The best time to ski Vail

Snowboarders have slopes to themselves at Vail Ski ResortPhoto: Vail Ski Resort

As one of the world's most popular ski resorts, you can count on experiencing some crowds and lift lines. Vail Resorts has invested a great deal into expanding their uphill capacity with newer, faster lifts, so wait time is never too long. However, if you want to avoid the crowds altogether and have the resort to yourself, here are some tips:

Plan your trip mid-week

Traveling during the week rather than the weekend will not only open up less crowded ski-days, but also save you some big coin. Planning a trip that is Wednesday to Wednesday, for example, allows you to ski during the days that most other people normally travel on. Travelling during the week days is also generally less expensive than travelling on the weekend.

Snow tubing at Adventure Ridge in Vail, COPhoto: Snow tubing at Adventure Ridge
Snowshoeing in Vail, COPhoto: Snowshoeing in Vail

Avoid skiing on the weekends

Many Denver locals, and other guests coming in from out-of-town, have the Epic Pass and come up for the weekend. Plan non-skiing activities for the weekend and save your ski days for during the week when you're more likely to have the slopes to yourself. Great weekend activities in Vail include snow tubing or ski biking at Adventure Ridge, flying through the forest on the alpine coaster, snowshoeing through some of Vail's most scenic trails, shopping around town or enjoying one of Vail's world-class spa services.

Eat an early or late lunch

Locals know one of the best times to ski is when everyone else is taking lunch. You'll want to especially avoid Two Elks between noon and 1:30 p.m. Save the busiest areas of the mountain for lunchtime, while tackling the more open areas during the ski peak.

Head to the back bowls right away 

The back bowls at Vail Ski ResortPhoto: The back bowls at Vail Ski Resort

Skip the usual "warm-up" runs on the front side and head over to Vail's back bowls first thing. Not only will you be able to ski the fresh powder before anyone else, but you'll also avoid the lift lines at Tea Cup Express and Oriental Express in the afternoon as the back bowls are closing. Instead, ski the front side in the afternoon when skiers have moved on to other parts of the mountain.