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Winter is by far the most crowded time in Vail Valley, with early spring seeing the highest number of visitors hoping to catch that blissful blend of thick powder and china-blue skies. Naturally, prices are highest then as well, though you can sometimes get pre- and postseason deals. Although summer is quickly gaining in popularity, the real deals can be had in the shoulder seasons—late autumn and late spring when the ski slopes are closed. Restaurants will often have two-for-one entrées with a bottle of wine, and hotels run deeply cut rates. Traffic through the I–70 corridor moves at a good clip unless snows have stacked up truckers putting on chains on either side of Vail Pass. The pass itself is low, and stays below tree line, affording it some protection from drifting and blowing snow.