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Go Beyond: Find Summer At Smaller Resorts In West

Powderhorn-Bikes Mountain biking has become the go-to summer activities at resorts around the West. (Powderhorn/Facebook)

If you're venturing up to resorts in the West this summer -- but don't want to fight the crowds -- you might want to check out some smaller resorts for some warm-weather fun.

Any resort that has opened its gates has cautions and rules due to Covid-19. Most concerts, festivals and gatherings have been cancelled, and most resorts have reduced hours and/or days of operations. Those on federal lands may permit camping and hiking, but check USFS district office.

Here's a look at some off-the-beaten-track resorts that might be just the ticket this summer:

In California, head up Tahoe Donner and reserve a kayak or SUP at the marina on Lake Donner. Mornings are first-come, first-served; later in day requires reservations. Swimming permitted only for those in same household.

Cruise up from L.A. to Mountain High North for some of the best disc golf around. Open Thursday-Sunday, the 27-hole course sits at the highest elevation of any in Southern California.

Take ride up north where Mt. Shasta Ski Park has dropped the ropes on its bike park and pair of chairlifts. Plenty of flow rides for all abilities, plus miles of cross-country to get the heart pumping and legs working.

Idaho has plenty to chose from this summer at its numerous smaller resorts. Kids can head into the forest around Boise's home hill Bogus Basin on free guided nature hikes each Saturday (masks and distancing are musts).

Or head up to Brundage Mountain and catch a ride on the Blue Bird Express for scenic vistas of Payette Lake, Long Valley and beyond.

Over in Colorado, you have to go a bit farther to find more elbow room. Just outside Grand Junction, Powderhorn has put time and money into its bike trails, with mostly easy flow rides and a sprinkling of intermediate and expert routes as well.

Though Steamboat Resort is popular, take ride into town and hit the alpine slide at Howelson Hill. And with luck, you might see world-class competitors on the summer-training slippery bristles of Howelson's famed large-hill ski jumps.

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