Oregon Resorts Beckon With Late Summer Attractions

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The summer season has a month or so remaining in Oregon, where a quintet of ski and snowboard resorts attract outdoor enthusiasts of all skills and ages.

Plenty to do at Mt. Bachelor, highlighted by an extensive zipline setup at the top of Pine Marten chairlift. Starting at more than 7,800 feet elevation (right at timberline), a side-by-side cable drops a total of 1,400 feet in a three-stage tour. It's touted as the highest, steepest and fast zip tour in the Northwest.

In addition to the zipline, Mt. Bachelor serves up disc golf, MTB and hiking trails, and chairlift rides up into the spectacular volcanic landscape in southern Oregon.

With the highest elevations in the state, eastern Oregon's Anthony Lakes has fine-tuned a network of mountain biking trails on the mountain and in nearby terrain. No lifts run, so MTB-ers should expect uphill, downhill and level tracks -- all laid out on nordic trails.

Toughest climb has a 1,000-foot elevation gain, and the renowned Broadway Flow Trail covers three miles of banks and berms. A leisurely level ride circles Anthony Lake itself. Trail system open Thursdays through Sundays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Just northwest of Mt. Hood, Cooper Spur has both road and mountain biking routes. Road bikers hit the pavement for the 18-mile circuit down into the valley and back. It's a long and easy MTB route around the mountain itself. All enjoy clear views of Mt. Hood.

On the southeast shoulder of the extinct volcano, Mt. Hood Meadows cranks up the Stadium Chair to get folks to a high ridge, where a web of hiking trails for stroller to trail runner await. The resort also offer a slew of kids camps and music series.

Off the southwest of the mountain, you'll find Mt. Hood SkiBowl that offers up a smorgasbord of classic summer activities. Go-karts, batting cages, free-fall bungee jump tower and aerial park, climbing wall, and Aqua Rollers (human hamster cages) nestle up to the East base area. On the west side, scenic chairlift rides and interpretive hikes complete SkiBowl's summer menu.

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Three State Of Washington Mountains That Lure Summer Visitors

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In the state of Washington, a trio of ski and snowboard mountains flip the toggle from winter to summer to entice city dwellers and vacationers to head into the Cascades.

Stevens Pass is a two-hour drive from Seattle, pending summer construction delays. Regular bus service runs during the summer, an inexpensive way to avoid traffic on busy U.S. 2.

Owned by Vail Resorts, a Stevens Pass' summer focuses on the mountain bike park. Winding around and down the lower front portion of the mountain, the downhill trail map features two categories: freeride and technical.

The man-made jumps and ramps and berms in the freeride network take riders down two green runs, one blue and one black diamond. The more difficult natural-terrain technical runs rate one short green, three top-to-bottom blues and one black diamond and one double-black.

All runs can be reached via the Hogback chairlift, which is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays to Sundays. Other things to do include scenic chairlift rides, disc golf and guided tours.

A two-hour drive from Seattle, summer at Crystal Mountain takes its cues from its location across from Mt. Ranier -- deep in the Cascade Range. There's hardly a spot on the mountain where the 14,417-foot stratovolcano cannot be seen.

Thus, summer activities at Crystal emphasize getting up and on the mountain. The state's only gondola tops out at 7,000 feet in elevation, where visitor can go on self-guided interpretive walks or spin a Frisbee on the summit disc golf course up there. Other ways to enjoy the scenery and cool mountain air can be had with horseback riding and hiking tours.

The gondola runs seven days a week through Labor Day, then Fridays through Sundays until Sept. 25.

The northernmost ski and snowboard mountain in the West, 49 Degrees North is tucked up in the Colville National Forest near both the Idaho and Canadian borders.

This back-country, hardy setting lends itself to summer hiking and no-lift mountain biking. Take one of several service roads up into the three high-mountain basins. Or top out at 5,774-foot-high Chewelah Peak. From there, nearly 2,000 vertical feet await, and it's hiker's and biker's choice as to the ways down. And don't forget to pull over for pick-and-eat huckleberries that grow all over the mountain.

 

 

 

 

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Inland Northwest Resorts Embrace Bikes, Hikes And Quietude

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Between the crest of the Cascades and western front of the Northern Rockies, a half-dozen ski and snowboard resorts stay open -- in varying degrees -- during the summer months for all to cool out a bit.

Summer activity menus ranges from the full-on "adventure park" concept to mountain biking and scenic lift rides to mellow hiking and meditating upon Nature.

Up near the Canadian border, Schweitzer Mountain looms above Lake Pend Oreille and Sandpoint, Idaho. A chairlift ride gets you to mountaintop restaurant Sky House for views, brews and food amidst the Kanitzu National Forest. There's a summit disc golf course, too, and more than 40 miles of MTB trails head down to the resort base -- home to dual ziplines, climbing wall, trampoline and more.

Jump across into Washington and check out 49 Degrees North, one of the northernmost resorts in U.S. It's old-school summer on Chewelah Peak: No lifts, no "attractions" other than a half-dozen MTB and hiking trails along service roads. Mid-summer mean huckleberry picking season all over the resort's three basins.

Still in Washington is Mt. Spokane outside the state's largest city east of the Cascades. The non-profit day hill is open for hiking and biking (no lifts), and Saturdays' Brews and Views at the summit's Vista House.

Back into Idaho, Silver Mountain above Kellogg boasts Idaho's largest indoor water park -- perfect for cooling down in a hot summer. Park has a dozen stations, including flow rider for surfing, lazy downriver tubing, Minor's Island for kids, and a overhead rope course. On the mountain, the nation's longest gondola runs carries lookie-loos, hikers and mountain bikers for fresh air at the summit.

Right at the Montana-Idaho border, Lookout Pass is a short drive from silver boomtowns Wallace and Mullan. Few bike routes compare with the famed Hiawatha Trail, operated by the resort. A premier rail-trail, the 15-mile, all-downhill ride straddles the state line with 10 tunnels, seven train trestles, interpretive stops and drop-dead views of the Bitterroots. At the resort, chairlift runs Friday-Sunday for hiking, mountain biking and soaking in the scenery.

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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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Lake Tahoe Mountains Turn Up The Heat With Summer Activities

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Warm-weather brings Lake Tahoe into its off-season bloom, and the mountain resorts that ring the largest lake in the Sierra put on their summertime best for visitors near and far.

Gondolas and chairlifts run all summer to open up vistas from ridgelines surrounding the lake. The usual fare of ziplines, hiking and biking, coasters and alpine slides, and adventure park challenges await. Here's a look at some of the highlights:

There's a new via ferrata on the Tram Face of Palisades TahoeGuides take climbers up two routes of permanent iron anchors and cables. Group or individual tours go 2, 3 or 4 hours daily. A tram ride ends at the popular High Camp at 8,200-foot elevation, where you can roller-skate, hike, disc golf and geo-cache.

Anchoring the south end of the lake, Heavenly's main gondola takes folks up to mid-mountain for the resort's summertime fare. There, thrill-seekers will find the Ridge Rider Coaster with 90-second slide down 3,400 feet of loops, twists and turns; lift-served Hot Shot zipline; tubing; and, adventure park. Or jump on the Tamarack Express chair to get higher.

Few downhill MTB systems can match Northstar's network of black-expert trails. A gondola ride to mid-mountain gets biker to two high-speed chairs equipped to bring rider and bike to dozens of single-track, cross-country and downhill runs.

Down south, Kirkwood boasts one of the most challenging disc golf courses around -- and one that is in its 23rd year. The course climbs out of the Timber Creek base area and winds through forests up and down the front. And it's all free.

On the west side of the lake, Homewood takes advantage of its lakefront location to promote its marina and water activities. Home to the High Sierra Water Ski School, visitors can purchase lessons in waterskiing, wakeboarding, waterskating and wakesurfing. Rentals of all sorts of water craft available.

Just off Donner Pass, Boreal is home to California's only Woodward youth active sports campus. Woodward Tahoe has two skate parks, BMX park and MTB trails on the lower mountain, plus base-area Wrecktangle and Woodward headquarters.

 

 

 

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Choices Expand For Summer In The Utah Mountains

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The seasonal gears have shifted, and Utah's 14 winter resorts are in full-on summer mode with everything from disc golf to mountain biking to riding atop a tramway car in the offing.

Resorts' emphasis on summertime activities continues to grow in the Beehive State, as locals and visitors more and more look to the mountains for exercise and enjoyment. Most mountains keep restaurants open during the offseason. In addition, concerts, workshops, themed festivals and competitions can be found on all around the mountains. And wildflower viewing is always worth the ride into the hills.

A few resorts are open seven days a week, but most open up only for several days around the weekend during the warm offseason. Four Utah resorts won't run chairlifts this summer; instead, Brighton, Cherry Peak and Beaver Mountain highlight hiking and biking trails as mountain getaways, and Alta again focuses on environmental projects.

Snowbird caught the headlines with its rooftop tram ride this summer. One of the two cars on Utah's only tramway will have limited space on top, and floor-to-ceiling windows inside. The base area will be busy, with slides and coaster and all manner of climbing challenges.

Powder Mountain opens a new downhill MTB park served by the Hidden Express chair. To limit crowds, day tickets will cap at 250, and only 500 summer season passes will be sold.

Park City Mountain debuts a new golf course at Canyons Village. Many of the fairways run on winter ski trails, and the course elevation rises and falls throughout. Three lifts bring MTBers to mountain tracks.

A new beginner MTB track is in the works at Solitude, which now is open Thursday-Sunday. Also debuting are climbing wall, bungee trampoline and mini-disc golf.

On the southern terminus of the Wasatch, Sundance brings beginner-flow and intermediate level MTB tracks online. And, of course, the resort's renowned high and long ziplines are due to attract the adventurous crowd.

At Snowbasin, there are 26 miles of hiking and biking trails off the Needles Gondola -- dogs always welcome. And, the northern Utah resort welcomes the return of the live Brews, Blues & Barbecue summer music series.

And, classical music aficionados will once again get to listen to the Utah Symphony's concert series under the evening skies at Deer Valley.

In southern Utah, the focus is on the hardiest athletes, with Eagle Point's Crusher in the Tushars and Tushar Mountain Runs in July, and Brian Head's Women's Epic Race and Brian Shredder downhill MTB race in June.

 

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Summit County Resorts Open Up For Colorado Summer

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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.

 

 

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Embrace The Variety During The Dog Days At Utah Resorts

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For Utahns and summer visitors, all that's going on during August in the mountains demands that itineraries include a trip into the Wasatch.

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Things Are Hoppin' At Mammoth Mountain In August

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Few ski and snowboard resorts in the West open up their arms to summer festivals and special events like Mammoth Mountain in the southern Sierra.

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Colorado Opens Its Taps For August Brewfests

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The month of August puts Colorado's mountains on display -- their high meadows flowing with chilly creek waters. What better to celebrate the high country with than a few mugs of craft beer. 

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The Utah Hills Are Alive With Summer Concerts

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Despite Covid restrictions, the ski and snowboard resorts of Utah had a boffo summer season last year with hiking, biking, scenic lift rides and other social-distanced activities. But one key attraction was missing: Music.

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Head To The Southern California Mountains For A Summer Of Fun

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Within a couple of hours' drive, you can find five resorts that convert their winter terrain into a summer funfest amidst the San Bernadino Mountains. Here's a look at what's up there.

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Coming Up To The High Country: Summer In Summit County

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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.

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Deer Valley Resort Opens For Summer Operations June 18

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Deer Valley Resort welcomes guests back to the mountains for a summer season full of outdoor activities. Summer chairlift operations are scheduled to run daily from June 18 through September 6 and then for three additional long weekends, Friday-Sunday, through September 26, 2021. (Weather and conditions permitting.)

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The Best Summer Activities To Keep Your Ski Legs In The Off-Season

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The snowpack is quickly dwindling, bike trails are drying out, and the long adventurous days of summer are top of mind. It’s hard to say goodbye to ski season when your favorite resort finally stops spinning lifts, but let’s be real—your aching feet could probably use a break from the harsh reality of being crammed in ski boots all winter. 

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Go Beyond: Find Summer At Smaller Resorts In West

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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.

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10 Ski Towns To Visit This Sumer That You Probably Never Heard Of

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Of course, this list could be another listing of “easy” resorts to name like Lake Tahoe, Park City, or Jackson Hole. Instead of showcasing the popular mountains in summer destinations, we decided to focus on some lesser known spots. Here are 10 mountain towns to visit in the summer and why.

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Summer At West Ski Resorts With Covid-19 In Mind

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Many of the usual summer activities -- mountain biking, ziplines, hiking, scenic lift rides -- will be in place in the West during the warm months. But the Covid-19 pandemic has forced resorts to tone down or fully eliminate offerings for the time being.

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Soakin' In The Mountains: Hot Springs Across The West

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After hiking in the mountains, the chance to soak sore muscles in a warm or hot springs pool beckons us all -- especially as the weather cools.

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Wheelin' The Wasatch: Mountain Biking In Utah

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As fall approaches, ski and snowboard resorts begin to close down summertime activities in order to get ready for winter. However, the mountain biking season just goes on and on, especially in Utah.

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