Family Travel to Epic Discovery

Undoubtedly, if you are a skier, snowshoer, or snowmobiler, you enjoy the invigorating cold, crisp air and the powdery white snow of the winter mountains. Conversely, if you are a hiker, angler or bicyclist, you like the warm breeze and the colorful surroundings that summertime provides. In either case, Mother Nature’s mountains afford exciting opportunities for family fun.

Now, as you plan for the upcoming summertime mountain enjoyment, there’s a brand-new thriller to fold into the mix that sits high on the peaks, thanks to Vail Resorts’ ingenuity.

Epic Discovery: An Epic First!

Last Spring, Vail Resorts unveiled Epic Discovery, the first of its kind, a mountain “learn through play” adventure in Vail, Colorado. Then, in June 2016, Heavenly Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe introduced a sister Epic Discovery. This summer, the third sibling will open its doors in Colorado’s Breckinridge Resort.

“Epic Discovery will provide an avenue for our summer guests to experience our alpine settings in a new, immersed way, similar to what our ski and snowboard guests experience in the winter,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and CEO of Vail Mountain.

No matter which of the three destinations you choose, expect an utterly unique experience chock full of entertainment, thrill and education.

A Firsthand Look

Last July, while visiting friends on the outskirts of Vail Village, a crew of three moms and four teenage boys hopped on the gondola for a breathtaking ride from the base to the top of Eagle’s Nest, where we uncovered Epic Discovery’s offerings. There were choices galore.

Honestly, had we done nothing more than admire the vistas from all the many vantage points, making the trek up to nose-bleeding heights would have been worth it. Of course, we had adventure-seeking hats on, so we forged ahead to enjoy it all.

There was the exhilaration of the zippy zip line and aerial bridges, the physical challenge of the ropes courses, the twists and turns on the alpine coaster and tubing, and the exploration and education served up along the wildlife trail. The physical and mental stimulation was grand, but we also loved engaging in interactive exhibits along the way, learning how mountain goats balance on cliffs and ridges, and how high mountain lions can leap in a single bound. We also picked up interesting tidbits about trees and flowers that are native to the surrounding national forest.

It seemed that the sky was the limit on what we could enjoy in this epic outdoor playground with its awe-inspiring scenery as our backdrop. Activities were geared to accommodate folks of all ages with varying degrees of adventure to satisfy everyone’s desires.

Chris Jarnot said, “Vail Resorts, along with our partners at the U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy, envisions Epic Discovery as a catalyst for helping to foster a life-long appreciation for the outdoors among a diverse audience of summer visitors to the mountains,” Jarnot said.

Well, for us, they hit a homer in in making their vision a reality. Epic Discovery created the ideal alpine playground for the young and the young at heart.

An Added Bonus

An added bonus to your own memorable fun will be lasting results that Mother Nature receives from the 1 percent donation program that Epic Discovery arranged with the Nature Conservancy. For every dollar spent enjoying Epic Discovery, a contribution will be made to support forest health restoration projects in the West. A true win-win for all.

Full details on all Epic Discovery activities at each of the three mountain resorts can be found at and Ticket purchases can be made in advance using the online system. Various packages are available to suit individual adventure preferences.

Categories: Travel