Western Slope: Colorado's Summertime Playground In The Mountains

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The west side of the Continental Divide in the Colorado Rockies is home to about half of the ski and snowboard mountains in the state, and a half-dozen of them have built up summer activity infrastructures to lure flat-landers into the mountains.

Several resorts don't run their lifts in the summer -- Powderhorn, Sunlight, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk -- but remain open for hiking and mountain biking, and general summertime leisure time.

If you're looking for a full-on summer menu, check out Telluride. On and off the mountain, there's plenty to keep young and old busy -- from via ferrata to bike parks to kids camps to rafting and Jeep tours. Highlight on the hill is Canopy Adventure, a tree-top complex of zipline, aerial bridges and rappels that begins with ride up the Village Express chair.

At Purgatory, MTB-focused lift access, trail prep and downhill challenges are the norm. The first U.S. resort to host a MBT world championship (1995), "Purg" sells single-ride, day, and season passes-- the latter includes massive Spider Mountain bike park in Austin, Texas.

Another mountain bike mecca is Crested Butte. Its Mountain Bike Park opened in 2009, and its more than 30 miles of single track downhill and X-C runs have been improved ever since. The bike-friendly Red Lady Express does the heavy-lifting to get riders onto the mountain.

Steamboat hosts a ton of attractions around its under-construction base area. Featured is the Outlaw Mountain Coaster with a descent of more than a mile long. With that length, there's plenty of track for loops, turns and twists.

Aspen Mountain and Snowmass crank up their gondolas for summer visitors. A ride up the Silver Queen gondola reaches the11,212-foot summit of Aspen Mountain. The summit area has been developed as the main magnet for the resort, with hiking trails, wildflowers, live music, good food and 360-degree views of Maroon Bells and Roaring Fork Valley.

Across the way, Snowmass turns on a gondola of its own -- the Elk Camp Gondola -- to get folks to the trails, vistas and food in and around mid-mountain Elk Camp. New this summer is the Lost Forest Adventure Center at Elk Camp, with ziplines, bike trails, climbing wall and mountain coaster.

Winter Park is playing off on the popularity of e-bikes this summer with 90-minute tours for pedal-assist mountain bicycles. Three tours run daily from the top of the Explorer Express chair at Sunsport Lodge (also headquarters for renowned Trestle Bike Park). E-bikers head up another 600 feet of vertical to Lunch Rock. No charge for views of Continental Divide.

 

 

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An Epic Pairing: Crested Butte And Telluride

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While Epic Pass holders tend toward destinations along Interstate 70, there's much to be had at a couple of Colorado resorts that are a bit off the beaten track.

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Snow May Not Be Piling Up At Colorado Resorts, But Anxiety Sure Is

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Coronavirus is still a worry, but now ski hill operators must wrestle with too few workers and not enough places to house the ones they’ve hired.

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Colorado Epic Resorts Geared Up For This Season

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A quartet of Colorado resorts in the Epic Pass system is set to show off improvements as the 2021-2022 ski and snowboard season gains momentum.

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Many Options Available For Flying To Colorado's Slopes This Winter

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As the snow begins to fall, it's time to plan ahead and book a flight to your favorite Colorado resort -- whether flying in from East, West or in between.

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SnoCast: First Winter Storm of the Season Ahead

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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. 

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Seven Best Colorado Ski Towns

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It takes more than good terrain to be a truly great ski town. When you're walking in ski boots and lugging your equipment around, a town that sits at the base of the ski area or has a great bus system will make all the difference.

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Wonder Of Gold: Relish The Color Of Autumn At Colorado Mountain Resorts

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In Colorado, the most definitive way to know that summer is over and winter is not long off comes when the high-country aspen groves put on their brilliant yellow coats.

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Ride A Lift Up, Mountain Bike Back Down At 7 Colorado Resorts

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When the snow melts and all that’s left of Colorado’s ski resorts are the seemingly endless trails, rushing mountain water, bright green aspen glades and wildflower-covered meadows, what is there to possibly do?

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Snowcat Skiing, Riding Limited In Colorado This Season

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Hoppin' a ride on a snowcat to get off the piste and into the powder stashes of the backcountry is a popular pastime at Colorado resorts. But this season, there are fewer options than normal.

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Colorado Resort Towns See Flood of Second-Home Buyers

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Schools in Aspen, Vail, and Crested Butte are reporting record interest and enrollment as part-time residents relocate to their vacation homes and urban buyers flock to mountain retreats.

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With Caution And Caveats, Colorado Resorts Open Up For Mountain Biking

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Over the years, mountain biking has become the most popular activity at Colorado ski and snowboard resorts during the summertime -- and most resorts have upped their game with "bike parks" and networks of trails.

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More Time To Get Next Season's Best Annual Pass Price

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The abrupt end to the ski season, amid all the confusion, has prompted some Midwestern ski areas and resorts to push back the deadline for securing next season's annual pass at the best price point. Some have pushed the deadline to the end of this month, and others have pushed it back even further.

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Early Closure of Ski Resorts Triggers 'Feeding Frenzy' for Touring and Backcountry Equipment

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Sean Glackin’s phone exploded within minutes of the news that Vail ski area was closing. The outdoor retailer’s entire rental fleet of alpine-touring skis was quickly rented by a flood of uphill skiers the following day.

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More Colorado Resorts Come On Line As Season Settles In

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The Thanksgiving break not only is Turkey Time, but it's also when many resorts all across the West to crank up the lifts, drop the ropes and welcome a new ski and snowboard season.

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Epic, Ikon Cuts Costs Of Summer Mountain Fun

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Both the Epic Pass and Ikon Pass streamline skiing and riding costs during the winter. Now that summer's here, they switch gears to make warm-weather times in the mountains more affordable, too.

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Summer Fun On The Mountains Of Colorado

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Though the weather has been slow to cooperate, summer is indeed coming to the Colorado Rockies – and with it, tons of recreational diversions for all to enjoy.

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Bucket List Summer Events In The Mountains

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Luckily for mountain town lovers, activities and events aren’t just for the winter. Whether you’re looking to go full-in on biking, music, beer or food (or perhaps them all), mountain resorts across the country are your destination for summer fun. Keep that adventure bucket full with this list from SnoCountry on not-to-miss summer events.

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What Vail Resorts Will Be Up To This Summer

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The largest ski and snowboard resort owner in the world enters its second decade of its expansion with a modest slate of on-mountain upgrades and a couple of portfolio-wide improvements.

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Epic Burger? Where to Find the Best One in Colorado

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My wife and I smelled beef sizzling on an outdoor grill at one of Colorado’s premier ski resorts. An employee there was systematically flipping what must have been four dozen beef patties.

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