8 Great Winter Resorts for Fun in the Summer Sun
You may have already packed away your ski boots and poles, but now it's time for summertime fun at many of the country's top winter lodges and resorts. From scenic gondola rides to horseback riding in national forests to splashing around in local swimming holes, there's plenty to do, see and explore in the summer. Take a look at eight great winter resorts to add to your warm weather vacation plans.
See: Skiing in Summer?
A top destination for snowmobiling, Togwotee Mountain Lodge is also a prime spot for summertime activities like scenic river float trips, fishing and mountain biking. Take in the views of the Bridger-Teton National Forest while horseback riding or go whitewater rafting along the Snake River with Sands Whitewater & Scenic River Trips. Plus, thanks to its proximity to Grand Teton National Park, the lodge offers a convenient home base for exploring the park's natural wonders. Take a shuttle boat across Jenny Lake and hike to the top of Inspiration Point for some of the most scenic views in the park.
Steamboat is well-known for its world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, but its summer activities are just as impressive. Gear up for stand-up paddleboarding lessons at Pearl Lake and downhill biking for all skill levels at the Steamboat Bike Park. Ride the gondola to the top of Steamboat Mountain, then hike down to take in the scenery. Get in a kayak, a canoe or a tube on the Yampa River before taking a horse-drawn wagon to the Double Dollar Lodge for an authentic chuckwagon dinner. Then, settle in for the night at The Steamboat Grand.
An up-and-comer in southern Utah, Brian Head Resort expanded its roster of summer activities, adding zip lines, archery, a disc golf course and summer tubing this year. Thanks to its elevation, Brian Head is also a premier mountain biking area, with more than 100 miles of downhill and single-track trails, plus hundreds of miles of cross-country trails. If you're feeling adventurous, just put your bike on the ski lift and make your way back down the mountain on two wheels. If you've got kids in tow, check out the Family Adventure Trail, a self-guided activity course along Dixie National Forest's new Vista hiking trail. Or, head to nearby Cedar Breaks National Monument for more views of spectacular cliffs and canyons, as well as ranger programs.
Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa offers skiing and snowshoeing in the winter and an abundance of outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, golf and swimming in the summer. Cool off with a dip at one of the local swimming holes like the Waterbury Reservoir at Waterbury Center State Park. Kids will love the Stoweflake Discovery Programs, which include activities like llama walks and beach picnics. And when you're not hiking the Green Mountains, relax at the resort spa; a Vermont Maple Sugar Body Polish is a must after a day spent outdoors.
Surrounded by five mountain ranges and just minutes from the historic mining town of Ketchum, Sun Valley Resort offers a range of winter adventures. But summer is when guests come for fly-fishing, hiking and golfing, and ice skating on the year-round outdoor ice rink. Take a gondola ride to the top of Bald Mountain or learn to skeet shoot at the Sun Valley Gun Club. Stay at the Sun Valley Lodge, which reopened in June following a renovation and expansion, including the addition of a spa and yoga studio.
Sunset dinners, scenic chair lift rides, disc golf, even dog sled rides are just a few of the outdoor activities to enjoy in the summer at Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon. The Bike Park is also a top thing to do following the addition of several new trails this year. Sign up for bike lessons or drop the kids off at the Gravity Bike Camp.
Summer is the perfect time for kids and families to explore Keystone, thanks to Kidtopia, a daily program on the mountain that's packed with fun activities like kite building workshops, family dodgeball and fishing derbys. The resort also offers tubing, guided hikes, mini-golf and a GPS scavenger hunt. Saddle up for a trail ride through the White River National Forest, play a round on one of two 18-hole championship golf courses or take time out to achieve balance with some mountaintop yoga.
Whiteface Lodge is a well-known haven for snow seekers, but this luxurious getaway in the Adirondacks offers plenty of summertime to-dos, too. Kids will love catch-and-release fishing at the lodge's pond, as well as complimentary canoes, kayaks and paddleboats. Ride the gondola to the top of Whiteface Mountain for spectacular views of Lake Placid and then take time to explore nearby Olympic venues like the Olympic Jumping Complex.
About the author: Erin Gifford is a Washington, D.C.-based travel writer and founder of Kidventurous, an award-winning family travel resource. You can follow her on Twitter at @Kidventurous, connect with her on Facebook or get the latest tips and tricks for traveling families at http://www.kidventurous.com.
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