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Please call 970-479-2291 to make reservations.

Below is a list of summer programming offered at the Vail Nature Center. Reservations are required to participate in these activities. Detailed information regarding dates and prices will be available in Spring 2014.

Adult Full-Day Nature Hikes

Twice a week, June through September

Two days a week throughout the summer naturalist guides from the Nature Center lead participants on all-day hikes throughout the Holy Cross and Eagles Nest Wilderness areas. Hikes are at a pace that allows participants to enjoy the flora and fauna along the trail. Participants should be in healthy condition and accustomed to the altitude. Hike participants should bring extra clothing, rain gear, lunch, trail snacks, water and a camera. Transportation is provided from the Nature Center. Dogs are not allowed.


Adult Half-Day Wildflower Hikes

June through September

In the Rockies, we are fortunate to be surrounded by an abundance of beauty and biodiversity. You may have taken hundreds of pictures of that pretty little purple flower, but what is it called, and how do you tell the difference between that and the other purple flower? Learn the basic skills you need to identifying local plants, as well as fascinating information about their historic and modern uses. What berries are edible, what plants might save your life if you were stranded in the backcountry? Our expert naturalists will teach you on a leisurely hike on various trails in the Vail area. While easier and slower-paced than full-day hikes, participants must be able to hike 3-6 miles at high altitude. Hike participants should bring rain gear, trail snacks, water and a camera. Participants should wear sturdy footwear that is comfortable. Transportation is provided from the Nature Center. Dogs are not allowed.


Photo Safari

Half-day workshops, June through September

Ages: 16 and older

Spend an enjoyable morning exploring the beauty of the Vail Valley with your camera. Master Photographer and Colorado Photographer of the Year Dennis Jones will teach you easy techniques and tricks that will immediately improve your photography. You will learn the foundation to better pictures through composition and using your camera and eye to their fullest potential. Dennis will show you how to visualize a scene and how it translates into an image as well as what to look for from the grandest panorama to the tiniest detail. 


Vail Nature Center Hiking Club

Are you here for the summer and love to hike and explore the mountains around Vail? Join the Nature Center Hiking Club and spend the summer venturing into the high country in search of great views, wildflowers and pristine wilderness. Each hike takes club members to a different destination and hikes are educational, informative and fun. Membership also offers priority placing on the Nature Center's Hiking Club Eco-Tour Hut Trips. 

Nature Center

Physical Address: 601 Vail Valley Drive, Vail, CO

Mailing Address: 700 S Frontage Rd E, Vail, CO

Phone: 970-479-2291

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Nature Center is located just east of Vail Village, across Gore Creek from the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and the Ford Amphitheater. Parking is available at the Vail Village Parking Structure, Soccer Field or Tennis Center.

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The Vail Recreation District is an equal opportunity service provider and employer.

 The Vail Recreation District is under special use permit from the USDA Forest Service, White River National Forest.

 All or part of this operation is conducted on Public Lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Vail Nature Center Video


Youth Activities


Ice Arena




Nature Center

Community Programming

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