Vail Mountain History
It was Charles Vail, chief engineer of the Colorado Highway Department, who cut a highway over the pass and into the valley. But it was two veterans of the 10th Mountain Division, which trained in these mountains in WW2, who turned "No Name Mountain" into one of the most romantic brand names in American life. What Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton saw was a two thousand foot plunge from the mountaintop to a valley, level as a ballroom floor. The perfect mountain. When Vail Resort opened in 1962, the town had 4 houses and 1 telephone, the ‘resort' had 5 lifts and a gondola stretching from the base to the bowls on the backside. The first people to come were simply delighted at the privilege of skiing it. It embraced those who loved mountain life, it was about the spirit of adventure. And as American skiing grew up, becoming a sport and then a lifestyle, for many Vail became part of who they were.
Today, Vail has consistently been ranked as North America's top ski resort. Certainly, it is at the center of a unique Colorado climate pocket, and is the biggest single ski mountain in the US. Vail is a place of renewal, in every sense. And currently a new chapter of Vail's development is under way, with new world-renowned hotel names investing in the legend. Why? Because sometimes when the snow is falling and the lights are on at the end of the day, there's a buzz. Like the magic of a capital city.
Historical information provided by Vail Resorts
View a trail map of the mountain.