These big ski resorts have embraced the summer, building massive fun-for-the-whole-family adventure playgrounds alongside secluded trails.
Lionshead Village purrs with a steady bustle of bikes, hikers and tourists enjoying sunshine and mountain breezes in summer. Stake out an outdoor table at Bart and Yeti’s (bartnyetis.com) where you can tuck into a hunking chili cheese burger and wash it down with a frosty Fat Tire on tap. For dose of maker cool head to The Craftsman (craftsmanvail.com) down the road in Edwards. Here, you can nosh on millennial comfort food (baby kale salad and fried chicken, anyone?) or just get intimate with the extensive whiskey list. Over in Breckenridge on-mountain, you can dig into sweet, messy barbeque at Peak 8’s Vista Haus (bit.ly/2s1XEp6), open for the first time in summer this year. The best place to kick back with a cold one down in town? Chill with a craft cocktail—we’re partial to the Juan Too Many, a combo of tequila, jalapenos and cucumber—at the RMU Tavern (rmuoutdoors.com), attached to Rocky Mountain Underground’s retail shop where you can pick up a new pair of Zeal shades to make sipping that baby out on RMU’s patio that much cooler.
Even if the resorts make for ideal day trips, spending the night makes for the ideal close-to-home mini-cation. The most engaging place to stay in Vail is the Vail Mountain Lodge (vailmountainlodge.com), which is attached to the Vail Athletic Club, where you can workout on our own, join in a yoga class, or sign up for lessons with a climbing coach on the club’s outstanding indoor wall. Breck’s One Ski Hill Place Condos (oneskihill.rockresorts.com) are an easy option to house the whole family—or partner up with a group of friends. Summer packages run about $285 per night for a one-bedroom condo. Or head out to Piney River Ranch (pineyriverranch.com), tucked up in the Gore Range, where you can wake up on Piney Lake and SUP before breakfast (opens June 21).
Faced with the unpredictability of winter in the age of climate change, Colorado’s resorts have embraced warm-weather action: Resort-operated adventure-park thrills supplement miles of singletrack and high-mountain hikes, all accessed by the lift systems. The Epic Discovery extravaganza features packages that get kids and adults out on all the fun stuff. At Vail one $99 ticket covers all the fun— from the rollicking 3,400-foot Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster to the nerve-testing Holy Cross Adventure Course to Marmot Mini Tubing. Plus kids ride the life for free. Breckenridge opened a new Mountaintop Adventures program, in addition to its 2,500-foot alpine coaster, up at its Alpine Camp on Peak 8. Scale the climbing wall, take on the ropes challenge course, or sign up for the guided Zip Line Expedition Tour that whisks you off on eight zip covering a mile between 10 towers and a includes a sphincter-clenching 200-foot-long sky bridge walk.