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Vail Nature Center



2018 Summer Operating Hours (June 9-Sept. 3)
Daily: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Vail Nature Center is operated by the Walking Mountains Science Center. View all Nature Center Programs

A farmhouse perched between a montane meadow and the forested bank of Gore Creek houses the Vail Nature Center. This seven-acre facility in the heart of Vail is a tranquil gem whose knowledgeable staff hosts informative bird, wildflower and beaver pond tours and backcountry hikes. Classes covering special topics such as nature, art, stargazing and fly fishing are available. The Nature Center is open seven days per week from Memorial Day weekend through September. Groups and special events may arrange for tours by calling 970-479-2291.

Backcountry HikesBackcountry Hikes

Join Certified Interpretive Guides on treks to some of the most beautiful destinations in the Vail area! Our expertise and local knowledge enable us to provide learning experiences on public lands like no other guide service can offer! Trail descriptions, pictures, and a full schedule of destinations are available here.

Hiking Video from Walking Mountains Science Center on Vimeo.

Full-Day Backcountry Hikes

Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays (June 5-Aug. 31) | Tuesdays & Fridays (Sept. 4-Oct. 30)
Ages 16+, $80 or $75 for VRD taxpayers.

Family Hikes (June 7-Aug. 25)

Thursdays & Saturdays | 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Family hikes are at a more casual pace and are fun for the whole family!
Ages 8+, $30 or $25 for VRD taxpayers.

Fall Color Family Hikes (Sept. 5-Oct. 31)

Wednesdays & Thursdays (Sept. 5-27) | Wednesdays (Oct. 3-31) | 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Observe the rainbow of changing trees throughout the fall season.
Ages 8+, $30 or $25 for VRD taxpayers.

Wildflower WalksWildflower Walk
Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays (June 11-Aug. 10) | 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Join Vail Nature Center staff on a leisurely one-hour walk through the woods and meadows to
learn about the flora that carpet the mountains. All ages, $5 or $3 for VRD taxpayers.


Bird WalksMorning Bird Walk
Tuesdays & Thursdays (June 12-Aug. 9) | 9-10 a.m.

Discover and learn about a breathtaking variety of local birds on a morning walk through the meadows and woods along Gore Creek. All ages, $5 or $3 for VRD taxpayers.


Beaver PondEvening Beaver Pond Tour
Mondays & Wednesdays (June 13-Sept. 3) | 7-8:45 p.m.

Beavers are one of nature’s most industrious creatures. Join us for educational activities followed by a drive to a beaver pond to observe an active lodge. All ages, $10 per person.


Discovery at DuskS'mores & More Campfire Talk
Thursdays & Saturdays (June 14-Sept. 1) | 7-8:30 p.m.

Gather around an evening campfire as you and your family learn about the Rocky Mountains from a Walking Mountains naturalist. Specific topics change weekly. All ages, $10 per person.


Stories in the SkyStories in the Sky: Stargazing
Fridays (June 15-Aug. 31) | 8:45-10 p.m.

From endless constellations, cascading shooting stars, and full moons almost as bright as the sun, these are the night features in the mountains of Vail that should be experienced by all. All ages, $10 per person.


Think Like a TroutThink Like a Trout: Fly Fishing for Kids
Fridays (June 22-Aug. 31) | 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This unique fly-fishing program teaches young anglers about stream ecology and aquatic insects along with the basic skills of fly-fishing. Most importantly, we will have fun near the water! Ages 8-13, $45/child.


CreeksideCreekside Nature Tour
Sundays (June 17-Sept. 30) | 11 a.m. to noon & 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Join us for a casual stroll along Vail's streamside paths to the Vail Nature Center. Tours depart from the Walking Mountains Science Center booth at the Vail Farmers’ Market. All ages, free.