On a Vail jeep tour with Timberline Tours, Colorado history is definitely a part of the adventure. So if you’re someone who wants to know about how Vail got its beginnings or what ghost towns are in the area, then come discover this adventurous history on a jeep tour. Want to know where Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division soldiers trained or where an old railroad used to run? Yep: You’ll discover this kind of Colorado history on Timberline’s Vail jeep tours, too.
The history of Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division is intertwined with Vail’s beginnings, and several Timberline jeep tours explore these areas of historical significance. The Camp Hale jeep trails, especially, go through the heart of 10th Mountain Division history.
Find out more here about these inspiring solders who trained near Vail, and join us on a jeep tour to experience their living history.
Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division & Vail Beginnings
While training at Camp Hale near Vail from 1941-1944, the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division pioneered critical warfare techniques that were used in the rugged mountain battles of World War II. Importantly, these solders perfected the mountaineering and skiing skills that they would continue to use after the war. As the men of the 10th Mountain Division returned to Colorado from Europe, they had a profound influence on Colorado’s budding ski industry. These soldiers had a role in the beginnings of ski resorts including Vail, A-Basin, Loveland, Aspen, and Winter Park, just to name a few.
Pete Seibert was the 10th Mountain Division soldier who returned to Colorado after fighting in Italy to initiate Vail’s development from a swath of bare land where sheep herds roamed into the resort it is today. After the war, Seibert spent time in Aspen, Loveland, and in Europe gaining knowledge of the ski industry, and he joined with Earl Eaton in 1957 to explore the untracked terrain west of Vail Pass that would eventually become Vail. Other 10th Mountain Division solders including Bob Parker, Bill “Sarge” Brown, Ben Duke, attorney Jack Tweedy, and others, were also involved in Vail’s transformation.
Camp Hale Jeep Tours and 10th Mountain Division History
Remnants of the 10th Mountain Division training ground remain at Camp Hale in the historic Pando Valley near Vail. Timberline’s Camp Hale jeep tour is a must-do for history buffs who also want to experience Colorado’s majestic mountain scenery. After departing from Vail, this tour follows the 10th Mountain Division Memorial Highway all the way up Battle Mountain, past the abandoned mining settlement of Gilman to Red Cliff, one of Colorado’s oldest and last authentic mountain towns.
The tour leaves the road to explore some of the best Colorado jeep trails near Camp Hale, now a national historic site. Here, you’ll see where more than 14,000 soldiers honed their expertise in skiing, mountaineering, and winter survival to prepare for the mountain battles they’d fight in Europe during World War II. Jeep tour guides will share stories of the harsh training that the 10th Mountain Division soldiers endured as this tour traces the steps of the ski soldiers all the way up to Machine Gun Ridge at 12,168 feet.
The Camp Hale jeep tour spends a large portion of time above tree line, with spectacular views unfolding of Colorado’s tallest peaks, including Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, the Gore Range, and a 10th Mountain Division hut. Plus, it offers the best possible view of the elusive cross on Mount of the Holy Cross, which towers high in the Sawatch Range at 14,005 feet.
To experience the living history of Colorado’s 10th Mountain Division soldiers yourself, join Timberline on a Camp Hale jeep tour with an inquiring mind. Guides will share enthusiasm with those who want to know more about Colorado history, and they’ll no doubt share their extensive local knowledge for an experience that’s as educational as it is unforgettable.
Note: Due to seasonality, group dynamics, trail conditions and other factors, guides work with guests on the day of a jeep tour to determine the best tour available. Please call our office with any questions about requesting private and specialty trips: (970) 476-1414.
CONTACT TIMBERLINE TOURS TODAY
Timberline Tours is the Vail-area’s premier whitewater rafting and backcountry jeep tours outfitter, also offering stand up paddle board (SUP) and duckie river trips on Colorado’s Eagle, Colorado, and Arkansas Rivers. All of our guided trips are open to Vail, Colorado visitors, locals, families, and corporate groups.
To book your Vail, Colorado adventure, call Timberline Tours at (970) 476-1414, or email us at email@example.com.
Some of the historical information in this post has been adapted from Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum’s 10th Mountain Division history articles: www.skimuseum.net.