Vail Back Bowl Guide
Sun Down Bowl
The easiest way to reach the Sun Down Bowl is to take the Wildwood Express Lift to the top of the mountain and then head over the backside. You can also take the Mountain Top Express Lift (Chair #4), but this will require a brief traverse to get over to the Sun Down Bowl.
The photo above shows the view of the Sun Down Bowl from Blue Sky Basin, the photo below looks down into the bowl from the top.
The photos above and below show some of the varied terrain that you will find in this bowl. The side on the skier’s left (facing west) is shown above. This terrain is a little bit easier than what you will find on the east-facing side of the bowl. This area is pictured in the photo below. There are a few cliffs and natural jumps that you can see on this side of the Sun Down Bowl.
This is one of the most popular bowls on the backside of Vail. To access this bowl directly from the front side of the mountain, you will have to ride the Sourdough chair lift. This will bring you up to the Two Elk Lodge where you can enter the China Bowl. There are also 2 lifts that access the bowl from the backside of Vail.
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In the photo above you can see the Shangri-La glade. This is located on the skier’s left of the China Bowl and this area has some great tree skiing.
Below you can see the Dragon’s Teeth cliffs; located at the top of the China Bowl. This cliff band is very wide and has cliffs ranging from 2 feet up to about 15 feet. This area must be accessed through gates at the top of the bowl.
This is one of the smaller backbowls at Vail. Don’t let that fool you because there is some great cliff features located towards the bottom of the Teacup Bowl. If you are traversing back to Blue Sky Basin from the top of Chair #4 you can gain access to part of this bowl. It can also be accessed from the Teacup Express Lift, Sun Up Lift, or by traversing from the Two Elks Lodge area above the China Bowl.
The Teacup Bowl is in the center of the photo below. Behind and to the left you can see the Sun Up Bowl, and to the right is the China Bowl.
Above: Looking down into the Teacup Bowl with Blue Sky Basin prominently in the background.
Below: These 2 photos show some of the cliffs and drop-offs that you will find at the bottom of this bowl.
Siberia Bowl and Mongolia Bowls
The Siberia Bowl is the steepest of these 3 bowls. As you move towards the Mongolia Bowl and then the Outer Mongolia Bowl, you will find that the steepness of the ski slope decreases.
Below you can see the t-bar that will help you access the Mongolia Bowls. You can hike from the top of this t-bar to gain access deeper into the bowl areas. This can be a great way to find fresh powder in the afternoon.