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Adventure Like a GoPro Mountain Games Athlete in Vail

Find all the ways to experience outdoor sports showcased at this popular Vail event.

Every June, Vail’s GoPro Mountain Games draws top competitors, amateurs and even dogs nationwide, inspiring everyone who loves the outdoors to bike, run, climb, raft, kayak or SUP all summer long.

Here’s how you can explore Vail just like GoPro athletes:


A couple mountain bikes on Vail Mountain with rugged mountains in the background and colorful wildflowers peppering the grass in the foreground.

We don’t recommend trying to pull off your own GoPro Dual Slalom by racing head-to-head, but you can test your skills on the same rock drops, wood features and bridges in the Minturn Bike Park.

To trace the 5.5-mile Oakley XC Mountain Bike course, start at the base of Golden Peak and feel the burn as you crank up over 1,000 feet on Vail Mountain.

If you prefer biking downhill, reserve a bike haul up Gondola One or Eagle Bahn Gondola, and soar down anything from beginner to expert-only singletrack on Vail Mountain. Learn more about scenic gondola rides on Vail Mountain.

If you’re into speed, time yourself just like the Isopure Road Bike Time Trial. Begin on the east end of East Meadow Drive in front of Mountain Haus Vail and end at the cul-de-sac on the Vail Pass bike path.

Looking to cruise? More than 15 miles of paved, multi-use paths connect to various soft-surface trails. Gore Valley Trail winds past Vail Village’s flavorful restaurants and unique boutiques, vast meadows popping with colorful wildflowers and quaint residential streets connecting West Vail to the base of Vail Pass.

Just along for the ride? Enjoy an easy, approximately 14-mile coast from Vail Pass’ summit at 10,600 feet to Frisco’s 9,075 feet with Charter Sports’ shuttle. Or, grind up the nearly 9-mile paved path to the summit.


A long line of runners approaches the finish line of a race at GoPro Mountain Games in Vail. The sky is sunny and blue, and trees are covered in green leaves.

One of the most intimidating, and popular, GoPro running races is Pepi’s Face-Off, and, you, too, can huff and puff your way up and down it. But beware: It’s one of the steepest runs on Vail Mountain, with its 45-degree pitch and 250-foot elevation gain.

In case GoPro’s Adidas Terrex 5K, 10K or 20K isn’t your thing and Nature Valley Mountain Mud Run’s slogan, “a little dirt never hurt!,” doesn’t fit, Vail’s recreational multi-use trails through town and beyond cater to runners and hikers.

Lost Lake Trail is one of Vail’s easiest. The 3.73-mile (one way) journey winds through lodgepole pines and aspens, which open to stunning views of snow-capped mountains as you head to Lost Lake.

Lower Piney Trail offers a refreshing moderate run as you follow the Piney River downstream through meadows and aspen groves. After 3 miles, a historical homestead sitting in a lush green meadow dotted with wildflowers greets you.

The absolutely most difficult, 4.3-mile (one way) run tests your agility through several boulder fields and clings to a very steep slope through aspen groves on Deluge Lake Trail.


A GoPro Mountain Games climbing competition is watched by a large crowd with Vail Mountain's grassy, green ski slopes and gondola behind it.

Top athletes attempt to climb their way to the World Cup and the Olympics at GoPro’s North American Cup Series. If watching them dangle inspires you to learn more, check out these professional rock-climbing guides near Vail.

One popular area to climb is Red Cliff, around 16 miles from Vail. The granite rock here offers a dizzying variety of routes, from sport climbing’s physical emphasis to traditional climbing, which requires placing protection, rather than clipping into preplaced bolts. The area sits above a picturesque setting by the river.

Past Sylvan Lake in Eagle, Lime Creek offers some of the best limestone sport climbing in Colorado for advanced climbers, with approximately 70 routes ranging from 5.9 to 5.13.

At Camp Hale, north of Leadville, you can trace the steps of the heroic 10th Mountain Division on the same rock faces they trained on. Challenging routes, from 5.11 to 5.12, including the Warrior’s Wall and the Unknown Crag, await.

In winter, experts can brave East Vail’s legendary Pumphouse Falls ice formations, which are visible from the highway.

Rafting, Kayaking & SUPing

A crowd gathers to watch kayakers compete on Gore Creek at International Bridge at GoPro Mountain Games in Vail on a sunny day in summer.

River rats push for speed and agility in timed runs on Gore Creek during Vail’s GoPro event. If splashing and dashing excites you, book anything from a family-friendly float to a wild rapid ride with guided tours on the Eagle, Colorado or Arkansas rivers.

Gore Creek flows through the heart of Vail, offering numerous, medium-sized rapids with narrow passages (Class III) and long, powerful waves with rocky passages (Class IV) for rafters and kayakers.

After taking a stand-up paddleboard lesson from Alpine Kayak and progressing from Class I and Class II rapids, head to Vail Whitewater Park, by the International Bridge; its features change daily. Or float Colorado River’s moderate Class I to III rapids.

For calmer waters, glide across the placid Piney Lake and more.

More fun things to do in Vail this summer:

Find dog-friendly hotels and activities in Vail.
Locate Vail bike rentals & guides.
Explore all the best things to do in Vail in July.
See the autumn colors at the these fall events in Vail.
• Get a beginners mountain-biking guide & a roundup of more Vail trails.