4 Summer Activities To Try At Altitude

Header Image by Dave Camara.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (A-Basin) is known as The Legend for being home to the longest ski season in Colorado, but for those who know it’s also a special escape from the heat of summer. A quintessential Colorado summer day starts at A-Basin’s 10,780-foot base area where the mountain air stays cool and the vibe is always chill. Overwhelming crowds aren’t in the forecast, and you’re never more than a few steps away from a scenic spot and an award-winning bacon bloody Mary.

You will find a few things at the Basin that you won’t find anywhere else, like a sense of solitude, a simplified experience on the mountain and quick access to a high-alpine environment. The Basin is a peaceful, beautiful and welcoming place to experience summer in the Rockies.

Photo by Dave Camara


A-Basin is nestled in the White River National Forest just 68 miles west of Denver. There are six miles of front-side trails open to hiking and mountain biking that ascend to 12,500 feet. There, at the convergence of the ski area’s three highest lifts, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of multiple 14ers, the Continental Divide and the rocky alpine terrain of A-Basin’s East Wall. The intrepid hiker or mountain biker can connect to additional Forest Service trails from the top, where their only company might be the Basin’s resident mountain goats.

For something slightly more tranquil, grab a scenic lift ride to and from mid-mountain; play a round of disc golf on the Basin’s 18-hole course; or join a guided wildflower hike on select Sundays and Mondays, July 7 – August 19.

Photo by: Curtis DeVore

Eat and Drink

After spending your morning traversing the mountain, treat yourself to house-smoked BBQ from the Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain, open for lunch Fridays-Mondays. Sit out on the deck to gaze over large fields of wildflowers and watch for wildlife.

Between July and September, A-Basin also hosts foodie events like a Southern low-country shrimp boil, New England clambake, a Colorado harvest food festival and an Oktoberfest.

Photo by Dave Camara


Cap off your afternoon by kicking back in the base area to enjoy yard games and one of 11 free summer concerts, every Saturday through September 14. If you’re still thirsty, the 6th Alley Bar and Grill will be serving up food and bacon bloody Mary’s until 4:00 p.m., Fridays-Mondays. If your relaxation needs more flexibility, begin your Friday or Sunday morning with a group yoga session on the deck of the A-Frame lodge.

Photo by Dave Camara


Need more of a challenge? Mix it up with the locals at one of four trail runs or multiple disc golf competitions hosted at the Basin. Major events include the Cirque Series trail race August 10 and a Professional Disc Golf Association-sanctioned tournament August 3-4.

The Arapahoe Basin Trail Run series—July 14, August 4 and 18—starts at just $25 per race for adults and includes a free beer. There’s no flair or fanfare—just a challenging, big-mountain course with more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain and bragging rights.

As you explore the mountains this summer, make time for Colorado’s ski area known as The Legend. Visit arapahoebasin.com or call 888-ARAPAHOE for details on everything mentioned above.

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