and active.  This beautiful stretch of water begins in the high country near Camp Hale, and continues on for 60 miles to the town of Rifle where it joins up with the Colorado River. These waters are known for their beautiful scenery and bustling hatches of Baetis, Caddis, PMD's, and Midges. With plenty of large rock scattered about this riverbed, there are lots of nooks and crannies for happy fish to hide in the waiting for everyone from beginner to expert fishermen to cast a fly rod. Numerous area guides offer skilled navigation of these waters, including exclusive access to private ranches with pristine stretches of water. 

Hiking Vail’s Booth Falls
Check out one of Vail’s favorite classic summer hikes, Booth Falls Trail, to experience the beautiful flora and fauna that decorates our wilderness areas. Wildflowers give way to berries, mushrooms and pre-fall foliage in the late summer months, and there’s a good chance that the high mountain peaks such as the Gore Range will be blessed with an early season dusting of snow. The 3.8 mile round trip has a respectable 1800 ft elevation gain, with the rewarding Booth Falls waterfall at the top. Aspens abound on this trail, so its especially stunning when fall leaf changes begin. Pack a wonderful picnic lunch, plenty of water and a rain jacket (late afternoon storms are common this time of year) for this challenging hike that is appropriate for all levels.

Sampling Colorado’s Market Produce
The Vail Valley’s 4 different farmer’s markets bring a glorious array of produce and crafts to market each weekend. Vail and Minturn Markets are expansive and incredibly diverse, with everything from produce to food vendors to artwork to mountaineering equipment available for sale. The more homegrown Edwards Market is strictly food, and is a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning shopping for your weekly supply of fresh greens, robust root vegetables, Colorado peaches and corn, and local bakery delicacies. It’s a perfect way to relax while reveling in the wonderful Colorado harvest.