What can you do at Colorado ski resorts in the summer? Plenty — The Know

A mountain biker flies over the trail at Evolution Bike Park. (Dave Kozlowski, provided by Crested Butte Mountain Resort)

With the muddy months of April and May finally out of the way, ski towns across the state are gearing up for a slew of summer events to prove they’re still cool — even if the snow has melted.

From food festivals and free music to zipline tours and dog sledding, here are some highlights at some ski resorts around Colorado:

Winter Park Resort

Only six weeks after its chairlifts closed, Winter Park is gearing up for summer again with the reopening of its lifts Saturday.

The resort’s stretch of the upper Colorado River has been designated a Gold Medal Trout Fishery by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said Emma Newitt, brand manager for the Winter Park and Fraser Chamber. Additionally, the resort has spa treatments at Devil’s Thumb Ranch and sightseeing at Rocky Mountain National Park. The west entrance to the park is 37 miles north of downtown Winter Park.

The resort will be hopping this summer with a number of outdoor events, from the Switchback Music Festival this weekend (tickets are $40-$50) to the Tequila & Tacos festival July 7 (tickets are $20-$55) and the Winter Park Uncorked Wine Festival on Aug. 18 (tickets are $20-$75).

Copper Mountain Resort

Craving a childhood comfort food? Head over to Copper Mountain’s Mac & Cheese Fest on July 28 and 29 (tickets are $25-$100).

“That continues to be one of our most popular events,” resort spokesman Taylor Prather said. “We have about a dozen vendors putting a twist on the classic dish.

Other highlights include the resort’s Attack of the Big Beers fest June 22-24, which mixes both craft beer and film, and the Under Armour Mountain Running series on July 14 (participation costs range from $50 for the 5K to $119 for the 50K), Prather said.

Aspen Snowmass

Hop on the Silver Queen Gondola and take a ride up to the top of Aspen Mountain where you can take an open-air yoga class, enjoy live music on the weekends, or simply wander along one of the nearby hiking trails.

Alternatively, if you’re feeling adventurous, book a Jeep tour to explore Aspen Mountain or Castle Creek Valley, take in scenic views, and visit historic sites from Colorado’s mining days.

Telluride Ski Resort

During the summer, this mountain resort boasts a number of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, rock climbing and stand-up paddleboarding. Additionally, Telluride hosts several cultural events and festivals every week. (But if you haven’t already snagged your tickets to the popular Telluride Bluegrass Festival, you’re out of luck: It’s sold out.)

Vail Ski Resort

Through Epic Discovery in Vail, you can hop on the Forest Flying Mountain Coaster, try your hand at an adventure course, or take a zipline tour. With nearly 15 different activities to choose from, you’ll never be bored.

Traveling on a budget? Visit the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum for no cost or take advantage of one of many free events hosted by the Nature Discovery Center.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Come summer, the party doesn’t stop at Crested Butte. The resort’s Full Moon Party at Ten Peaks, a popular ski season event, continues into the summer. Visitors can hike, bike or drive up to the Umbrella Bar for dinner at sunset on July 27 and Aug. 26. (Tickets are $40).

The resort is also known for its Evolution Bike Park and 90-minute zipline tours.

“We’re constantly trying to push it a little more,” said Zach Pickett, communications coordinator at the resort. “You’re ziplining over all the people who are hiking and biking, and it’s a really cool bird’s-eye view you don’t get at many other mountain towns.”

Breckenridge Ski Resort

You don’t need a pair of hiking boots to explore Breckenridge’s back trails. Instead, take a dog sledding trip with Snow Caps Sled Dogs to traverse the town’s meadows.

Ace Accetturo, a musher (a.k.a. dogsled guide), said the business has 160 sled dogs, many of whom are trained during the summer. The dogs’ interaction with visitors every day makes them even more outgoing because of the attention they receive, Accetturo said.

“They love meeting new people every day and that’s part of the reason they’re so friendly,” he said. “Siberian Huskies are a friendly breed by nature, but having all that love sends our dogs over the top.”

The dog sledding starts June 18 but Snow Caps is now taking reservations, at 970-453-7855.

Keystone Resort

Rent a bike and hit up Keystone’s trails. Never been mountain biking before? That’s OK — Keystone’s Mountain Bike Academy offers lessons that start at $58 and go up to $150. Or, if you’re looking for other ways to get your adrenaline rush, consider a rafting trip with options for beginners and experts alike.

If you prefer a calmer day, Keystone has options for that, too. Take a historic wagon ride or play a round of golf at one of Keystone’s two courses.

Steamboat Ski Resort

Every Friday and Saturday starting this weekend through the third weekend of August, the town gears up for the Pro Rodeo Series, free for children six and under and $20 for everyone else. A special Fourth of July Rodeo costs $25. Throughout the summer, Steamboat Springs will also play host to several concerts, a number of which are free. Visitors can also relax by tubing the Yampa River or soaking in the nearby hot springs.

Purgatory Resort

Right now, this resort is under mandatory evacuation due to the 416 fire and is closed. When it opens back up again, there will be plenty to do. You can catch speeds of up to 35 miles per hour on Purgatory’s Plunge Zipline (single tickets are $15), or take a ride down its Alpine Slide (single tickets are $15) or summer tubing slope (three rides for $7). A Total Adventure Ticket can bundle five activities ($39 online and $59 at the resort) or bundle 10 activities ($49 online or $79 at the resort). Purgatory Sports Shop also facilitates free mountain biking group rides for a variety of skill levels on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. From July 7 to 29, the town will host the annual Music in the Mountains festival. For a list of free (and almost free) events, click here.

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