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Vail Colorado in September

The majority of visitors heading to the great state of Colorado come in winter for ski season. Two of my sisters are heading there soon, which made me think about our family trip to Vail last September. It should be noted that Gary and I have gone on these family ski trips before, we just do not like the bitter cold and the layers upon layers of clothes it takes to make it warm enough to survive.

Vail Colorado September
I am on the left, and Gary is on the right. It looks like I am about to do a tap dance. But look at Gary’s form. This was his first and only time skiing. He is a natural on the slopes.

When I was younger, I used to love skiing. But now I am over cold weather.  The Rocky Mountains, however, are stunning, as is the greater Vail area. So when my non-Charleston based sister announced that she would be celebrating her 60th birthday in Vail and wanted the siblings to join her, we decided that late September may be the best time of year for us to go.

But why am I posting about Vail, Colorado, in the middle of the ski season about the fall visit? Because most folks plan trips far in advance. And if you are a hiker, biker, and lover of nature, this is a trip you want to put on your calendar.Vail Colorado September Vail Colorado September

Why Vail in September?

  • I don’t care how many pictures you have seen of Aspen trees in the fall, nothing compared to seeing them in person. In 2019 peak viewing time was last week of September into the first week of October.
  • The temperature was perfect with highs between 55°F to 66°F and lows from 40°F to 31°F. It was in the low 70s during our visit.
  • The gondola gets you up the mountain including your mountain bike (purchase of a day pass required)
  • Vail Mountain is covered with hiking and biking trails.
  • Vail Mountain Adventure Pass includes 10 different activities for kids and adults including Scenic Gondola Ride, Gore Range Adventure Course, Holy Cross Adventure Course, Forest Flyer™ Mountain Coaster, Gore Creek Mini Golf, Paramount Peak Climbing Wall, Bungee Trampoline, Little Eagle Kids Zipline, Pine Cone, Kids Adventure Course, and Marmot Mini Kids Tubing.
  • Game Creek Zipline Tour (separate from Adventure Pass)
  • Vail Village is filled with excellent shopping and a variety of dining opportunities.
  • There is a free shuttle bus system that takes you from one end of the town of Vail to the other. (this is a reason to go any time of year.)


Oxygen in a Can

Vail sits at 8,150 feet above sea level. That is 8,134 feet higher than where I live and breathe. This fact means breathing will be a challenge for this sea-level resident.

Enter Boost Oxygen, the 95% Pure Aviators Breathing Oxygen filled under pressure into convenient and affordable canisters. Yes, I went there and bought a can at the first place I saw it (which was everywhere).  It made my experience so much more enjoyable. Sure, I drank a lot more water to stay hydrated (dehydration is a significant factor in altitude sickness), but this “boost” allowed me to stay on top of my game.Boost Oxygen

I grabbed the first can I saw which was Pink Grapefruit flavored, but it is also available in Natural, Peppermint, and Menthol-Eucalyptus.

Boost Oxygen
This cannister went everywhere I did.

We were in Vail for a long weekend (Thurs. to Mon.), and one canister was all I needed. There was still oxygen in the can when I left. I knew it could not come with me on the plane, so drained it and recycled the canister.

More Reasons to Go to Vail in the Fall – Through Pictures

Vail Colorado September
Did you know -> One aspen tree is actually only a small part of a larger organism. A stand or group of aspen trees is considered a singular plant with the main life force underground in the extensive root system. Aspen Stands continue to spread via the root system as new trees sprout from the roots.

Vail Colorado September Vail Colorado September

Vail Colorado September Vail Colorado September

Did I Mention Adventure on the Mountain?

Vail Colorado September

We all bought a day pass to get us to the Adventure Zone. My three sisters and Gary added the Game Creek Zipline Tour to their package. I am so acrophobic that I get sick just thinking about it, so I stay with my feet on the ground along with my brother-in-law. This tour is a three to four-hour tour on a course with seven lines covering over two miles at mind-boggling heights.

That is Gary in red. The guy behind him is one of the two guides that go out with each group. A guide goes first, then all in the group, followed by the second guide.
Vail Colorado September
This climb alone to get to the platform, and I would pass out and want to die. Have fun y’all. There is no way!
Game Creek Zipline Tour
Let me say this again… Hell, no!

Vail Colorado September

From Gary: I have always wanted to try ziplining. This experience was all that I hoped and imagined. I often have dreams that I can fly. This is as close as I have gotten so far. If you have never tried this, it is magical. Just do it!

The Mountain Coaster

This coaster was a bit freaky because the cars are so small and wide open. I still had to give it a try. And then I tried it again and again.  What an adrenaline rush.  I may have screamed like a 6-year old girl, but I had a blast. Of course, Gary was “chill” all the way.

Vail Colorado September
That is Gary behind me. Love that windblown look!
Vail Colorado September
I looked frightened. But it was super fun.

Vail Colorado September

Our Daily Hike Through My Pictures

Vail Colorado September

Even the grasses turn colors.

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The View of Gore Creek that Runs through Vail Village…

…was right out the back door to the house that we rented through VRBO. Because this is the off-season, you can rent a house for fewer than the ski season seven-night minimum, and it was much cheaper.

The deck of the house was off the back door. The views were astonishing. And the visitors we had every day were so welcoming. The mother moose, and her calf came to visit every day. By the third day, they came right up to our porch. We froze and just watched until they wandered away.

Vail Colorado September Vail Colorado September Vail Colorado September Vail Colorado September Vail Colorado September

Vail Colorado September Vail Colorado September Vail Colorado September

Food and Wine

Vail Colorado September
Shorts and a Fleece were standard daytime outfits, but as the sun set, the chill crept in and required just one additional layer.
Vail Colorado September
Yes, much wine was consumed.
Vail Colorado September
Our first meal was lunch at Tavern on the Square. Gary enjoyed the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Combo.
Vail Colorado September
Me? The Deluxe Burger
I believe this was a Pinot Noir. Typically, I am not a fan of stemless wine glasses. But these were big and fun. Perfect for outdoor dining.

That is all for now.


rick & gary


  1. beautiful image Rick! Looks like you had a wonderful time. I would be all over the high elements! They are so much fun….. it’s what I teach. LOL

  2. Rick
    Love your posts and you two guys sounds like ya life everyday for the best.
    Love wine too don’t know anyone who doesn’t . You guys rock keep up the fun.!!!

    • Thanks Linda! We do try to give it our best shot every day. Thanks for noticing and Thank you also for commenting.

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