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Three Summer Days in the Mountains

An itinerary for Nordic skiers to hit the summer sides of the resorts they love.

Travel Tips Friday, July 8, 2022

Pack your bikes, your layers, and your appetite for adventure with a softer touch. Your favorite winter Nordic destinations have a fantastic (and luxurious) summer side. Here's a foolproof plan for a terrific three days.

Day: 1 Devil's Thumb Ranch

Ease into your mountain adventure with a stay at luxurious Devil's Thumb Ranch. Groups or families can book a variety of cabins and lodge rooms. A don't miss here is booking a treatment at their Ranch Creek Spa. Insider tips: Don your robe and head to the outdoor hot tub at the spa between treatments, and be sure to hit one of the daily yoga classes, included for guests. The studio's wall of windows facing the Divide will inspire your mountain pose.

Also fantastic? The trail rides. You'll be paired with a well-trained mount and wind you through some of the prettiest parts of the 5,000-acre ranch property. Wrap your day with cocktails on the patio at Heck's Tavern, then head to nearby Winter Park for a casual dinner or stay onsite at the high-end Ranch House restaurant.

Day 2: Beaver Creek Resort

From Devil's Thumb Ranch, head to Kremmling—you're taking the scenic back way to Beaver Creek Resort via Trough Road. Stop at Big Shooter's Coffee in Kremmling, owned by the Scholl family (passionate Nordic skiers themselves), and grab a latte and cinnamon roll for the road. You'll want to take the Trough Road route to Wolcott and then on to Beaver Creek.

At the resort, check in at the Adventure Center for bike haul tickets and passes (you can rent bikes here too), then load your ride up the Centennial Lift. You'll hop off at 10,200 feet to cruise your way down through the mountain's aspen groves.

For dinner, destination dining favorite Mirabelle sits at the mountain's entrance in an elegant old farmhouse. Opt for the four-course summer menu and enjoy dishes like young peas ravioli or roasted duck with a honey-ginger blueberry reduction. Once full, tuck yourselves in for the night at the Beaver Creek's gorgeous Hyatt Hotel.

Day 3: Tennessee Pass Yurts

From Beaver Creek, head up US 24 through charming Minturn and wind your way to the high-altitude hamlet of Leadville. Stop for lunch at the Tennessee Pass Cafe for a pizza piled with organic, local ingredients. Once fueled, take your bikes for a cruise on the Mineral Belt Trail, a gorgeous paved climb through aspens with alpine lake views.

After your ride, press on to Tennessee Pass yurts and cookhouse. It's a beloved Nordic destination in winter, but from June 24 to October 31 these cozy glamping yurts open for the summer season. You'll find them well-equipped with down comforters and a kitchenette with comforts like coffee and hot chocolate. Dinner? There's no question it's at the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse—this summer you'll find braised elk rack and stuffed bison on the menu. Walk back to your yurt under the stars—a fitting end to a three-day best-of-the-mountains adventure.

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