Colorado ski and snowboard resorts took a short break after winter, but they quickly turned their attention to the burgeoning summer season – full of hikes and bikes and thrills of all kinds.
In the past decade, resorts have worked hard to get visitors to come up to altitude. Along with the basic hiking, mountain biking and scenic lifts have come a slew of ziplines, disc and mini golf courses, ropes courses and climbing walls, coasters and alpine slides. Some cluster activities like games, challenges and plain fun in “adventure parks.” Add in yoga, fly-fishing, nature walks and horseback riding, and every minute can be filled while vacationing in the cool mountain air.
Colorado mountains keep adding more to their portfolio of warm-weather diversions. This summer, among the latest attractions is paddle-boarding with yoga at Breckenridge. And, new mountain coasters go into service at Snowmass and Purgatory, which also adds mountain scooters to its offerings.
Golfers can tee it up at a number resorts, and those resorts near rivers hook up with river-running companies for rafting, kayaking and standup paddle-boarding.
SnoCountry.com went looking for some of the more off-beat, innovative choices for summer fun in the Colorado mountains. Here’s what we found:
Breckenridge brings on summer dog sledding. Hook up a golf cart to a team of sled dogs for a group ride through the forest. For the more adventurous, rent a scooter and a pair dogs for a wild ride around the valley.
Over at Keystone, the resort’s crews have saved some snow from the winter season for summer snow tubing. Take a ride up to the top of Dercum Mountain and re-enact winter tubing without the parkas, snow pants or woolen hats. A package deal includes lunch at the top of the mountain.
Head to the southwest corner of the state to Telluride and a host of summer variety. Tops is paragliding. Step out into space with an experienced guide off the top of the gondola for an hour’s flight for a eye-popping view of the ski trails and valley below.
Mountain biking abounds in Colorado, and Winter Park has one of the most extensive networks of trails, ramps, jumps and steeps in the state. All served by lifts, Trestle Park winds all over the mountain with easy, intermediate and difficult routes.
Although Monarch Mountain’s lift are idle for the summer, across U.S. 50 is the Monarch Crest Scenic Tramway – the oldest working tramway in Colorado. Ascend to 12,000 feet of elevation and stand atop the Continental Divide, with horizon-to-horizon views of peaks and vast forests. A web of hiking and biking trails spread out from there.