A sunny spring day on Vail Mountain is the perfect time to explore the many decks for a picnic and to soak in some vitamin D. Vail Mountain’s got just the spot, depending on where you are skiing or riding and whether you are looking for a picnic spot or a deck with full-service food and beverage options.
No matter what deck you choose, we do ask that you please pack out whatever you have packed in! Also, these decks are shared by everyone, so please be respectful of other guests using the decks. Illegal substances are just that – illegal. You must be off Vail Mountain when the lifts close (4:00pm in the spring). We also suggest that you download one of the Gondolas (last download by 4:30pm), especially after drinking alcohol.
Once you’ve got your food and beverages packed up, head to any of these on mountain decks for a truly special lunch or all afternoon break:
Jebbie’s Deck – Named after longtime local ski instructor, Jebbie, this deck is situated under the Avanti Express Lift (#2) at the base of the Avanti run. A highly visible deck from the lift, equipped with several picnic tables, this deck gets lots of sun and exposure to everyone riding the lift above. This can be a good thing or, maybe, not?
Windows Deck – Tucked in the woods, just beyond the gate to Windows and to the east of Wildwood, “Windows” offers stunning views of Mt. of the Holy Cross and Sun Down Bowl. Windows has several picnic tables and lots of privacy from the rest of the mountain traffic. The easiest way to access is via Wildwood Express (Chair 3) and then skiing around the front or backside of the Wildwood restaurant. And, with Wildwood restaurant not far away, it’s easy to access the “facilities” when nature calls, and grab some extra food and beverages.
Belle’s Camp – It’s worth venturing out to Blue Sky Basin on a big sunny day, packing a picnic and heading to Belle’s Camp. Equipped with lots of outdoor seating, Belle’s Camp offers 360 degree views and a festive contagious spring “community” vibe. Bonus, if you need some water and a bathroom – all are right there! Plus, there are several community grills available to grill your own food hot on the spot!
Hawks Deck – Perched atop Vail Mountain, where the MidVail Express, Northwoods Express and High Noon Express (Chairs 4, 11 ad 5) meet, Hawk Deck sits overlooking Sun Down Bowl, with views across to Blue Sky Basin. The deck features several picnic tables, and is often a festive, busy meeting spot to enjoy the sun and views. Ideally located with easy access to the Bowls and front-side, with nearby bathrooms, and food/beverages available to purchase from Buffalo’s if needed.
Steady’s Deck – Just off of the Avanti Express lift (Chair 2), head west along the ridge and you’ll happen upon Steady’s Deck tucked into the trees at the top of the Pickeroon run. As the mountain’s newest deck, this deck tends to be less busy and more private, with incredible views of the Gore Range. The deck is a great spot to call home while cruising the runs off the Avanti Express (Chair 2).
Game Creek Bowl Deck – Situated at the base of Game Creek Bowl, just above the Game Creek Express Lift (Chair 7) and the base of Ouzo, you’ll find a small deck and a nice spot for a picnic or rest-stop. Sitting at the base of the bowl, the deck is protected from any wind and is rarely occupied.
Now, if the decks above are a little too “primitive” for your liking, there are several on-mountain full-service restaurants with fantastic decks/patios to enjoy on a warm spring day:
MidVail – Located atop Gondola 1, at the base of the MidVail Express and Wildwood Express (Chairs 4 and 3), you’ll find the centrally located MidVail. There, you’ll find ample outdoor picnic tables with views of the Gore Range and runs of MidVail. It’s easy to grab food from the outdoor services, and the bathrooms are right there. Often on spring weekends, live music makes MidVail the place to be!
Eagle’s Nest – Grand views of both Mt. of the Holy Cross and the Gore Range can be seen from the sunny deck of Eagle’s Nest. Atop the Eagle Bahn Gondola, this patio has easy access to food, beverages, bathrooms and a ride down the Gondola at the end of the day. Bistro 14, is a full service (waiter/waitress) restaurant with indoor or outdoor seating with incredible views.
Buffalo’s & Henry’s/Dogtown Deck – Atop Vail Mountain, where the MidVail Express, Northwoods Express and High Noon Express (Chairs 4, 11 ad 5) meet you’ll find Buffalo’s, a quick service restaurant with outdoor picnic tables on the snow. A great central spot for an outdoor lunch or late afternoon break before heading down. Just across the snow, Henry’s Hut and Dogtown Deck features a small deck for those that have packed their own or as another option to Buffalo’s seating.
Wildwood – You can smell the BBQ atop the Wildwood Express (Chair 3) from the outdoor smoker! Grab an outdoor picnic table, some BBQ and enjoy the incredible views into Sun Up Bowl and Holy Cross from Wildwood.
Express Lift – Located at the base of Gondola 1, the patio at Express Lift is one of the newer hot spots for a lunch break or after skiing. Grab some rays, watch the action (or “show” of skiers) coming down Pepi’s face, and grab some snacks and cold beverages amidst the base area scene.
Dawg Haus – Located at the base of Pete’s Express Lift (Chair 39) in Blue Sky Basin, the Dawg Haus is a quick stop to grab a bite, with a few tables to relax before heading back from more laps in Blue Sky.
The Coop – At the base of the Avanti Express Lift (Chair 2), the Coop is a unique spot with waffles, churro’s and other delicious energy fueling snacks and beverages. Grab a table and relax at this mid-mountain on-snow spot.
Explore the endless options for catching spring sunshine on Vail Mountain and share with us your favorite spot!