Travel Tips

Paragon Travel Tips

Travel Logistics
Please make travel arrangements as soon as possible. Higher rates and lack of lodging availability are common headaches for those who wait. We ask that you arrive two nights prior to your trip departure. This allows time for high altitude acclimation, final equipment preparations, and our pre-trip orientation day.

Flights / Scheduling
Vail/Beaver Creek Travel can help you book all your travel reservations with discounted airfares and possible direct flights into the Vail/Beaver Creek Jet Center in Eagle. We request that you arrive at least two nights prior to your trip departure. This allows time for proper altitude acclimation. When you arrive in the area, please call our office to confirm your arrival and any pre-trip arrangements.

Trip Insurance 
We recommend that individuals protect their investment in a trip by purchasing Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance. It will reimburse you for non-refundable costs due to unexpected cancellations and other possible interruptions. CSA Travel Protection at 1-800-348-9505, can help with your travel insurance needs. Paragon Guides cannot be responsible for cancellations inside our 45 day cancellation policy.

Lodging & Transportation
Lodging should be arranged for nights prior to the trip as well as following. Driving time from Denver International Airport to Vail is approximately 2.5 hours. Regular van shuttles are available through CME Travel. Participants wishing to make travel arrangements departing from Vail / Avon on the trip return day should do so after 5:00 pm or otherwise arrange lodging in the area. Keep in mind that a snowstorm can slow down a tight travel schedule.

Pre-Trip Orientation Day 
The Orientation day begins with a meeting at our Backcountry Center at the Arrowhead Ski Area (2 miles west of Beaver Creek and Avon) the day prior to your trip departure. Please let our office know if you will need a ride. The meeting allows us the opportunity to get acquainted with each other, discuss the route, gear, and logistics along with answering last minute questions. Please arrive ready to ski, bike or hike and bring your pack and gear with you. Our Backcountry Center is located on the mountain at Arrowhead . All trips depart from and return to Arrowhead or individual lodging in the Avon / Beaver Creek / Vail area.

How to get to the Backcountry Center – Google Maps

Trip Departure
On the morning of your trip departure, we will pick you up at your lodging or meet you at a pre-arranged location. Specific meeting times and places are arranged at the Orientation meeting but generally are between 7:00 – 8:30 am. Following breakfast, usually a favorite local’s restaurant, we proceed to the trailhead and head out on the trail.

Recommended Lodging in the Avon / Beaver Creek Area
Comfort Inn, Avon* (800) 423-4374
Inn at Riverwalk, Edwards* (888) 926-0606
Christie Lodge, Avon (970) 949-7700

Recommended Area Lodging [Need Own Transportation] 
Best Western Eagle Lodge, Eagle (800) 528-1234 (17 miles west of Beaver Creek)

Low-cost lodging:

The Bunkhouse – Hostel, Minturn, CO

The Turntable – Motel, Minturn, CO

Central Reservations for Vail, Avon & Aspen
Vail Valley Tourism & Convention Bureau (800) 525-3875
Aspen Resort Association (800) 421-7145

Transportation Reservations Vail / Beaver Creek Travel (Travel Agent) (800) 323-4386
Colorado Mountain Express / CME Travel (970) 949-4227 (Denver-Vail / Avon Van Service) (800) 525-6363

(For auto rental, please check with your travel agent)

For more information on the Vail Valley, vacationing in Vail / Beaver Creek, local activities, events, shops, restaurants and amenities check out the Vail home page on the World Wide Web at:


The Final Leg – Denver Airport to the Vail Valley

Driving I-70 in the Winter

Just getting here can be a bit of an adventure.  We have often said that we would rather be skiing the trails in a snow storm than driving Interstate 70 over Vail Pass.

While our Colorado Department of Transportation works diligently to keep the roads clear during a storm, conditions can change very quickly and delays or closures are not uncommon.
So here’s few tips for getting here:
•  Plan a couple days+ ahead of time to arrive. This allows for a good time cushion if roads conditions are bad to wait it out in Denver or factor a slower drive to the High Country.  The drive from the Denver Airport to Vail / Avon is approx. 2 1/2 hours on good roads and longer according to conditions.  I-70 has been closed over 70x in recent winters due to storms and accidents.  If you can, look up before your drive to check on conditions.  They have webcams to show what some of the passes and other areas look like.
•  Take it slow!   If you are driving up to the Vail Valley, even if you have rented (or own) an all-wheel / 4 wheel drive, please drive slowly if conditions are icy and snow packed.  Many, many incidents can be avoided by going slowly.
•  Arriving a couple of days ahead of time will also allow time for acclimating to a mid-level elevation of the Vail Valley before we take you up above 10-11,000′.
•  Plan also to attend our Pretrip Orientation Session at the Arrowhead Ski Area the day before the trip departs.  This is a great time to meet your guides and other trip participants, to discuss the gear and the route, to get outfitted in any rental gear you may need, and to spend a bit of time on the mountain skiing as well.  It is always good to ski on your rental gear and be sure that all is working right before you head in to the backcountry with it.
•  At the end of your trip, please plan to fly out the following day or later.  A tight travel schedule will likely be shattered by snow conditions for driving.  If you fly out the following day or later after your trip, you have that ‘time cushion’ to factor the 3+ hours it will take to get to the airport. Also remember, you have been backcountry skiing without a shower for 3+ days.  While you smell like the rest of your ski group, you won’t be too pleasant to your fellow shuttle passengers or flight mates.   A shower and a nice group dinner at the end winds up your great hut experience so wonderfully, who would want to miss that?

Contact Paragon Guides today to join us on a backcountry adventure!