Vail in the Summertime

vail, coloradoTravel Agent is on location in Vail, Colorado, and Sunday we checked out a few of the many hiking trails the resort has to offer in the summer.

Travelers can reach the hiking trails, as well as trails for mountain biking and horseback riding, via the Eagle Bahn Gondola at Lionshead. We recommend arriving early, even when the gondola opens at 10am. Not only will early risers avoid the lines at the gondola, they'll also enjoy cooler weather and a chance to enjoy several hours of outdoor activities before having to deal with the afternoon thundershowers that are common in Vail at this time of year.

We started off walking on Eagle's Loop, an easy trail that winds east along the top of the ridge and offers great views off the backside of the mountain. There are two scenic overlooks, including the Wedding Deck, which is available for mountaintop ceremonies. The trail only takes between 15 and 30 minutes to hike, and since it is paved the entire way it is great for beginners.

The next trail we tried, Berry Picker, is a little more challenging, as it winds its way all the way down the mountain back to Lionshead through a series of switchbacks. This trail takes two to three hours and can be steep, but the views as you descend over Vail are well worth it.

After our morning hike, we stopped by the Vail Farmer's Market. This market runs every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., June 17 - September 26, 2012, on Vail Road and in front of the new Solaris Residences. The market has local food, art and live jazz. We sampled the Swiss Hot Dog, which is two or three sausages on a baguette bun, topped with various spices and alfalfa sprouts- a true mountain delight.