Known for winter sports, ski resorts are a hub of outdoor activities and spectacular scenery. During the warmer months, snowy white mountains turn green and black bowls become hiking and mountain biking trails with gondolas transporting summer enthusiasts instead of skiers. Whether you are an adventure seeker looking for family travel or just love being outdoors, you will find something for everyone in the off season at these 10 (typically) ski destinations.
1. Aspen, Colorado
Aside from great rates, enjoy biking in the Roaring Fork Valley–from rugged, steep terrain to the rolling Rio Grande trail that hugs the Roaring Fork River. Hiking is abundant; a favorite trail is Mushroom Rock in Carbondale. Try hot air ballooning and paragliding for pumping adrenaline and scenic views, kayaking or rafting along the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers, and even skateboarding and mountain-boarding. Fish for trout on Snowmass Mountain, or take in the iconic Rocky Mountain landscape on horseback.
Stowe Vermont — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort
2. Stowe Mountain, Vermont
Stowe Mountain Resort, with majestic Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, is filled with activities for every season. Try the new experience-based activities including zip lines down Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, which can reach 60 miles per hour, and a Tree Top Adventure Course at the base of the mountain. Kids can enjoy golf on two courses, Children’s Summer Mountain Adventure Camp, or the Gondola Skyride, an eight-passenger to Stowe Mountain Resort’s newly renovated Cliff House restaurant.
Jackson Hole — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
3. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The Grand Adventure Park offers the Jackson Hole Bike Bar, the best mountain bike destination in the Tetons. Kids love the bungee trampoline and new aerial adventure course zip lines, balance beams, cargo nets, and other challenges suspended 25 feet in the air. A climbing wall or riding the Aerial Tram, which glides 4,134 feet to the top of Rendezvous Mountain, offers a 360-degree view of Grand Teton National Park. The Drop Tower (opening June 13) provides free-fall drop options from 30 to 60 feet.
Keystone Mountain Resort — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Keystone Mountain Resort
4. Keystone, Colorado
Here, summers rule, as lifts carry mountain bikers and hikers to the mountaintop for under-the-sun adventure. From scenic lift rides and guided hikes to horseback riding, the opportunities for family adventures are endless. Bring the whole clan! Keystone hosts more than 15 free summer events from June through September, they're an affordable and unique way to complement your stay.
5. Zermatt, Switzerland
Zermatt lies at the foot of Matterhorn, in the middle of an enormous hiking and ski region. The region called Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is Europe's largest and highest lying summer skiing region. Numerous national ski teams train here in the summer. The region is also legendary amongst mountaineers: the Haute Route, a challenging international route that takes several days to complete, leads from Mont Blanc to Zermatt. Hotels and restaurants are world-class, and the air in Zermatt is clear and clean–since 1947, only electric cars without a combustion engine are allowed to operate in the village.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Larry Pierce
6. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
To start, the 150 mineral springs throughout the valley help make summer in Steamboat amazing. Take in an award-winning rodeo on Friday or Saturday nights, or tube or kayak the Yampa River. Two closeby wilderness areas and hiking trails offer abundant hiking. Bikers can maneuver the downhill bike path at the resort or miles of trails across the valley. Road riding is popular as well. Don’t miss Sunset Happy Hour atop the gondola, as well as free concerts and movie nights.
Big Sky Montana — Photo courtesy of Glenniss Indreland
7. Big Sky, Montana
Big Sky Resort hosts family adventures including zip lines, high ropes course, and guided hikes, horseback riding, a climbing wall, bungee trampoline, and even a 30-foot giant swing. You will find the new Scenic Chair Lift Ride access to Andesite Mountain, providing stunning views. Of the three lifts, the Ramcharger provides access to Everett’s 8,800 restaurant. Enjoy free fun with disc golf, miniature golf, and hiking from the base. Children can try steer roping to channel their inner cowboy or cowgirl.
Tahoe South — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Rod Hanna
8. Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Lake Tahoe offers a perfect blend of laid-back California vibe mixed with Nevada's "anything goes" attitude. It’s tough to beat Lake Tahoe as a multi-sport mecca with endless entertainment options, whatever the season! Summer brings longer days and Tahoe South uses every extra minute with mega-star concerts, firework shows, food and beer festivals, athletic competitions, and celebrity golf action. It’s a paradoxical weather phenomenon that attracts skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers, hikers, rock climbers, kayakers, wake boarders, water-skiers, stand-up paddleboarders, and paragliders.
Deer Valley, Utah — Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Deer Valley Resort
9. Deer Valley, Utah
From the rush of a mountain bike descent through the trees or an exhilarating hike along a ridge top to lunch served al fresco and open-air concerts by celebrated musicians, Deer Valley offers an unparalleled alpine escape. This season, the resort extends summer operations to include weekends after Labor Day. Enjoy biking trails for novice to expert riders, with improvements including a two- to three-mile downhill mountain bike intermediate “flow” trail, which will be machine-excavated and in-sloped with berms, rollers, and jumps.
10. Whistler, British Columbia
An exhilarating ride between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain in the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola provides 360-degree views. The Fairmont Chateau Golf Course is known for incredible vistas and the high potential for wildlife spotting from the course’s iconic fairways and greens. Festivals and events abound, and a free concert series runs all summer. Whistler welcomes OUTERBIKE, a multiday mountain and road bike expo, for the first time June 4-7. Check out the unexpected side of Whistler’s lakes where you can paddleboard, canoe, or kayak across all five lakes in one day.