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Colorado’s mountain towns are known worldwide as an incredible wintertime paradise for skiers and snowboarders, but in summer, the same high-altitude ski towns become gorgeous playgrounds for outdoor adventure and family fun. When the powder melts, popular slopes turn into verdant hiking and mountain biking trails and nearby rivers and lakes rise to new levels, ideal for fishing and boating. Colorado’s ski towns are not just about communing with nature — there is plenty for those who prefer less of a workout. The summer months welcome dozens of festivals celebrating music, food, art and more. From luxurious Aspen to historic Durango, take a look at some Colorado ski towns that shine in the summertime.
Head to luxurious Aspen for a total mind, body and spirit retreat this summer. Enjoy the fresh air and valley views with a session of mountain-top Hatha yoga at 11,000 feet, then cap off your mountain getaway with a mind-blowing body treatment at Remède Spa at the St. Regis Aspen, voted #1 spa in the world by Travel + Leisure.
The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad winds through the same tracks settlers of the Old West took over a century ago. Today, tourists climb aboard the historic locomotive for a 45-mile trip through the still-wild San Juan Mountains to Silverton, where they can lunch and shop before re-boarding for the trip home. The train climbs nearly 3,000 feet to Silverton and the high mountain air will be on average about 10 degrees cooler than in Durango, so remember to pack layers and drink plenty of water before this high-altitude ride.
Head to local watering hole Breckenridge Brewery & Pub for spectacular views of the surrounding peaks, a relaxed patio atmosphere, refreshing beer and delicious Colorado comfort food. Located in the charming and historic mountain town of Breckenridge, this favourite hotspot is worth traveling for. Since 1990, local Breckenridge Brewery has grown into one of the most successful craft beer and restaurant companies in the USA. After dessert, stroll down quaint Main St., catch some live music and shop-till-you-drop at some of Colorado’s best local boutiques.
The Yampa River begins in the Flattops Mountain Range and moves through downtown Steamboat Springs, providing easy access to almost endless flat-water. The river is one of the best northern pike and smallmouth bass fisheries in the U.S., so warm up the BBQ and cast your line. Excellent fishing opportunities can also be found in one of the most plentiful trout fisheries in Colorado just upstream from Yampa River State Park.
Nestled between three mountains, Keystone is perfect for summer visitors looking for a world-class mountain biking adventure. Keystone Bike Park is the ultimate mountain-bike destination, offering 57 trails across 88 kilometers of terrain. The infamous Drop Zone, rated one of the best in the country, has progressive terrain for all riders. With rock gardens, drops, and high-speed features there is never a dull moment on your bike. There are also more than 100 miles of single track for touring. Or, for a more relaxing afternoon, take a cruiser ride or road bike along miles of paved bike path. For the Silo, Melissa Medeiros