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It is roughly a two-mile hike from the parking area to Shrine Pass with an elevation gain of roughly 750 feet, making it a beginner to intermediate level trail.Shrine Ridge is open each summer with wildflowers peaking in late July to early August.

During winter, visitors can take advantage of this ski and snowboard hot spot on Vail Mountain and its idyllic Bavarian-style mountain village.

During the rest of the year, Vail is a perfect outdoor getaway for the whole family with river rafting, zip lining, spelunking, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.

Upper Piney is also an access point for those who want to continue on to Mt.

Powell or spend a few hours fishing at Piney River.

More ideas: Best Beaches, Best Weekend Getaways, Best Day Trips In a destination that averages over 300 inches of snow a year, visitors probably wouldn’t expect to be able to visit gardens year-round, but that’s exactly what travelers to Vail can do.

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens has five distinctive gardens to peruse – Children’s Garden, Schoolhouse Garden, Mountain Perennial Garden, Meditation Garden, and Alpine Rock Garden.

Because the trail has a 3,000-foot gain in elevation from trailhead to summit, it’s categorized as an intermediate trail, though hikers who aren’t acclimated to the elevation may find it more difficult.

Those who only want to hike to the 60-foot waterfall will find it two miles up the trail.

Visitors will also find exhibits showcasing snowboards, skis, ski bindings, history of the National Ski Patrol, and the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame.

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