After the snow melts, it’s easy to see how “colorful Colorado” earned its nickname. Here you’ll find meadows peppered with wildflowers, vibrant blue lakes, and mountains that change color with the sun. Summers are perfect for outdoor adventures, but you don’t have to rough it in a tent to experience Colorado’s beautiful scenery.
The state’s ski resorts, known for their world-class terrain and powdery snow, become hubs for summer activities. But just where should you hang your hat for the week? We’ve found the top summer resorts in Colorado to keep you and your group comfortable, entertained, and even pampered.
With two resorts in one, Aspen Snowmass lets you choose your own summer adventure. The town of Aspen is known as a high-end ski getaway—and the luxury doesn’t disappear with the snow. Aspen’s quaint village streets are a popular destination for celebrities, and are teeming with high-end shopping, lavish spas, and fine dining. You can even attend a yoga class on Aspen Mountain, with breathtaking views at 11,200 feet.
Snowmass Village, located just nine miles away, is more suited to travelers who want to spend time focusing on the outdoors. The ski runs are popular for hiking, or you can take the gondola for gorgeous views of White River National Forest. For a truly memorable experience, you can even book a hot air balloon ride for a bird’s eye view of the land.
Adventure awaits at Copper Mountain Resort, where adrenaline-seekers get their summer thrills. Channel your inner daredevil at the Woodward WreckTangle, a ten-part obstacle course including a climbing wall, zip line, and ropes course. You can even sign up for a competition, where the fastest and most daring team wins. Hit the trails on your mountain bike or diggler off-road scooter, or careen down the 5,800 feet of tracks on the resort’s alpine coaster.
Steamboat Springs is one of the best summer Colorado resorts for families traveling with young kids. Enjoy the charming downtown area, including Steamboat Celebrations, where the little ones can take art classes, play 1980s arcade games, snack on retro candy, or pick out a new favorite toy. Splash in the Yampa River or visit Old Town Hot Springs, complete with fun kid-friendly waterslides and relaxing soaking pools for the adults.
When it comes to romantic getaways in Colorado, Vail is hard to beat. Book a horseback riding tour through the mountains or explore beautiful hiking trails at golden hour, when the light is just perfect. For a romantic sunset dinner with a view, Game Creek Restaurant is the place to be. Or you can taste to-die-for French cuisine and wine at the Left Bank. Afterward, you can stroll arm in arm through the Swiss-style streets of Vail Village just as the stars come out.
Mountain bikers, rejoice: Keystone Bike Park is your ticket to singletrack bliss. Enjoy the convenience of lift-serviced downhill mountain biking, featuring bridges and drops for an exhilarating day. But bike enthusiasts of all types can enjoy this Colorado summer resort town: road cyclists can tackle the bike path around Dillon Reservoir, an 18-mile loop with over 1,000 feet of climb. Several breweries dot the road along the reservoir, including Outer Range Brewing, where you can reward yourself with a well-earned pint of local ale.
Breckenridge (or Breck, more familiarly) is your ticket to outdoor adventure. With an ideal location in the Tenmile Range, a subset of the Rocky Mountains, you could spend your entire trip in nature. Enjoy an easy day on the Iowa Hill Mine hiking trail, where you can meander through an 1800s mining site, complete with historic markers and beautiful scenery. Or you can head deeper into nearby Rocky Mountains National Park for more rugged terrain.
In the summer, Winter Park’s beginner ski trails become a world-class, 20-hole disc golf course. Never tried it before? Disc golfing is rising in popularity, and it’s a great way to while away the sunny afternoons, surrounded by gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains. Just hop on the Arrow lift to start, and when you’re finished, you can jet down the alpine slide (the longest in Colorado) to the base. There’s also an 18-hole putting golf course on the mountain, for the traditionalists in your group.
It’s time to get on the water. At Beaver Creek, you can book an exhilarating day of whitewater rafting with local company Lakota Guides. For the truly adventurous at heart, they even offer overnight and two-day rafting excursions. For a more serene experience on the water, you can spend an afternoon fly fishing on the Eagle River, Gore Creek, and beyond. If you need to rent gear or want to plan a guided trip, Gore Creek Fly Fisherman makes an excellent choice.
Telluride is a historic mining town tucked in the San Juan Mountains, and is the perfect place to get away from it all. The nearest stoplight is 45 minutes away, and with no chain restaurants or shops, there’s a friendly local vibe. Popular summer activities in Telluride include attending a number of music festivals, from jazz to blues to indie rock, and even a hot air balloon festival. Telluride is known for its amazing culinary scene, so don’t forget to check out the local restaurants during your stay.
It’s entirely possible that you’ll see a snow flurry or two during your stay, especially at higher-altitude resort towns. There can be snow on some hiking or biking trails year-round, so be sure to plan your adventures accordingly and bring proper gear.
Yes! Almost all of Colorado’s ski resorts offer specialized summer activities to get you outdoors. You’ll also find plenty of things to do in town, like shopping, dining, spas, art galleries, and more.
Yes, you can hike Colorado’s ski resorts in the summer. Many are also great for mountain biking and horseback riding.