Vail’s On-Mountain Decks

Mar. 10, 2015

Parker’s Deck (aka Window’s Deck) offers some of the best views of the mountain

When the weather is sunny on Vail Mountain, there is no better place to sit during your lunch break than one the many decks and grills offered at Vail. Some are easy to find, others are out of the way, but each one has its own unique reason to drop by, if anything just to sit down for a second and enjoy the scenery.

There are three decks outfitted with complimentary gas grills open to the public on Vail Mountain. Two of them are on top of the mountain, near Buffalo’s, and both are popular places to hang out on sunny days.

Hawk’s Nest is located by the Blue Sky Basin overlook, just past the top of High Noon Express Lift (#5):

Hawk’s Nest has great views of Blue Sky Basin and Sun Up Bowl

Henry’s Hut, across Patrol Headquarters, is right outside the great warming-up yurt:

Henry’s Hut during lunch hour on a sunny day. Grill is on the left

The other grill-served deck is in Blue Sky Basin’s Belle’s Camp, located at the end of the ride on SkyLine Express Lift (#37). This is one of the biggest decks on the mountain and has more cooking and sitting space than the others. On April weekends it can gather hundreds of festive skiers and riders–just remember to BYOBB (Bring Your Own Beach Ball).

If you have a dozen burgers to grill, it’s best to arrive early or late in the day, when the crowds are smaller and there’s still enough room to grill and sit, or you can also just join the party and take your time!

021415_Vail_Belle'sCamp_Blog_RicMorenoControBelle’s Camp in Blue Sky Basin

Blue Sky Basin has another deck,  this one is designed with powder hounds in mind. The Dawg Haus deck, located by Pete’s Express Lift (#39), doesn’t have a public grill, but it does have a food shack. While it also doesn’t have the panoramic views of other decks, it’s by far the most convenient place to grab a quick bite while lapping Blue Sky Basin on a powder day.

12815_Vail_Blog2_RicMorenoControWhat Dawg’s Haus lacks in panoramic views, it makes up in convenience. Grab a quick bite and you’re ready to jump back on the lift. 

Vail has many open decks, a popular one among locals is Windows Deck overlooking Sun Down Bowl and Holy Cross Mountain. The views from here are some of the best in the Vail Valley, and you can actually grab a plate of Wildwood’s famous barbecue by literally following the smell of smoked ribs just around a corner. Once you have a plate of steaming pork meat, walk back to the deck and sit down to enjoy a lunch while seeing skiers and riders tackle one of Vail’s most iconic bowls.

021815_Vail_WindowsDeck_RicMorenoControParker’s Deck (aka Window’s Deck) on a snowy morning

A family friendly deck, ideal for groups of all ages and ski levels is Jebbie’s Deck. This one is easy to find as you can actually see it from above when you’re riding Avanti Express Lift (#2). It’s located on top of the Black Forest Epic Mix Racing Course, and beside the kid’s and beginners favorite, Avanti Park.

Jebbie’s is the perfect place to have a kid’s birthday lunch

Simonton’s Deck, across Eagle’s Nest, is a hanging overlook with some of the most scenic and expansive views anywhere on the Rocky Mountains, which is why many couples have chosen it to host their wedding ceremony.

021815_Vail_StevinsonDeck_RicMorenoControSimonton’s Deck offers views of Beaver Creek and the Sawatch Range. 

At the bottom of Game Creek Bowl, Ouzo offers a place for weary legs to take a rest.

The Ouzo Deck is located at the bottom of Game Creek Bowl

As the days get longer, it’s also important to remember that all decks close at 4:00pm.

021815_Vail_WindowsDeck2_RicMorenoControDue to Forest Service and Vail Resorts regulations decks close at 4:00pm