Summer has arrived in Colorado's high country, and a quartet of high-altitude resorts in Summit County are cranking up for a bustling summer at four of the Rocky Mountain's busiest mountains.
Typically opening mid-June, standard warm-weather attractions include scenic chairlift or gondola rides, coasters and slides, hiking and mountain biking, disc golf, climbing walls, and music, food and drink. Expect that some labor-intensive activities like ziplining may have hours curtailed or, in the case of Breckenridge and Vail, be shut down.
At Arapahoe Basin, Summit County's only via ferreta has half- and full-day guided tours on the "iron way" -- a series of iron rungs fixed in the rock face -- that begin at 12,000 feet of elevation, and top out at the 13,000-foot summit on West Ridge. Near the base, the Aerial Adventure Park runs ziplines, swings, and balancing acts through old-growth forest.
Down the road at Keystone, tubing lives on into the summer, as crews pile up leftover snow atop Dercum Mountain (11,640). Lanes typically stay open into July, 10 a.m to 2 p.m. You must buy a ride up the gondola to the summit, and pre-pay by the run for tubing. Plenty of other activities at mountain-top Adventure Point.
On the other side of Dillon Reservoir, the force of gravity prevails at Breckenridge in the summertime. The Gold Runner Alpine Coaster pitches down 2,500 feet on elevated tracks, with two 360-degree loops and a top speed of 27 mph. The resort also has three alpine slides that run 2,600 feet down concave tracks -- with manual braking.
And to the west, Copper Mountain's summer starts in the base area. Check out bumper boats on West Lake, and a challenging go-kart track. The Woodward Wrecktangle presents a dozen obstacles to overcome in the Woodward Copper extreme sport complex. All-day summer pass includes Wrecktangle, unlimited rides up the chairlift, and limited shots at other activities.
The cheapest activities at any of the resorts are hiking and mountain biking. Check Forest Service regulations for e-bikes. Most have designated trails.
In the shadow of battling behemoths, smaller, independent ski areas are thriving. Arapahoe Basin, Echo Mountain, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Ski Granby, Silverton Mountain and Wolf Creek all report record visits, and revenues in the last two seasons.
Summer visitors to Colorado ski and snowboard mountains will see plenty of construction going on, as seven resorts across the state string new lifts for the upcoming season.
With snowmaking temps more favorable, more and more Colorado ski and snowboard resorts are opening, and Ikon Pass holders can try out as much variety in Colorado as in any other state in the Union.
Last season, Covid gave a jolt to the time-honored habits of skiers and riders, but the 2021-2022 season promises to be a bit less restrictive -- with exceptions.
A series of storms will target the West this week with some of the heaviest snow yet of the season in the Sierras, while the East continues to bask in mild temperature. Here are the details in this week’s SnoCast.
The race to be the first to drop the ropes on the 2021-22 season has a new winner this season, as the "friendly" cloak-and-dagger competition reached new heights.
This past week featured the first significant snow of the season. Many ski areas across the Rockies received 4”-10”, with locally near a foot and a half, of fresh snow.
The annual race to be the first U.S. ski and snowboard resort to turn on its lifts is on, as the three usual competitors Arapahoe Basin, Loveland and Keystone utilize their highest-in-the-nation elevations for both the natural and man-made snow cover necessary to win.
Another ski season is nearly here, which means another season of SnoCast is back! This week, we're tracking the first potential big snow of the season.
The arrival of October signals one thing for Colorado’s most passionate skiers and snowboarders: Three Front Range ski areas that vie annually for the distinction of being first to open for the season could begin snowmaking operations very soon.
The Colorado ski and snowboard season usually gets underway in October with the #racetoopen kicking off between Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Wolf Creek and Keystone.
Summer may be waning, but the number of bikes, runs and hikes in the Colorado Rockies isn't fazed by the calendar, as the final weeks of August are filled with activities for the active.
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.
The vast majority of U.S. ski and snowboard resorts have shuttered operations for the season -- many of them extending past announced closing dates -- but a hearty dozen will spin their lifts deep into the spring.
With Copper Mountain and Snowmass shutting down ski operations for the season on Sunday, four Colorado ski areas remain open, and two of them will be closed in two weeks.
Thanks to a snowy March and persistent pent-up desire to hit the slopes, a slew of Colorado ski and snowboard resorts will keep their lifts spinning beyond original closing dates.
Arapahoe Basin has often taken the trail less traveled approach when faced with the challenges of making money while retaining its down-home"vibe" -- and next season's ticket program will keep that going.