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Coming Up To The High Country: Summer In Summit County

A-Basin-Via-Ferrata Arapahoe Basin's new via ferrata is but one of hundreds of things to do at resorts in Summit County, Colorado. (Arapahoe Basin)

As the weather heats up, Front Range residents and visitors turn their eyes toward the mountains, where they will find cool temps, fresh air, and tons of summer activities awaiting them.

Within easy driving distance of Denver, you'll find gondola and chairlift rides, climbing walls and bungee tramps ziplines and a mountain coaster, and all the hiking and mountain biking you can handle. Here's a look:

With its first formal summer season ever, Arapahoe Basin is touting a new via ferrata guided climbing area at the highest elevation in North America (13,000 feet). Full- and half-day tours offered.

Down below, A-Basin has ramped up its aerial adventure park with three levels of difficulty. And resort chefs serve gourmet meals amid wildflowers up on the mountain.

Summer at Keyston welcomes mountain bikers to some 60 miles of drops, gardens, bridges and berms to choose from -- from easy to gnarly -- on the front side of the mountain.

For others, a scenic ride up the River Run Gondola to marvel at the highest peaks, or a moderate 2-mile hikes off the 11,650-foot-high summit. At the base, Keystone Lake has all the commensurate water activities.

The new Epic Discovery park debuts at Breckenridge. Scattered around the base are coaster, slide, tubing, climbing walls, gold panning sluice, "snow field" and more. Up on the hill, Super Chair lifts bikers to a network of blue and black rides. Or, ride the chair to the top of Peak 8, then slip over to Peak 7 for a summit happy hour.

Copper Mountain fires up its Woodward Park again, with the ninja-course WreckTangle and high-energy Barn headlining. There's one of the longest mountain coasters to ride, scenic chairlift rides to take in the Ten-Mile Range, and an array of mountain bike trails to test out.

Also, you can play a round of golf that winds through the base area or get some boat-bumping in on West Lake.


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