Epic Discovery Vail Debuted June 2016
Fun can be had at Epic Discovery simply exploring the new story stakes and viewfinders. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts/Andrew Taylor.
Founded in the 1960s, Vail is one of the youngest towns and ski resorts in the nation. Since inception it has been a popular ski mountain, although the summers were a bit slower to grow. When almost every local resident will tell you, “I came for the winter but stayed for the summer,” you know that is bound to change. Vail may have just reached the tipping point for its attractiveness as a summer destination with the debut of Epic Discovery — the new on-mountain summer adventure at Vail with zip lines, alpine coaster, aerial adventures, and educational components.
Epic Discovery Vail provides a unique, connected, on-mountain summer experience, immersing guests in activities which provide big-time thrills, allow them to challenge themselves physically, guide them to explore and better understand their natural surroundings, and ultimately create lifelong memories. This first-of-its-kind comprehensive on-mountain summer adventure features components such as zip lines, an aerial adventure, alpine coaster, wildlife trail exploration, and interactive, “learn-through-play” activities.
The Eagle Bahn gondola has always taken summer visitor to fun activities atop Vail Mountain but the new additions as well as the connection to our natural environment that pull the whole experience together is pretty spectacular.
The Forest Flyer winds its way 3,400 feet down the mountain, following the natural contours of the landscape through the forest. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts/ Andrew Taylor.
As a parent I was excited to see activities even for young visitors. Many of the kids activities do require the child to be 3 years of age and more than 30 lbs, but once they meet those requirements there’s not much they can’t do on the kids course. Adults can also ride free with the children too small to ride by themselves on the Forest Flyer.
Speaking of… You will want to take time to ride the Forest Flyer which winds its way 3,400 feet down the mountain, following the natural contours of the landscape through the forest. Speed is your friend as you fly through the forest on a raised alpine coaster!
Grab a tube, hop a lift, get a rush on one of the two summer tubing hills. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts/ Andrew Taylor.
Adventurers young and old will love taking thrilling runs down the 550 ft-long Eagle’s Nest Summer Tubing hill. Music entertains you the whole way down, while the Adventure Bahn carpet ride will take you back to the top. The younger kids will want to grab a tube and glide down the mountain on a thrilling, adrenaline-fueled Marmot Mini Tubing ride. The multi-lane tubing hill features two runs, and easy-access surface lift gets you back up top fast.
There are two adventure courses available where you can put your strength and balance to the test as you explore challenging obstacle areas via ropes, bridges, logs and balance elements, all with a bird’s eye view of Vail’s surrounding mountain ranges.
Put your strength to the test on one of the two challenge courses atop Vail Mountain. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts/ Jack Affleck.
There are two levels of thrilling zip lines available at the mountain top. BUT if you really want an aerial adventure try out the Game Creek Aerial Adventure. Fly through and above the forest habitat with an array of seven ziplines and aerial bridges. Learn about the mountain ecosystem while working your way through each course’s challenges. Experience nearly 2 miles of ziplining over the course of a 3-4 hour tour.
A variety of Epic Discovery passes are available including:
Ultimate Adventure Pass for $89 (TIP: Epic Season Pass 2016-17 holders receive $17 off for a $72 price)
The Ultimate Adventure Pass provides unlimited all-day access to an array of thrilling activities, including the Forest Flyer alpine coaster. Ideal for adults and kids alike, this pass includes a FREE companion ride-along ticket for the Forest Flyer (so parents can join their kids if they can’t ride alone) and a Scenic Gondola Ride up the mountain to reach Epic Discovery.
Little Explorer Pass for $49
The Little Explorer Pass, designed for the smallest guests, provides an introductory Epic Discovery experience. This pass includes a Scenic Gondola Ride up the mountain to reach Epic Discovery. (Note: The pass does not include access to the Forest Flyer alpine coaster.)
Game Creek Aerial Adventure for $189 (Includes the Ultimate Adventure Pass)
Activity Restrictions: Participants must be at least 10 years old and weigh between 75-250lbs. Participants under 14 years old must be accompanied by a paying adult. Harness must fit properly. Fully enclosed footwear required for all activities. Reservations are required. Call 970-SKI-VAIL (754-8245) to reserve.