In The Spotlight
Vermont's Magic Mountain recently received Act 250 approval for a snowmaking project that will double the size of its existing pond. It adds to the growing number of improvements new owners are making at the Londonderry ski area.
Winter may still be months away, but for officials at Magic Mountain it's never too early to start thinking snow. "These are two major investments that really kind of secure our future," said resort president Geoff Hatheway.
The city has released a skeleton of a developing agreement that could see Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. operating Howelsen Hill.
“It’s an idea at this point,” Steamboat Springs City Council Member Sonja Macys said. “It’s a concept paper to some degree.”
Summer in Idaho mountains has always been popular for folks who seek the remote and the cool of the western massif of the Rocky Mountains – and the 13 major ski and snowboard resorts that are up and running for the summer.
Gem State resorts remain old-school in the summer, as there are no alpine slides, just one mountain coaster (Bogus Basin), and only Tamarack has a zipline. Six of the resorts crank up their lifts for rides to the summit.
Miles and miles of mountain trails criss-cross the state's high country. And most resorts host on-the-back-deck music and full-blown concerts.
Mountain biking reigns supreme in Idaho, and eight resorts crank up a lift or two for scenic uphill transport for MTBers. Sun Valley boasts 400 miles of trails Silver Mountain touts 3,300 vert, and Brundage claims to focus on putting beginners on the mountain quickly. Kelly Canyon opened its lift and trail for MTB this summer.
If disc golf is your thing, head up to Pomerelle where the 18-hole course is at 9,000 feet. The triple chair takes golfers to the first tee -- plus hiking and biking trails galore.
At Schweitzer, the mountain runs twice-daily E-bike tours up onto the mountain. Pedal along 10 miles of trails after leaving the base area. When it gets a little steep, turn on the power assist to get you over the hump.
Silver Mountain runs its three-mile gondola to the summit, where an interpretive nature trail awaits and, on Fridays, a BBQ dinner with live music is on tap.
Bogus Basin packs its base plaza area with summer tubing, bungee tramp, faux gold panning to go along with a couple of high-speed rides down the 4,300-foot Glade Runner mountain coaster.
And true to its Olympic skating tradition, Sun Valley put on ice shows right through the summer on selected Saturdays. Some of the nation's best ice skaters perform, such as Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chan and four-time nation champ Jeremy Abbott.
Once summer settles in, the winter resorts around Lake Tahoe become magnets for city-dwellers aiming to beat the heat – and to have a bunch of fun doing it.
While only three resorts of Tahoe's 12 resorts crank up their lifts during the summer, a half-dozen of the others host a variety of mountain activities – from taking a hike to riding a bike to summer camp in the hills.
Most unusual is lake-shore Homewood's marina that welcomes boating and land-bound visitors to partake in a plethora of water sports and activities – right at the base of the mountain.
At Squaw, the noted High Camp area at 8,200 feet features roller skating, disc golf, geo-coaching, games for kids, the free Olympic museum, and miles of scenic walking trails.
Just off I-80, Northstar California has jumped into the summer fray with the area's largest lift-accessed mountain bike park – single track, downhill and x-c – and its Kids Adventure Zone. At night, check out the stars at the Cosmoarium.
Boreal doesn't fire up lifts, but Camp Woodward at its base features challenges for skateboarders, free-skiers, BMX riders and others who can upgrade trick skills at the indoor facility. New are more MTB trails on the mountain and expanded skate park.
And, nearby Sugar Bowl ramps up summer camp with rock climbing, rafting and environmental ed during three July sessions.
At the south end of the lake, Heavenly has gone full-on summer with its Epic Discovery program at mid-mountain. Ride the gondola and enjoy multiple ziplines, a mountain coaster, climbing walls, ropes courses, tubing and tons of hiking. Epic Pass holders welcome.
Vail Resorts pass also works at Kirkwood, to the south of the lake, where disc golf and boating on alpine lakes await.
Squaw Valley's High Camp is a respite from summer's heat down below. (Tahoe Getaways)
Ramp up your trickster skills with Boreal's summer camp at Woodward Tahoe. (Woodward Tahoe/Facebook)
Homewood, the only North American resort with a marina at the base of its mountain. (Homewood/Facebook)
Northstar's mountain biking trails are among the best in California. (Northstar California/Facebook)
Beginning rock climbers get a taste of ropes, handholds and carabiners at Sugar Bowl. (Sugar Bowl/Facebook)
Zipline-ing is just one of the dozens of summer activities at Heavenly's Epic Discovery. (Heavenly Epic Discovery/Facebook)
Disc golfers face fierce, high-alpine challenges at Kirkwood's course. (Kirkwood/Facebook)