5 Tips To Avoid Vail Altitude Sickness

Vail Altitude Sickness

If you’re traveling to Vail, you may be concerned about altitude sickness. And there’s good reason – the elevation in Vail averages around 8150 feet.

This can mean dreaded Vail altitude sickness symptoms which may include headaches and nausea.

But a little preparation and these five tips can help you avoid that dreaded feeling of altitude sickness when you head to Vail on your trip.

Vail Altitude Sickness

Due to its high elevation and other factors, Vail is one of the highest ski resorts in North America. The elevation of the base village is approximately 8150 ft (2,484 m) above sea level and the mountain peaks are even higher, getting as high as 11,570 ft.

Anything over 8000 feet well exceeds the range for high altitude.

For those that are unaccustomed to high altitudes, it may be helpful to know what you can do to avoid altitude sickness before your vacation to Vail. Our company, Zaca, sells our hydration packets throughout Vail and Vail Resorts, and we know first-hand what to do when it comes to altitude!

Vail Altitude

Vail altitude sits at a base elevation of 8,150 feet above sea level.

  • Vail altitude - 8,150 ft (2,484 m)

If you're visiting to ski or snowboard at Vail Ski Resort during the winter, the peak elevation of Vail altitude at the mountain is 11,570 feet (3,527 meters).

Even if visiting for summer activities, the altitude in the mountains just a step away from the Vail town can easily get anywhere between 8,500' to 11000' feet high.

Will I Get Altitude Sickness In Vail?

The short answer, yes.

At altitudes of 8000 feet or higher is when altitude sickness most commonly starts. Vail, set at 8150 feet high, absolutely gives a high risk of getting sick.

Mountain sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. The air at higher altitudes contains less oxygen, which means that your body has to work harder to absorb the oxygen you need to do basic functions.

It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of "flu, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a hangover". It is very common for visitors of Vail to feel the effects of altitude sickness.

Symptoms Of Altitude Sickness In Vail

The symptoms of altitude sickness can be as simple as a headache and nausea, or as severe as high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) — a swelling of the brain that can be life-threatening.

Don't worry, you shouldn't have to worry about HACE, it usually only occurs when someone has spent over 48 hours at 13,000 feet above sea level, which is higher than Vail's tallest mountains.

Symptoms of altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness (AMS) include, but are not limited to:

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of appetite
  • weakness
  • disturbed sleep

Altitude sickness is not life threatening if it's mild symptoms such as these. If any extreme symptoms arise, it should be addressed immediately with altitude treatment from medical professionals.

5 Tips To Avoid Vail Altitude Sickness

Even though Vail is a major ski resort in Colorado, it is at higher altitude than others. Whether you want to know how to prevent altitude sickness naturallyhow to avoid altitude sickness while skiing, or simply avoid Vail altitude sickness for your upcoming trip, we got you covered.

Just Follow These 5 Tips To Avoid Vail Altitude Sickness:

1. Supplement For Altitude Sickness

Supplements for altitude sickness can help your body adjust easier and faster to combat the high altitude conditions.

Research has found that glutathione can decrease in the body up to 45% at high altitudes.² Glutathione is an antioxidant that helps your body get rid of oxidative stress and toxins. At high altitudes, the air has fewer oxygen molecules per breath due to its density. This causes your body to produce more free radicals and other toxins as it tries to compensate.

Supplement glutathione with a product like our Zaca chewables, which also enhance hydration.

2. Take It Easy

Take it easy when you first arrive in Vail. Many people get excited about the skiing and snowboarding and will hit the slopes right away. This can be a mistake, because you haven't yet acclimated to the elevation change.

If possible, wait a day before going skiing or snowboarding. If you do decide to hit the slopes right away, try to take it easy on your first day of skiing/snowboarding. Rest up and get as much sleep as possible to help your body adjust and avoid altitude sickness.

3. Hydrate A Lot

Drink plenty of water before your trip and during your first few days of travel. The air is much dryer at higher elevations and this can cause dehydration. If you feel thirsty, drink more water than you think you need (at least 64 ounces per day or half your body weight). You should urinate every few hours. If not, try drinking more water until this occurs regularly.

For enhanced hydration, add a hydration packet with electrolytes or glutamine.

4. Acclimate Slowly

Vail is higher than most ski destinations - at 8,150 feet. To avoid altitude sickness you should acclimate slowly. If you can, spend some time in Denver before heading up to Vail. Many visitors will spend a night or two in Denver at 5280 feet, before heading up to Vail.

5. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol may have a negative effect on your body at higher elevations. If you choose to imbibe during your trip, try limiting yourself to one drink during the first day that you arrive in Vail. Then consume alcohol in moderation after that until your body adjusts to the altitude.

In conclusion, to be best prepared follow these five steps including supplementing for altitude sickness, take it easy, hydrate a lot, acclimate slowly, and avoid alcohol. We also have more information on where can I buy altitude sickness pills to supplement.

Our Top Choice For Altitude

supplements for altitude sickness
Our Zaca chewables are packed with glutathione and water-boosting benefits, and sold throughout Colorado stores for altitude. Simply take some chewables leading up to your Vail trip, and every day during your trip. Try our chewables today!








1. Vail Resorts Mountain Fact Sheet
2. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
3. Vail Elevation