At 8,250 feet above sea level, the spectacular Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail, Colorado are the highest and one of the most visited botanical gardens in North America. Providing free access to over 100,000 visitors annually, the Gardens delight and educate with each changing season. The Gardens are open year round, offering visitors beautiful streams and waterfalls during the spring runoff, a dazzling array of wildflower colors in the summer, golden aspens during the change of the season, and peaceful hibernation while snow covers the ground. The Gardens seek to cultivate the joy and an appreciation of gardening as well as provide a tranquil reprise from the hectic day-to-day.
Before Your Visit
While most visitors will have no problems with the elevation, the following precautions will ensure your comfort:
- Wide brimmed hat
- Water (available in the gift shop during business hours)
- Comfortable walking shoes
Please be advised that during the winter months, not all paths throughout the Gardens and Education Center are plowed or maintained. It is advised that snowshoes or Yak Trax are used when making your way through the Gardens. Both Snowshoes and Yak Trax are available for use in our Education Center, free of charge.
Directions from Vail Village
The Gardens are located at 522 South Frontage Road in Ford Park in Vail, Colorado. The closest parking to the gardens is adjacent to the softball fields next to Ford Park (closed to public during ski season). If you plan to park in the Vail Village Parking structure, it is about a 10 minute walk to the gardens from the eastern end of the parking structure and by taking the Gore Creek Streamwalk you are guaranteed a lovely walk (snow packed in winter). The in-town bus to Gold Peak is also available from anywhere in the village. The gardens are a short walk through Manor Vail Lodge. During special events, a shuttle service is available from the top of the Vail Transportation Center directly to Ford Park.
From east or west on I-70, take the main Vail exit (#176). After exiting I-70 you will navigate through two roundabouts. Follow the first roundabout until it takes you under I-70. Enter another roundabout, make a left, and continue driving east on to the South Frontage Road. Along the South Frontage Road you will come to a stop sign (note: traffic from the right does not stop). Shortly after the stop sign on your right you’ll see the softball fields and tennis courts at Ford Park. Park in the parking lot next to the softball fields or tennis courts and follow the asphalt path to the gardens (closed during ski season, use main Vail Village parking garage).
Hours & Cost
Hours Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. Cost There is no admission fee, but donations are greatly appreciated. Donation boxes are located throughout the gardens.
The Gardens are ADA accessible (please call for access information); but we do not have wheelchairs available.
Gift Shops Directions & Parking
Our gift shops offer a variety of local and nationally sourced items to inspire and delight every visitor. All proceeds go directly back to supporting the gardens. The Schoolhouse Gift Shop Open Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend Located in the Gardens in Ford Park. Parking for the Schoolhouse Gift Shop is located in the Ford Park Parking Lot. To contact us during the season please call (970) 479-9451 Alpine Treasures Open Year-Round Located in Vail Village at 183 Gore Creek Dr Ste. # 7. Parking for Alpine Treasures is located in the Vail Village Parking Garage. To contact us, please call: (970) 479-7365