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Get OFF the Slopes this Winter with these Vail Valley Adventures

Beaver Creek and Vail are synonymous with skiing, but the towns offer more than mountain vistas and black diamonds. Whether you need a break from the slopes or are looking to supplement your stay, check out these options that might fly a little bit under the radar.

Dine with the Dogs at Henry’s Hut

Most of us agree that dogs bring pure magic to our lives, but in Vail, they’re taking it a step up–these dogs save lives. From December 17 until March 31, the patrol team and the Vail avalanche dogs gather at Henry’s Hut–named after Vail’s first avalanche pup, on Sundays from 10:30 to 11:30. The patrol team and trainers handle visitors’ questions about the dogs, their training, and their work. Grab a bite to eat at nearby Rocky’s Roadhouse and amp up your canine fix by watching avalanche dogs Jake, Rocky, Cowgirl, and of course Henry, sharpen their training in Dogtown.

Beaver Creek Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup

France has a lock on summer Olympic fun in 2024, but the Beaver Creek Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS Ski World Cup means ski lovers can marvel at world-class competition in Men’s Downhill and Alpine Super G events. The best part? Unlike a ticket to the Olympics, this competition is free! Held from December 1-3, and isn’t just skiing there’s live music, film screenings, and pop-up breweries (Beers of Prey, anyone?)–round out this immersive weekend. Fun Fact :the Birds of Prey course was designed by Bernhard Russi of Switzerland, and features a vertical drop of 2,470 feet and a maximum gradient of 63 percent (32 degrees).

Beaver Creek Mountain Snowshoe Races

If you don’t qualify for the Birds of Prey World Cup–and most of us won’t–test your athleticism at Beaver Creek’s Mountain Snowshoe Races. Geared toward the avid snowshoer and the snowshoeing novice, competitors choose from a 5k or 10k course where the top three female and male winners snag awards. Don’t worry about not coming in gold, silver, or bronze, because all athletes are eligible to win the raffle drawn at the after-race party where snowshoers refuel with a lunch. Register for one, two, or all three competitions held at 10:00 am on January 16th (Creekside Park), February 29th (Creekside Park), and March 13th (McCoy Nordic Center).

Art in Vail

Don’t choose between adventure and the arts. Savor the slopes and carve out time for culture when you uncover the Art in Public Places (AIPP). These open-air installations let Vail provide the canvas for artists to showcase sculptures, murals, and more in what the town calls “a museum without walls”. Discover a history of Vail through the public arts as well as pieces honoring Vail’s ski culture and a mural that makes Vail’s Skate Park pop. The Art in Vail site’s downloaded map helps plan how and where to access this cultural treasure trove.

Dog Sledding

Heed the call of the wild when you and your group command teams of huskies whisking you through Rocky Mountain trails. Mountain Mushers, about 10 miles from Beaver Creek, lets tandem riders explore the aspens and pines through a 5.5-mile winter wonderland. A midpoint break gives riders a chance to warm up with hot cocoa and homemade pumpkin bread. Be sure to check age, weight, and health requirements.

Ice Fishing

Just because you aren’t in the Vail and Beaver Creek areas in the summer doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on reeling in a big catch. Ice fishing lets wintertime anglers cast a line and reel in arctic char, trout, and kokanee salmon. Some hot ice fishing spots include Gypsum Ponds State Wildlife Area and Sylvan Lake. Local outfitters provide rods, reels, and flies. As always, be sure to check conditions for safety.