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Colorado Resorts Set For Summer Openings

Aspen mountain bikingIn the summer, Colorado resorts become a hub for warm-weather fun both around the base areas and on the mountains. 

Many come to the hills to see the scenery, and there’s no better way than to take a ride up a chairlift or gondola to get to the best vantage points.

Here’s a sample of when Colorado mountains reopen for the summer and what’s in store:

Aspen Mountain. Silver Queen Gondola opens for daily rides June 18, although also will be running on the three weekends prior. The enclosed ride takes visitors to the 11,200-foot summit of Bell Mountain, where the Sundeck Restaurant, disc golf and a slew of hiking and downhill biking trails await.

Copper Mountain. The American Eagle chair begins turning daily June 10. The cost of a ride is free, if you spend $12 in the village area first. The lift gets you to Solitude Station for biking, hiking or sunbathing on the deck.

Crested Butte. The Silver Queen Express lift is the main route for sightseeing and mountain-top hiking. The Red Lady Express is where mountain bikers in this two-wheeled haven get access to the Evolution Bike Park -- some of the best downhill terrain around. Both lifts start running June. 11.

Howelson Hill. Steamboat’s town hill drops the ropes on June 9 for lift rides to the Howler Alpine Slide. Pick up a sled at the top and navigate 2,400 feet of track to the bottom.

Powderhorn. Lift-served mountain biking begins July 2 at the mountain above Grand Junction. Two new downhill trails have been built in the past year.

Purgatory. May 28 is the first day of summer at the southern Colorado resort, as the main lift out of the base begins spinning. This is one of the original mountain biking spots in Colorado.

Snowmass. The Elk Camp Gondola starts to take hikers, bikers and sightseers to the Elk Camp Meadows activity complex at mid-mountain June 24.

Steamboat. Scenic gondola rides crank up June 9 to get summer enthusiasts up to the mid-mountain area up Mt. Werner, where hiking or biking or just plain relaxing on the Oasis Deck awaits.

Telluride. Gondola starts running May 26 for hikers, and will give on-mountain access for mountain biking park in mid-June.

Photo: Top - Aspen Mountain's mountain biking is accessed on the Silver Queen gondola (Aspen Snowmass/Facebook); Below - Scenic chairlift rides, like this one at Copper Mountain, are attractions all across Colorado ski resorts (Copper Mountain/Facebook)

Copper Mt. scenic rides

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