4 Best Sights in Vail Valley, Colorado

Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument

Fodor's choice

Established as an official National Monument in 2022, this historic site pays tribute to the 10th Mountain Division, a unique Army infantry unit from World War II that trained skiers to be soldiers. Trained for mountain conditions here, the soldiers eventually fought in Italy and Austria, facing some of the toughest terrain in the war. A self-guided tour offers 10 points of interest across the sprawling valley. The 53,804-acre site includes campgrounds and access to the Continental Divide Trail, which stretches 3,000-plus miles along the Rockies.

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

At 8,200 feet above sea level, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens are the highest botanical gardens in the world. This oasis of columbines, alpine plants, colorful perennials, and wild roses offers stunning views of the Rocky Mountains from meandering pathways that pass beside streams and waterfalls. The gardens are free to the public and open year-round; peak flower season is June through August. Guided tours are available.

Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame

The Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame traces the development of skiing and snowboarding throughout the world, with an emphasis on Colorado's contributions. Six galleries include old skis and tows, Olympic displays, ski and snowboard history, and an exhibit on the 10th Mountain Division, an army division that trained nearby during World War II.

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Vail Nature Center

This nature center occupies a 1940s homestead just across from the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. In summer, you can sign up for wildflower walks, morning birding expeditions, evening beaver-pond tours, and the "S'mores and More" family campfire program.