Colorado Road Trip part 3: Summer Ski Resort Activities
In this last post about our road trip to Colorado, I’ll share something we really enjoy doing – visiting ski resorts during the summer! Some people don’t know about all of the summer activities these places have to offer, but there is plenty to do for all ages. Summer season at the resorts usually starts in mid- to late June. May is considered the spring season, and there usually isn’t much to do as it is the gap time between ski season and summer setup.
Here are some fun activities offered at the resorts in Summit County and nearby Eagle County, Colorado.
The need for speed
If you really want to get some action, catch a ride on an alpine coaster. Alpine coasters have an age and height requirement. Similar to a roller coaster, these thrill rides wind around mountains, but provide the driver control to go as slow or as fast as they prefer. Younger kids of a certain height can ride with an older teen or adult. If you want to go fast, you can go very fast!
This year, Isabelle rode the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster at Vail on opening day with her dad three times in a row before the rain came in. Each time, they zoomed around faster and faster. Anyone who likes to feel the wind in their face will love this experience.
A view from the top
Most ski resorts offer summer activity options for people who are not afraid of heights including ropes courses, climbing walls, and ziplines. There are usually kid-friendly versions of these same activities. Isabelle tried out her first zipline several years back during our summer Colorado trip. The most interesting zip line for kids I’ve seen is the one Copper Mountain offers over West Lake. In this setup, people zip over the water as people below play on bumper boats.
There are also bungee trampolines at many resorts, which even tiny kids can enjoy. When done from a mountain top, kiddos truly feel like they are flying.
Resorts offer some challenging opportunities for those who enjoy mountain biking and mountain hiking. For families who love to hike, there are less strenuous trail options. Golf and tennis are also available in most locations. The best thing to do is to look at the resort website and review summer activities before heading out. Based on how busy the day is, you may need to plan well ahead to make reservations and think about logistics.
You’ll also find bungee trampolines, go-karts, little boats, or miniature golf depending on which resort you visit. One of Isabelle’s favorite stops in years past was gemstone panning at Breckenridge Resort. Another unique experience is the horse-drawn wagon experience offered by Keystone Resort. This ride takes guests to Keystone’s original homestead, and you learn about the original settlement. Guided horseback and pony rides are also available at Keystone.
Relaxing and enjoying the view
If you want a slower pace and want a great view, gondola and ski lift rides are perfect. You have to take the gondola in order to access many of the summer activities at most resorts anyway. The gondola is great for all options and a nice, contained space for those with a fear of heights who don’t prefer their feet dangling off the ski lift. Either experience provides an opportunity to spot wildlife if you’re lucky. It’s also fun to watch people hiking and mountain biking below.
You do not have to stay at the resort to participate in summer activities, but most activities do require a fee to participate. However, there are also many free activities to do in and around Summit County because nature is all around you! We love finding new hiking trails where we identify animal tracks, flowers, and find fascinating rocks. You can make a trip to Colorado and enjoy entirely free activities. For a list of free things to do in Summit County, check out this list.