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Summer Mountain Escapes: 5 Greener Getaway Ideas

Tips & Ideas, Travel Tips Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Nordic destinations can offer amazing—and sustainable—summer adventures. Here's how to plan the greenest summer vacation ever.

Travel mid-week

You're not only likely to find cheaper room rates and greater availability, but midweek travel on the I-70 corridor is significantly lighter which means you spend less time on the road and more time enjoying your destination. Before you hit the road, check for daily updates and real-time I-70 travel info to help you avoid peak traffic patterns.

Choose low-impact activities

As silent-sport lovers, Nordic skiers are already on the bandwagon here, and those lesser-impact options await in summer, too. Most Nordic centers maintain beautiful summer trail systems perfect for hiking and mountain biking and pivot to offering guided trips and rentals for fat and mountain bikes. 

It's not just human-powered activities that make a great green choice. Nordic resorts such as Latigo, Devil's Thumb, Snow Mountain, and Vista Verde ranches also offer horseback riding, ranging from laid-back 90-minute trail rides to all-day cattle drives—a completely different way to experience the terrain you've loved all winter.

Bring your bike

Not just your Stumpjumper—sling your gravel bike or cruiser on the rack, too, and you may not need your car. More than ever, mountain towns and resorts are creating rec paths, bike lanes, racks, fix-it stations, and other velo-friendly amenities that make it easy for visitors to roll to main-street shops, cruise in for a happy hour, or pedal to the local cafe for a scone and a coffee. A perfect example is the Summit County Recreational Pathway, which connects Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne, and Keystone Resort. 

Choose environmentally conscious lodging

No AC unit, mini-fridge, or sheets and towels to wash: responsible camping is the ultimate low-impact travel method. In the Arapaho National Forest, dispersed camping—where you choose a spot anywhere and BYO everything—is free and allowable anywhere outside developed areas (like picnic spots and trailheads). 

Low-impact travel can still be high-end. Our guest-ranch members are committed to sustainable practices that protect their landscapes' natural beauty and health. Devil's Thumb Ranch has snagged numerous awards for its sustainable choices, including solar power, geothermal heat, and a state-of-the-art water treatment system.  

Support local independent businesses

Buy your campfire wood at the main-street hardware store, your ice at the funky corner liquor store, or your coffee at the diner serving breakfast all day. Why? Keeping your vacation spending in-town means you're supporting local businesses and jobs and providing tax-dollar funding for green initiatives like bus lines and bike lanes.

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