Vail, Colorado: Hiking, goat yoga and more outdoor summer fun

Although Vail may be synonymous with hitting the slopes, the ski town nestled in the Rocky Mountains just two hours from Denver has plenty to do in the warmer months as well. Mountain hiking and biking and quirky activities like goat yoga are just some of the outdoorsy fun.


Grab your boots for a hike up one of Vail Mountain’s summer trails, such as the intermediate Berry Picker Trail. Sights include grassy fields, aspen groves and the columbine, Colorado’s state flower, along the three-mile trail (one way).


For an off-the-beaten-path hiking experience, try llama trekking with Paragon Guides, which pairs hikers with a llama to meander through Colorado’s Western Slope backcountry. The pack animals will carry hiker’s gear, as well as food for a picnic in the aspen groves. From $298; 970-926-5299, paragonguides.com


Take a scenic ride up the mountain via a gondola, with locations in Lionshead Village and Vail Village. At the top, take in views of Vail Valley and nearby snowcapped mountains. Runs June-October, unlimited all-day access $36/adults, $31/seniors, $18/ages 4-12 (FREE with paying adult); 970-754 8245, vail.com


Find your center amid a gaggle of miniature goats at Vail Stables. During its hourlong outdoor goat yoga class, an instructor will guide attendees through poses as a dozen or so goats nuzzle and bleat in this unique experience. $40/class; 915 Spraddle Creek Rd., 855-743-3824, vailstables.com


Make time to peruse Vail Village’s downtown shopping district, where every Sunday during the summer, its main drag, Meadow Drive, plays host to a large farmers market — selling food, clothing, jewelry and more — plus an art show. Runs June-October; East Meadow Drive, 970-401-3320, vailfarmersmarket.com

Good to know

Getting there: Vail is located 2 1⁄2 hours west of Denver International Airport and 40 minutes from Eagle County Regional Airport.

Local eats: A Vail favorite for four decades, Sweet Basil (193 E. Gore Creek Dr., 970-476-0125, sweetbasilvail.com) specializes in new American dishes; have your meal out on the patio for a picturesque view of Gore Creek. At Pendulum (232 Bridge St., 970-470-4803, pendulumvail.com) in Vail Village, enjoy dishes made with ingredients sourced from Colorado-based farmers and ranchers.

Craft beverages: Head to Vail Brewing Company (41290 US Hwy. 6, Avon, Colorado, 970-470-4351, vailbrewingco.com) for 16 brews on tap and live music most nights; a tasting room is also open in Vail Village (141 E. Meadow Dr., Suite 209, 970-470-4622). At the 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company’s Vail tasting room (227 Bridge St., 970-470-4215, 10thwhiskey.com), highlights include the Alpenglow Cordial — sage-infused bourbon with hints of vanilla and butterscotch.

Where to stay: The Sebastian — Vail (16 Vail Rd., 970-477-8000, thesebastianvail.com) is a boutique hotel in the middle of Vail’s downtown, with amenities such as a full-service spa. An economical option is the Austria Haus Club & Hotel (242 East Meadow Dr., 866-921-4050, austriahaushotel.com), which is modeled after an Austrian ski lodge. Going the luxe route? Opt for the Four Seasons (1 Vail Rd., 970-477-8600, fourseasons.com/vail), where guests can enjoy free use of a Mercedes-Benz SUV.

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