There’s no denying it has been one hot summer here in Denver. So, why not take a break from the heat and hop on the road to higher ground on an epic road trip to some of Colorado’s favorite ski resorts? While not as cool as they are in winter, ski resorts are no longer just cold-weather destinations. They’re also perfect for summer retreats to beat the heat. With five resorts located within a few hours of one another, trade in your skis for bikes and your boards for hikes this summer with one epic Colorado road trip to these five ski resorts.
Kick off your road trip 1.5 hours west of Denver with a stop at Keystone. Sitting at 9,280 feet in elevation, Keystone offers a laid-back environment that is full of adventures with fewer crowds. Whether you’re into hiking, downhill mountain biking, hitting the links for a round of golf, horseback riding, stand-up paddle boarding, or simply relaxing poolside, Keystone has something for everyone this summer.
What To Do
From downhill on snow to downhill on dirt, check out the Keystone Bike Park. Keystone offers some of the country’s best downhill mountain biking where you can descend more than 30 miles of trails including lift-serviced singletrack for both beginner and expert riders.
Keystone Resort is also home to two distinct golf courses, offering 36-holes of championship golf in one beautiful setting, The River Course and the Keystone Ranch Golf Course. For a truly unique experience, explore the historic Soda Valley with one of Keystone’s signature Dinner Wagon Sleigh Rides where you can take in the beauty of the White River National Forest and soak up a bit of history.
On-the-mountain outdoor activities abound at the River Run Gondola Base Area including mountaintop tubing, climbing walls, bike park and bike haul, plus scenic gondola rides. On the water, visit the Lakeside Village to enjoy activities like kayaking, canoeing, paddle boats, paddle boarding and even bungee trampolines.
For more information about summer activities at Keystone, visit Keystoneresort.com
Just a stone’s throw away is your next stop in Breckenridge. Gain the ultimate high alpine summer experience with scenic chairlift rides, mountainside activities, hiking, biking and more. In town, explore more than 200 restaurants, bars, and shops, throughout the historic downtown.
What To Do
The highlight of summer fun begins at Peak 8 Base Camp with Epic Discovery, accessible via the free BreckConnect Gondola in town, where visitors will find the Gold Runner Coaster and Alpine Slides. From there, take a scenic ride on the Colorado SuperChair to Alpine Camp featuring the Gold Summit Climbing Wall and the Alpine Challenge Course.
Or immerse yourself in nature and hit the trails across the resort’s summer trail system. Enjoy a scenic hike amongst the wildflowers along the Horseshoe Bowl Trail or seek the thrill of downhill via bike hauls on the Colorado SuperChair where you can catch 12 different mountain bike trails. Give your legs a break with an open-air safari-style 4×4 tour that takes you off the beaten path and discover some of the most epic views of the Ten Mile Range.
To learn more about summer activities in Breckenridge, visit Breckenridge.com
Continue your adventures by heading west on I-70 towards Vail Mountain. Spanning more than 5,000 acres under blue skies and mountain peaks, Vail is the world’s premier mountain resort destination. While visitors come from around the world to experience Vail in the winter, the resort is also home to your next summer adventure.
Your on-the-mountain experience becomes truly elevated with the vast terrain of the surrounding Gore and Sawatch Ranges to world-class shops and spas and the abundant culinary options and luxurious accommodations of Vail and Lionshead Villages.
What To Do
Rediscover Vail Mountain via the Vail Resort’s Epic Discovery passes and have fun riding the 3,400-foot-long Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster, slide down the 550-foot tubing hill, or climb your way to the top via the climbing wall. Whether a kid or a kid at heart, there are many ways to play on the mountain.
Of course, Vail is also known for its beautiful hiking trails. Explore more than 20 miles of trails that are accessible for all ages and abilities or take to two wheels with Vail’s 40 miles of mountain biking trails for both novice and expert riders.
To learn more about summer adventures in Vail, visit Vail.com.
A short 10 miles down the road from Vail, Beaver Creek Resort offers a refined atmosphere still filled with summer adventures and activities. Experience the best of Beaver Creek with its scenic chairlift rides, 50 miles of mountain biking trails and 62 miles of hiking trails, 4×4 tours, horseback riding, fly-fishing, golfing, tennis, live music, fine dining and festivals such as Oktoberfest happening Labor Day weekend.
What To Do
Beaver Creek Summer Adventure Center is the base camp for your summer activities. Located in the heart of the Beaver Creek Village, the center is where you will find equipment rentals, tickets for activities, plus food and wine excursions. And just above Beaver Creek Village, you will find activities such as the Bungee Trampoline, Gem Panning, Climbing Wall, and Miniature Golf.
No visit to Beaver Creek is complete without a mountaintop glimpse of the surrounding peaks. Guests can ascend the Centennial Express Chairlift and Gondola to Spruce Saddle Lodge for stunning views.
Hiking in Beaver Creek is an adventure for the senses with Lift & Lunch packages, nature tours and decadent wine and cheese excursions. For those seeking a little more thrill, descend Beaver Creek’s 50 miles of mountain biking trails that offer a little something for everyone.
Take a swing at the three championship golf courses in Beaver Creek, the Beaver Creek Golf Club and Red Sky Golf Club. And for a truly unique experience, join on select dates throughout summer, Beaver Creek’s one-of-a-kind Wine Excursions. Enjoy a scenic hike or 4×4 Adventure Tour which leads to a gourmet wine and cheese pairing at Beano’s Cabin.
For more information about your elevated mountain experience, visit BeaverCreek.com.
Extend your road trip further and cap it off with a visit to Crested Butte. Located in southwest Colorado, a 4.5-hour drive from Denver and 200 miles southwest of Beaver Creek, Crested Butte creates the secluded retreat you’ve been looking for.
What To Do
Did you know eighty percent of the land surrounding Crested Butte Mountain Resort is open space? Making this mountain town one of the best destinations for outdoor adventures, all from your doorstep. Hike along trails where wildflowers dot the mountainside, for which Crested Butte is officially named, “Wildflower Capital of the World,” or dash down the mountain on one of the many mountain biking trails that are some of the best in the state.
Plus, CBMR features an incredible 20-target archery course at the top of the Red Lady Express and a disc golf course, 10-3 @ CB, named after the course’s high-alpine elevation of 10,300 feet. Enjoy 18 holes of pure fun for all. Note, that you must bring your own discs as the adventure center is not renting them out this summer.
In town, walk amongst the downtown historic district lined with colorful buildings and businesses. Additionally, Crested Butte was certified as a Creative District making it a great place to discover local artists and creatives.
To learn more about summer at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, visit skicb.com.
Most of these summer activities at each resort run through Labor Day weekend before they have to start preparing for the upcoming winter season. So, hurry and enjoy the last bit of summer in the high country while you can!