Western Slope: Colorado's Summertime Playground In The Mountains

Summer-CB-Cover

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.

 

 

  175 Hits

A Flurry Of Lift Construction Set For Colorado This Summer

New-Loveland

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.

Continue reading
  816 Hits

SnoCast: A Fickle Finish to February

Killington

Following big snow in the Southwest and Four Corners, a storm will work across the country and deliver fresh snow to many Northeast ski areas to finish the week. With new powder all around, let’s dig into this week’s SnoCast forecast.

Continue reading
  1408 Hits

An Epic Pairing: Crested Butte And Telluride

Epic-Mount-CB

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.

Continue reading
  1086 Hits

Ski Mag Ranks The Best Ski Resorts in the U.S.

Best-Resorts

From Vermont's classic glades to the powder-choked bowls of the West, the destinations on this list will delight skiers of all stripes.

Continue reading
  645 Hits

SnoCast: Bursts of Snow and Wintry Chills

skilookout_011922

In this week's SnoCast, we'll see bursts of snow for the Rockies, the Midwest, and Northeast ski areas. And with late-January chilly temperatures on tap, bundle up and hit the slopes during this fairly quiet stretch.

Continue reading
  1416 Hits

7 Ways Your Ski Season Is About To Get Better

Screen-Shot-2021-12-26-at-11.05.48-AM

All across the country, resorts have been working hard to bolster their offerings and to fix systemic issues, from addressing long lift lines and the mountain-town housing shortage to investing in renewable energy. With the proper precautions, there are more reasons than ever to hit the slopes this season.

Continue reading
  1372 Hits

SnoCast: Forecast Features Snow Heading into Thanksgiving Week

SundayRiver2_tw_111521

We’re approaching a huge week for ski country—Thanksgiving is upon us, often marking opening days from coast to coast. This week’s SnoCast has a delicious menu of powder, sun, and chill leading up to the big holiday week. Let's dig in!

Continue reading
  2023 Hits

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

Telluride-Air-Cover

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.

Continue reading
  1288 Hits

Seven Best Colorado Ski Towns

Steamboat

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.

Continue reading
  914 Hits

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

Aspen-Steamboat

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.

Continue reading
  1072 Hits

A New Strategy In The Season Pass War: Medical Insurance Policies

Telluride

The season-pass war that has reshaped the resort industry in recent years is getting a new tactic: injury insurance. 

Continue reading
  888 Hits

It’s Summer in the Ski Towns, 2.0

ski-towns

Last year, mountain resorts were overrun by travelers in search of space and fresh air. The visitors are expected back, but now the towns have expanded activities and plans in place to deal with the crowds.

Continue reading
  1173 Hits

The Colorado Mountains Are Alive With Summer Music Festivals

Tellluride-Concert

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

Continue reading
  1001 Hits

Ski Resorts Work to Stay Open as COVID Cases Snowball

ArriveTogether

The day after Thanksgiving, Dr. Jana Eller and Dr. Shiraz Naqvi were seated beside an outdoor fire pit at the base of Telluride Ski Resort, taking a short break from skiing.

Continue reading
  1304 Hits

SnoCast: Active Pattern with Multiple Storms Ahead for the West

SummitatSnoqualmie_SummitSnow411_TW_120920

This week, snow activity really begins to pick up. As more and more ski areas open, we'll have multiple storms out West and fast movers in the East to build up the bases.

Continue reading
  2704 Hits

Colorado Restricts Resort Capacities As Ski County Covid Cases Spike

Keystone-Mask

Significant increases in positive coronavirus cases in Colorado -- and resultant stress on hospital capacities -- have forced further restrictions on the number of skiers and riders who can hit the slopes at the same time.

Continue reading
  1526 Hits

Off-Season Projects At Half-Dozen Colorado Resorts Ready For Season

ABasin-New-Lift

Believe it or not, there are actually some "what's new" news emanating from Colorado ski and snowboard resorts that aren't related to precautions and adjustments for Covid.

Continue reading
  2583 Hits

Telluride Converting Gondola Cars Into Dining Cabins For The Winter

Telluride_gondola_dining-2

With ski resorts and towns brainstorming for creative ways to meet their guests’ restaurant needs within COVID-19 occupancy constraints this winter, the Town of Mountain Village near Telluride has come up with a novel one: a collection of 20 dining cabins scattered in the base plaza made from refurbished gondola cars.

Continue reading
  2488 Hits

With Winter Travel to Colorado Resorts Very Unclear, Airlines Are Showing “Unprecedented” Flexibility

Airlines

What is usually a set-in-stone schedule of flights is an Etch-a-Sketch this fall as Colorado resorts struggle to gauge demand for skiing and airlines work to accommodate coronavirus-wary travelers.

Continue reading
  1360 Hits