There’s nothing quite like the thrill of hitting the trails at ski resorts in the winter. The cooler temps, fresh air and miles of pine trees all around set up a majestic scene to behold. But when the snow finally melts and the weather takes a turn towards spring and summer, you’re probably a little sad that the snowy fun has come to an end.
The good news is that many of your favorite mountain winter ski resorts are open and just as fun (if not more) during the summer months! Within the last decade or so, several resorts have begun to make efforts to become year-round destination spots. These places offer up some inspiring views and exciting adventures waiting for you this year! Enjoy a new way to explore the outdoors at some of the most popular winter destinations in America.
Stowe Mountain Resort
If you’re looking for non-stop adventure, then you’ll find it all at Stowe, Vermont this summer. The family will get a kick out of the gondola ride, which gives you the same magnificent views from winter but isn’t nearly as cold. For the true outdoor lovers of your family, try out the world’s fastest ziplining experience. You’ll race through the lush canopy of the forest close by and feel as if you’re actually flying.
To keep your heart pumping, you can also make your way towards TreeTop Adventures. It’s the ultimate aerial challenge featuring six different aerial courses. There are also over 68 challenges and games to experience so expect a full schedule ahead of you!
If high-flying adventures aren’t for you, there’s always the Auto Toll Road is a great option for some quality family time. The Auto Toll Road provides you with the opportunity to traverse Mt. Mansfield along the historic and aptly named “Toll Road.” Set against the backdrop of the Adirondack Mountains, you and your family will see breathtaking views of Lake Champlain. Bikes, mopeds, and scooters aren’t permitted along the road. However, as long as you have a standard vehicle you’re good to go!
The Summer Adventure Camp is great for kids between the ages of 7-15 who want to test out their outdoors skills! They can take part in the zipline or Tree Top Adventure Courses, go hiking, play disc golf and so much more! This camp helps to instill a sense of wonder and respect for the outdoors and hopefully encourage them to be lifelong adventurers.
Northstar – Lake Tahoe
It’s hard to deny how exciting it is at Northstar during the summer months. Guests looking for a relaxing escape from everyday life will be pleasantly rewarded with what they find at this resort! Take your family out for a few rounds of golf, try your hand out at fly-fishing, or explore a variety of hiking trails instead.
Families will also find several bike trails for every skill level. There are singletrack, cross country, and downhill options to choose from and will make your day fly by quickly.
Kids can take advantage of the Adventure Camp or enjoy the Kids Zone. There they can rollerskate, rock climb, or play an intense game of mini golf during the day or later in the evening!
Live music, yoga classes, and arts and crafts options are also available for guests to enjoy and will make your stay at Northstar one to remember. For those looking for more quiet and relaxing alternatives, the resort’s popular Food & Wine Festival is an excellent choice. Though it starts a little closer to the Fall, it’s technically still summery enough outside to make it feel like you’re right in the middle of it.
Some would argue that summertime in Colorado is the ultimate getaway goal. While it’s certainly one of the top places to visit, there are still several wonderful locations around the U.S. But it’s hard to deny the charm that Beaver Creek holds and fun awaits you once the snow melts and the warmer temperatures begin to rise.
The majestic views surrounding Vail and Beaver Creek are top-notch. There has been a lot of effort to keep the integrity of the mountain but also provide visitors with a plethora of opportunities to quench their desire for outdoor opportunities. Take a horseback riding excursion through fields and meadows, or take your time getting around on the countless biking trails instead.
A favorite activity among visitors is joining in on a 4X4 Mountain Tour, which makes exploring the terrain at Beaver Creek simple and enjoyable. You’ll learn about regional history and come across flora and fauna that are native to Colorado.
Both kids and adults won’t want to miss the Epic Discovery experience either! You’ll go on a unique journey through the mountains thanks to all the challenging but fun activities to choose from.
Let out your inner thrill-seeker on the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster, the Little Eagle Zipline, Tubing Hills, and more! Be prepared to challenge yourself physically while creating lasting memories with your friends and family as well. Beaver Creek is a unique getaway, giving you a new appreciation and passion that runs just as deep as it does in the winter.
As one of the most challenging and thrilling ski resorts in Canada, Whistler Blackcomb makes a pretty strong case for being equally as exciting when the weather becomes warmer. Its world-class bike trails are perfect to see the mountain when there’s a little (a lot) less snow around. The views around you will give you a new perspective of the area and provide fantastic photo ops everywhere you look.
A warmer season also brings about slumbering wildlife you might not have crossed paths with during the winter, like the black bear. Guests can book Bear Viewings to witness them in their natural habit all from a safe distance of course.
You’ll see glaciers, rainforests, and pristine meadows that will give you a renewed love of nature and an understanding of how careful preservations efforts have become.
Go on Geology tours to continue your journey through the great outdoors, snap dazzling images on the Alpine Photography Tour, or take the whole family to the Blackcomb Base Adventure Zone. There are almost too many things to do while you’re here, but honestly, it’s the best part of about all of it. Every adventurer will find something to do!
It’s probably best to clear your entire schedule because Sunday River has an endless list of events and activities for you to participate in. Even after the snow melts away, the mountain is full of exciting and scenic views for everyone to see. From gondola rides to outdoor camps, there’s something for everyone!
While you’re there you might be interested in attending classes for paddleboarding or archery. You can check out the schedule provided by the L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools program and create the perfect summer experience.
If you’re interested in expanding your exploration you can travel along one of the many bike trails around the area. Many shops stay open year-round along with the resort so you can also rent equipment if needed.
For those looking for more quiet time or for more slow-paced alternatives, you can try your hand out at fishing, or lounge in one of the many swimming holes to really get in tune with nature. Then, when you’re done enjoying all the fresh air you can mosey on over to the dining option of your choice. You can’t go wrong no matter how you want to spend the day, but it might be best to make a list prior to your arrival just in case!
The Rocky Mountains & Aspen have long been a summer destination as much as it is in the winter. It could have something to do with the high altitudes or the stunning landscapes that are bountiful in the area. It could also be that Aspen always pulls out all the stops to give visitors “wow” moments that resonate for years.
Families who continue to pursue exciting outdoor activities love the options found in Aspen and Snowmass. You can try their climbing wall, canopy zipline tour, explore the “Lost Forest,” or trek through 9 miles of downhill mountain biking trails. Looking for water sports instead? Whitewater rafting and SUPing opportunities await for those who feel confident out on the water.
This resort also offers phenomenal campgrounds, ballooning excursions, and several arts and cultural events to attend. Your days will be packed to the brim with things to do! Though it might seem overwhelming, you can use their summer guide to help narrow down your options. If you’re only staying for a few days you might not get to everything right off the bat. Which is ok, but you might have to come back next year to check the rest off your list.
Big Sky Resort
Known for its massive skiing terrain and natural atmosphere, Big Sky also delivers big fun all year-round! Its location is ideal for all outdoor lovers and only sits a little under 3 hours away from Yellowstone National Park.
While you’re at Big Sky you’ll have enough activities on your plate to last you a lifetime. And though you won’t be there for that long, you’ll wish you could thanks to everything they have to offer!
Soar through the sky on a Lone Peak Expedition or on the Nature Zipline. Get a little up close and personal with wildlife by attending a Wildlife Viewing or simply get into the saddle and enjoy a horseback ride with your friends and family. Golfing might not be for everyone, but the impressive 8,000-yard course dubbed the “The Reserve” is an incredible part of the resort to view. Only a handful of guests can be in the area during the day, but if you have the chance it’s well worth the experience of golfing 6,500 feet above sea level.
The possibilities are endless at Big Sky regardless of whether you’re looking for challenging activities or more leisure downtime. Mother Nature’s playground is full of endless summer fun and the draw of the mountains is one you can’t ignore. The trip might even make you rethink your summer planning, making the beach pale in comparison!