Off Peak Bliss: How to Ski Vail Off Peak Seasons and Times

Skiing during Vail off peak seasons and times can bring a fresh perspective to your experience of this much-loved place. As Vail continues to grow in popularity, so do the crowds. But with some insider tips from Vista Bahn Ski Rentals, you’ll be able to experience the best of Vail skiing. Since VBSR provides ski rentals and services all winter long, we keep tabs on the season’s busiest times. And because we’re avid skiers and snowboarders ourselves, we’ve learned how to optimize our time on the mountain.

Experience off peak bliss: Read on for VBSR tips to make the most of Vail off peak seasons and times.

New Years Eve fireworks over vail village, Vail Colorado.

New Years Eve fireworks over vail village, Vail Colorado. Photo: Ric Spitzer

Vail Off Peak Winter Times

Vail is traditionally at its busiest during the winter season—and for good reason: snow. But it’s still possible to avoid crowds even at Vail’s busiest time of the year. To get the Vail off peak experience in the winter, plan a trip outside of the holidays or spring break. Generally, some of the busiest times at Vail include:

  • Christmas holidays: Vail is usually its busiest from December 26 through the first week in January. But during the holiday season, December 25 and January 1 are usually slower days. VBSR Tip: Ski early on Christmas Day and early on New Year’s Day to experience Vail off peak bliss.
  • Martin Luther King Day weekend: Martin Luther King Day is always observed on the third Monday in January. Since the snow is normally in solid condition by this time of the year, MLK weekend is a busy time. VBSR Tip: Come to Vail either the weekend before or after the MLK holiday weekend to avoid the crowds.
  • Presidents’ Day holiday: Presidents’ Day is observed on the third Monday in February. At this time of the year, Vail skiing is at its best. And due to the Presidents’ Day weekend holiday, Vail is usually very busy. Some schools also have weeklong winter breaks at around this time, adding to the crowds. VBSR Tip: Ski Vail in early February or a week after Presidents’ Day to avoid this busy time.
  • Spring Break and Easter: Vail is known for its amazing spring skiing, and spring break visitors show up in Vail around mid-March. The Easter holiday is also a popular time for spring skiing. VBSR Tip: The date of Easter changes each year. Avoid the double-whammy of spring break and Easter crowds by skiing either before or after Easter weekend.

Make the most of these busiest times of the winter by planning ahead. All-inclusive ski packages such as those from SnowPak can help streamline the process. See SnowPak’s Vail Lodging & Ski Packages here for more details about how to bundle and save. And reserve Vail ski rentals online with VBSR for hassle-free gear pick-up near Gondola One in Vail Village.

Skiing in Vail is Family Fun

Skiing in Vail is Family Fun! Photo Credit: Jack Affleck

Vail Off Peak Times of Day

Even during the busiest times of the winter season, it’s possible to ski Vail at less crowded times of the day. Here are a few tips to help optimize your ski days throughout the winter:

  • Vail’s busiest times of the day are generally from 10:00 to 2:00. Make the most of your ski time by getting out early and taking a late lunch. Then ski a few more runs at the end of the day.
  • Avoid on-mountain lunch destinations such as Mid-Vail and Two Elk during the winter’s busiest times. On-mountain restaurants are especially busy from 11:30-2:00. Make plans instead to eat lunch in Vail Village or Lionshead during these times. Easy-to-access off-mountain lunch spots in Vail Village include Vendetta’s and Red Lion. Smaller lunch spots with local flavor in Vail Village include Big Bear Bistro, Blü Cow, and Joe’s Deli.
  • On powder days, crowds gather early to wait in line before the lifts open. Get up early, and be prepared to wait in line if you’re seeking big, fresh powder. But if you’re okay with not getting first tracks, then wait 30 minutes after the lifts open to get in line. Hopefully, by that time, the line will be much shorter, and you’ll still find some of the fluffy stuff.
Farmers Market in Vail Village. Photo Credit: Vail Resorts

Farmers Market in Vail Village. Photo Credit: Vail Resorts

Vail Off Peak Seasons: Fall and Spring

If you’re a fan of warmer weather, it’s important to know that summer is no longer considered Vail off season. Vail remains a summertime destination for mountain lovers. And summer is also the time for activities including the Vail Farmers Market, Bravo! Vail, the Vail International Dance Festival, and many others.

Come to Vail during the fall and spring to enjoy its quietest times of the year. Yes, the energetic vibe of the winter and summer seasons can be fun. But it’s also incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating to visit during these Vail off peak seasons. Plus, fall and spring are also times when you’ll likely find off-season lodging and restaurant specials. These slower times of the year remain incredibly scenic, with green grass, wildflowers, and golden autumn leaves. But we’re snow lovers at heart, and we always look forward to seeing you at VBSR, come winter.