North America's Premier International Resort Community

Parks and Playgrounds

Vail Parks Available for Gatherings, Events and Programs
If you’re looking to host a gathering in any of Vail’s parks, they’re available for your use on a first-come, first-served basis. The Town of Vail owns, manages and maintains 8 neighborhood parks, 2 community parks, (Ford Park and Donovan Park) and numerous pocket parks. In addition, Vail’s custom designed playgrounds at many of the parks are enjoyed by people of all ages.

Vail's Parks, Recreation and Open Space

For a multitude of activities, Ford Park includes amenities such as the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Tennis Center, athletic field, picnic areas, half-court basketball and a custom play area. In addition, you can enjoy the open space next to the playground, the picnic tables under the shelter and the Moroles sculpture area, all located at the lower bench of Ford Park. There are many recreation and event opportunities to take advantage of in Ford Park as well. Contact the following groups for programming information:
  • Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, 970-476-0103 (botanical gardens, education center, tours)
  • Vail Recreation District, 970-479-2280 (events at athletic fields); Tennis Center, 970-479-2294 (youth and adult lessons and leagues)
  • Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, 970-777-2015 for special programming and Vail Valley Foundation and Bravo! Vail events Box Office, 970-845-8497 (concerts and dance festival)
  • Vail Nature Center, 970-479-2291 (youth and adult programs, tours, and events) 

Please note the Town of Vail has an open container law that prohibits alcohol consumption in its parks and on public rights-of-way without proper State of Colorado alcohol permits. For more information about summertime in Vail, visit


Community Parks

Ford Park
Ford Park includes the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Gerald R Ford Amphitheater, Tennis Center, athletic fields, picnic areas, ½ court basketball and a custom play area. Enjoy the open space next to the playground, the picnic tables under the shelter and the Morales sculpture area all located at the lower bench of Ford Park.

Donovan Park
Donovan Park includes the Donovan Pavilion, Vail Waterwise Demonstration Garden, athletic fields, picnic areas, basketball court and a custom play area.


Neighborhood Parks  

Bighorn Park

Booth Creek Park
Buffehr Creek Park
Ellefson Park
Pirateship Park
Red Sandstone Park
Stephens Park
Sunbird Park


Town of Vail Playgrounds

Vail is one of only a few communities that still custom design and custom build our play areas.  In most cases, Vail’s playground designers include an artist as part of the design team to inspire new ideas. The artistic concepts evolve into play structures, equipment and whimsical elements and help Vail’s play areas stand out above the rest.


Off-leash Dog Friendly Parks

Dogs are allowed on leashes in all town parks, except for Ford Park or within 100 feet of an athletic field. An "off-leash" program has been established at Bighorn Park in East Vail and at Stephens Park in West Vail.

Safety Reminders for Your Best Friend
Dogs are a big part of the mountain lifestyle and are considered a member of the family by many. When you’re out enjoying Vail, please remember to control your dog. Within the Town of Vail, dogs must be on a leash in Vail Village, Lionshead Mall, on all bike paths and in all the town parks except for Bighorn and Stephens parks. Both Bighorn and Stephens parks are dog friendly parks and dogs may be off their leash and controlled by voice command, with the exception of the playground areas. Remember to always clean up after your dog. Dog waste left in the environment transmits bacteria such as E. coli into Gore Creek. Pet pickup bags are provided throughout town for your convenience, but never leave home without one! Also, never leave a dog left unattended, especially inside a vehicle. During the warmer months, that temperature can rapidly increase threatening the health and safety of your animal. Even with the windows down, the temperature can be up to 20 degrees hotter than the outside. Please leave your pet at home rather than risk a dangerous and regrettable circumstance.


Parks and Landscape Maintenance

Contact: Parks Superintendent, 970-477-3424.

A division of the Department of Public Works, Parks and Landscape Maintenance provides design, development, maintenance and management of all town parks, playgrounds, recreation paths and open space.

The division also provides landscaping, horticulture, arborist, weed management, roadside vegetation management and turf management services.

The division employs nine full time employees and 18 summer seasonal employees.

General Park Information

Vail Village Welcome Center:
241 South Frontage Rd.,
Suite 8150,
Vail, Colorado 81657

Vail Public Works:
1309 Elkhorn Drive
Vail, Colorado 81657
970-479-2158 (8-5/M-F)