Summer adventures in Vail

National

VAIL, CO (KRON) – Mention Vail and skiing is the first thing that comes to many folks minds. But travel enthusiast Dana Rebmann says it’s time to start thinking about Vail as a warm weather destination.

Dana says one of the best ways to see all that Vail Mountain has to offer is jumping aboard the Eagle Bahn Gondola. The scenic climb to the 10-thousand plus feet takes about 10-minutes, but it feels much quicker. And you’ll be just as excited about the scenery on the way down, as you were on the way up.

Even in the summer, you need to be prepared for any type of weather. Gondola online rates: adults $42, kids (5-12) $27, seniors (65+) $36.

Dana says the views alone are worth the trip to the top of the mountain, but you might be surprised by what else is waiting up there as well. Along with activities like adventure courses, and ziplines, there’s a mountain coaster.

It’s all part of what is called Epic Discovery. Dana gave it a try. And she got back in line once she finished her first trip. The Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster winds its way more than 3-thousand feet down the mountain. The views are stunning. Riders determine how fast or slow they go by moving handles forward to go fast or back to slow things down.

An Adventure Pass covers all-day access to 11 activities. Online rates: $109, for thrill-seekers 54 inches and taller, and $74, for those 53 inches and under.

Dana found that there’s no shortage of hiking options in Vail, but if you’re okay with having some company on the trail, llamas are popular hiking buddies in these parts.

In addition to the numerous photo opportunities, they can carry 80 to 100 pounds, so you can handoff that backpack without feeling guilty. Paragon Guides takes care of all the details – picking a hike that fits your ability, packing the picnic, and off you go. It’s similar to walking a dog; the llamas are on a lead, but they don’t run in front.

They’re happily content to follow along, taking the opportunity to snack on some grass when they have the chance. Rates for day-long hikes start at $550 for two people, $95 each additional person, $55 for children 12 and under.

If the llamas don’t quite fill your vacation animal encounter fix, there’s goat yoga at Vail Stables. You may be skeptical, but Dana says it works.

It’s not a sweaty workout, it’s an hour of smiling and laughing at goats that just want to nibble on everything. Ponytails, shoelaces, nothing is off-limits.

So choose your wardrobe carefully, because you may not want to wear it again until it gets a thorough washing. Cost is $40, ages 8 and up.

For more about Dana’s adventures and writing, follow her on Instagram @danarebmann and Twitter @drebmann

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