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The Summer Side of Ski Towns

Four Great Summer Mountain Getaways

Travel Tips Wednesday, June 14, 2023

If you love to ski: Crested Butte Nordic 

Head To: Crested Butte for wildflower season peaking in July.

Don’t Miss: Crested Butte Wildflower Festival July 7-16 for viewing full blooms. It’s the perfect time to hike the high country around this chill, free-spirited mountain town. 

Trail Recommendation: The Crested Butte Upper Lower Loop — This moderately difficult 4.6-mile hike consists of road and singletrack easily accessed from a close-to-town trailhead. You’ll pass a lake and old mining ruins before hitting open meadows in full bloom. 

A bite: Stop in the Public House Pub & Taproom for a post-hike snack of poutine or elk chili. 

If you love to ski: Grand Lake Nordic, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Snow Mountain Ranch

Head to: The Tabernash/Granby/Grand Lake area for outdoor adventures. Book rooms at Devil’s Thumb or Snow Mountain Ranch.

Don’t miss: Early morning wildlife viewing at Rocky Mountain National Park; dawn or dusk are the best times to spot moose and herds of elk from the west entrance near Granby. 

Trail rec: Those in the know love hiking to Columbine Lake, a 2.8-mile one-way climb up to a glacial lake at the top of the Divide that begins at the Junco Lake trailhead. 

A bite: Debbie’s Drive-in has the thickest milkshakes served up along classic burgers and can’t-miss fried chicken planks. 

If you love to ski: Breckenridge and Gold Run or Frisco Nordic centers 

Head to: Locals’ stronghold Frisco, with a sweet and revitalized main-street culture; bunk in at the Frisco Inn or Frisco Lodge for in-town charm. 

Don’t miss: On-the-water action with stunning mountain views on nearby Lake Dillon, including SUP-ing. 

Trail rec: North Tenmile Creek, for an easy, beautiful creek-side meander. 

A bite: Brunch at Frisco’s Bread + Salt never disappoints; order a Monte Cristo or the slow-roasted pork chilaquiles. 

If you love to ski: Vail or Beaver Creek Nordic centers 

Head to: Summer slopeside lodging in Beaver Creek, where sweet deals are available for mid-week or four-night-plus lodging packages.

Don’t miss: Golf with a view. Vail Valley is home to 10 golf courses, all with stunning backdrops and cool and breezy summer conditions. Visit Vail Golf Club for the valley’s most walkable course. The big dog is Beaver Creek Golf Course, a members-only Robert Trent Jones course that ranks in the top 100 courses in the country. Pro tip: Between May 15 and June 15, non-members can golf the course or stay on-site at a Beaver Creek property, and the course is all yours. 

Trail rec: Shrine Ridge Trail just west of Vail pass, a moderately challenging 4.3-mile out and back with jaw-dropping views. 

A bite: Hand-crafted Italian food at Zino in Edwards, like the ravioli with truffle pearls, brown butter, ricotta, egg, and roasted-garlic panko. 


This blog was made possible through a grant from Visit Colorado.


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