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A snowcat rolls across the snow in Vail with trees in the background.





Dec - April

Vail Snowcat Skiing

Vail’s snowcat skiing offers skiers and snowboarders exclusive access to remote, ungroomed slopes via massive, tracked vehicles called snowcats. These robust machines easily navigate snowy mountain terrain, offering a thrilling adventure beyond the traditional ski area. Typically guided and limited in group size, snowcat tours allow you and your friends to climb aboard and backcountry ski on endless acres of untouched, fluffy snow.

Vail Powder Guides

If you’re ready for soft powder and fresh-tracks conditions, Vail Powder Guides explores 4,000 acres of diverse Rocky Mountain terrain. Let their knowledgeable guides steer you above timberline to drop into open bowls, navigate forested glades and conquer steeper, tighter tree skiing. With an expert at the wheel, you can receive a completely personalized and safer backcountry experience.

While you’re likely to log 10 to 12 runs throughout the day, every second of the eight-hour journey is spectacular. From the trek above treeline, where you see panoramic views of snow-blanketed peaks to stunning bluebird skies and valleys of aromatic pine trees below, this is a outdoor adventure for your bucket list. Be sure to reserve your spot for this winter so you can carve down Vail’s legendary mountainsides.


Locals’ Tip: After a full day tearing down the slopes, you’ll probably be pretty tired and maybe even a little sore! Schedule a Vail spa treatment for the following morning to relax, rejuvenate and recover. The Spa at Four Seasons Vail even offers a targeted sports massage with extra firm pressure, active stretching and therapeutic oil to loosen tight muscles and provide extra relief.

Snowcat Skiing FAQs


Is snowcat skiing safe?

Every precaution is taken to make your guided snowcat adventure as safe as possible. Avalanche transceivers are provided and worn by every participant. Terrain generally demands intermediate-to-expert skiing or snowboarding skills. Get in touch with Vail Powder Guides before booking if you’re unsure about your ability to safely navigate the backcountry descents.

Learn more about recreating responsibly in Colorado backcountry.

Are there adaptive ski options?

Yes, Vail Powder Guides can accommodate adaptive skiers and individuals with disabilities. Reach out to their team ahead of time so they can tailor your experience accordingly.

What’s the best time of year for snowcat skiing?

Snowcat skiing season begins in mid-December and runs through mid-April, depending on Vail’s snow conditions.

What should I bring snowcat skiing?

During your expedition, you’ll ascend above treeline where there will likely be deep snow, strong winds and lots of sunshine. So, come prepared with all your warm ski gear, sunscreen and eye protection. Vail Powder Guides provides free use of their powder-specific skis and snowboards, so you’ll have the best equipment for the conditions. They also include a tasty sandwich lunch with your trip!

Discover More Things to Do in Vail This Winter

Looking for even more winter trip inspiration for your Vail adventure? Check out these resources:

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