Expert Terrain

The Toughest Ski and Snowboard Terrain at Vail

There are hundreds of sizable cliffs located throughout the Vail Ski Resort, and there is expert ski terrain all over the backside of the mountain. It would be impossible to take pictures of all the great expert terrain features and ski trails at Vail, so this page summarizes some of the most difficult terrain, and most popular spots for expert skiers.

North Rim and Prima Cornice

The cliff shown in the photo at the top of this page is located underneath chair #4 on the front side of Vail. When you get to the top of chair #4 you can either head down to this cliff, or ski the North Rim and Prima Cornice. These 2 trails have some of the steepest skiing at Vail. You can see the Prima Cornice in the photo below, as well as the North Rim in the lower photo.

vail prima cornice


vail north rim


Vail Backbowls

The backbowls of Vail are covered with expert ski terrain. The backbowls are vast and you can usually find fresh powder long after the lifts have opened in the morning. The photo below shows a cliff band in the China Bowl called Dragon’s Teeth.

vail dragons teeth china bowl cliff


The area shown below is located in the Siberia Bowl near the trail called Orient Express.

vail backbowl cliffs
sun down bowl cliff jump


Above; This is the skier’s right-hand side of the Sun Down Bowl. This area has a few natural jumps and cliffs built into the terrain. To access this area, you need to descend down the skier’s right-hand side of the bowl from the top. If you try to reach this part of the bowl from the high noon lift, you will come across several gullies that will likely prevent you from reaching the area pictured above.

Pictured Below; A cliff band that runs across the bottom of the Teacup Bowl on the backside of Vail.

Tea Cup Bowl


Blue Sky Basin

Below you can see the Skree Fields; located at Blue Sky Basin in Pete’s Bowl. This is a fun area to ski but it is followed by a flat section of trees that you must weave through to get back to the ski lifts.

vail blue ski basin cliff


Lover’s Leap (pictured below) is one of the most popular spots at Blue Sky Basin. The size of the drop-off will vary depending upon snow and wind conditions. The section on the skier’s right of Lovers Leap has some large boulders that you can drop off of when there is enough snow. The Skree Field (pictured above) is located just to the left of the photo below.

Steep and Deep is another one of the steepest trails at Vail. This trail is located in the wooded area on the left side of this photo, just to the left of Lover’s Leap.

vail cornice lovers leap


Below: Looking down at the Lover’s Leap cornice.

blue ski basin lovers leap


Vail Resort Guide

Vail Expert Skiing