The ski season is not officially over at a handful of Colorado ski areas (namely Arapahoe Basin), but the sun is out and it is time to start thinking of summer activities. The mountain towns have more to offer than just skiing and summer fun can be more affordable. Here are a few things you may want to try:
1. Ziplining – It sounds scary. Nothing between you and a giant canyon but a thin metal “line” and a harness. But, if you go to a reputable location (we tried ZipAdventures) it is very safe. They fit you with a helmet and harness as well as make sure that you are attached by two clips (in case something happens to one of them). As you walk off the platform you glide across the canyon to the next platform. Zip Adventures offers six lines each longer and higher criss-crossing the canyon and the most amazing views!
2. Hiking – several books can be found with great ideas for local hikes. These hikes can take anywhere between an hour and several hours. Some of my favorites are Deer Creek Canyon and Mt. Falcon. I also have several friends that like Brainard Lake and Chataqua. These are FREE and a great way to explore while you get some exercise. If you are feeling a bit adventurous another great location is Hanging Lake (but it does require quite a drive). If you feel more adventurous you can try Beaver Creek hiking Center’s guided tours.
3. Alpine Coasters – Several mountains offer these fun sled type rides. WinterPark boasts the longest of such rides. Riders control their own sled as they race down the concrete chutes snaking down the mountainside. Steamboat also has a great Alpine Slide. If you are looking for something closer to home check out the slide at Heritage Square in Golden.
4. Dog sledding – Just outside of Breckenridge you can ride a dog sled in the summer! The dogs need exercise throughout the summer months as well. At Snow Caps Sled Dogs the dogs will take you on a fun ride on a scooter.
5. Float the River – While you can get more expensive by purchasing a trip white-water rafting (many coupons can be found at sites like LivingSocial and Groupon) – you can also try the less expensive version and float down the river in tubes in Golden or Boulder.
6. Horseback Riding – There are several locations that will offer trail rides. These give your children a chance to try being on a horse by themselves. In many of these locations the horses are trained to follow one another through the trail. But my family loves Safari Ranch. They tell you NOT to let the horses follow each other. They are located just out of Fairplay.(Safari Ranch also offers ATV tours).
7. Vail ‘Shroom Tour – In August, Vail’s Four Seasons Resort brings a mushroom expert to host the Mushrooms and Mercedes tour -where you ride in a Mercedes SUV to Shrine Pass to collect wild mushrooms. Participants then return back to the hotel’s restaurant where the chefs sautee your finds and you get to enjoy a hand-picked mushroom laden meal.
No matter what you choose to do with your summer, there are plenty of options to be outside and have a great time.