Can You Ski from Beaver Creek to Vail? (Major Obstacle)

by Kenny Jarvis | Updated: October 27th, 2022 |  Skiing Articles

Who doesn’t love holiday time? And what better way to spend it than going skiing at the iconic Beaver Creek and Vail skiing resorts in Colorado. You can plan your holiday to get a taste of both resorts but can you ski between the two?

The answer is probably not. There is no defined path between the two resorts and it can be extremely challenging. Due to this, it’s only advised that experienced skiers attempt it and any tourists should look for alternative routes. 

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The best way to travel between the two resorts is by vehicle. However before you despair that there's no ski route, let's first see how the two resorts are connected to one another and which resort you might want to visit first.

Vail & Beaver Creek

Can You Ski from Beaver Creek to Vail?

Vail Skiing
Photo by jrm353 licensed under CC BY 2.0

Beaver Creek and Vail are two of Colorado's most popular ski resorts, and they are located just a few miles apart. While it is technically possible to ski from Beaver Creek to Vail, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

First, the terrain is quite challenging, and it is recommended that only experienced skiers attempt the journey. Second, there is no marked trail connecting the two resorts, so skiers will need to use a map or GPS to navigate their way.

Finally, while it is possible to ski from Beaver Creek to Vail, it is not recommended unless you are prepared for a long and difficult journey.

The distance between the two resorts is just over 5 miles, so it's not a short journey by any means. The terrain is fairly difficult, with several steep sections and limited places to stop along the way. Also, the conditions can be challenging, particularly if there has been recent snowfall.

With all that said, skiing from Beaver Creek to Vail is an adventurous undertaking that can be immensely rewarding. The views are spectacular, and the sense of accomplishment at reaching your destination would be epic.

If you were wondering whether skiing is a good alternative to getting the car, bus or shuttle then it’s not. 

Getting from Beaver Creek to Vail

Beaver skiing
Photo by Snow Snow licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

So, you probably shouldn’t think about skiing between the two resorts but what is the best way to get between them? There are a few ways to get from Vail to Beaver Creek. The first is by car. The drive takes about 20 minutes and is very scenic.

There are also a few shuttle companies that offer services between the two towns. The shuttle ride takes about 30 minutes or you could opt for a taxi, which is going to be the most expensive option.

Finally, there is a bus that runs between the two towns. The bus ride is the longest at 45 minutes, but it offers stunning views of the mountains and is cheap.

Whichever way you choose to travel, getting from Vail to Beaver Creek is easy and enjoyable.

Should I Visit Beaver Creek or Vail?

Spring skiing at Beaver Creek
Photo by Snow Snow licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Both resorts have a unique experience that you will absolutely not regret. These resorts have everything there is you could want: beautiful nature, world-class skiing, and cozy accommodations.

While both resorts are great, which one should you choose if you can only pick one? Here we look at the key differences between them


Vail is one of the biggest resorts in the whole United States. Its slopes encompass a massive 5,289 skiable acres that offer a wide range of different slope types.

On the other side, Beaver Creek is quite a bit smaller sitting at around 1,832 skiable acres but nevertheless still plenty of fun to be had.

It is advised to choose Beaver Creek for shorter trips because you will be able to get familiar with the grounds sooner as they are easier to navigate. If you have more time to spend, then Vail is a perfect option where you will have plenty of places to go to and explore.

It is also important to consider that Vail can be far more crowded when compared with Beaver Creek. If you’re the type that hates long queues and big crowds,  Beaver Creek is your go-to choice.



If you are looking for a fun time shopping or dining then Vail is the place to go. It is a European-inspired village with many different shops and restaurants that you can visit.

Beaver Creek’s village is smaller in comparison but that is not to say that there isn’t anything to do after sundown. There are plenty of establishments such as restaurants and bars that can provide the experience you are looking for.

Luxury Accommodations

Both resorts have everything that you can expect when asking for a luxury experience and more. Top-tier housing, service, and dining options are available although they can get quite pricy.

If you are looking simply for the mountain experience without spending too much money then you can choose the far cheaper options that are located in small towns outside the main ski areas.

Extra Activities

Both places offer extra entertainment that you can experience, even during the summer season. There are often sports, music, and other festive types of events taking place at the resorts.

These can include events such as the Vail Jazz Festival, GoPro Mountain Games, USA Pro Cycling Challenge, Oktoberfest, and others.

Besides the usual skiing or snowboarding, you can also try out new activities such as cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, snow tubing, and others.

During the summer season, you also visit these resorts for biking and hiking trails as an alternative to the usual winter season.


Both resorts have skiing and snowboarding for people at all levels. If you are traveling with kids, both places have children’s zones.

It is advised to go to Beaver Creek if you have young kids as their zones are more consistent with their difficulty. If you have teenagers and kids with you who can tackle the more challenging slopes then Vail is definitely an option you should consider as well.


Beaver Creek Skiing Resort
Photo by CH L licensed under CC BY 2.0

Is Vail or Beaver Creek nicer?

Both Vail and Beaver Creek have an incredible atmosphere.

Beaver Creek is recommended for younger families for the cozy family experience. Vail is better for older families who want to experience the thrill of sport and nightlife.

Is Beaver Creek less crowded than Vail?

Beaver Creek is smaller than Vail and as such is rarely very crowded. This results in shorter lines to ski lifts and overall, a more open experience. While smaller, Beaver Creek is still big compared to most other resorts so you won’t be missing out. 

Do Vail and Beaver Creek connect?

There have been plans for many years to connect the two sister resorts using a chairlift. It has been stated by the resorts that they will not pursue this endeavor due to the elk protections that are established in the area.

Map View

Vail & Beaver, Colorado