SUMMER ON THE MOUNTAIN
A long weekend (or a day trip!) to a ski resort can be even more fun after the snow melts. We’ve got 12 you’ll want to check out!
There’s still a ton to do when there’s no snow!
THERE’S A FAVORITE SAYING IN THE MOUNTAINS:
People come for the winter but stay for the summer.
Hitting the snowy slopes is a blast, but the options for outdoor play in the warmer months truly can’t be beat. Hiking trails are lined with wildflowers, the river rapids are rolling, and the stars shine like nothing you’ve seen before. Plus, mountain resorts up nature’s ante with adrenaline-pumping activities like zip lines, mountain-biking trails, water parks, and more.
Find all the excitement kids crave at these 12 favorite mountain resorts. Just don’t forget to pack your sense of adventure!
JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT Wyoming
At the resort’s Grand Adventure Park, kids can fly up to 24 feet in the air at the Bungee Trampoline, traverse wobbling logs and balance beams on the Ropes course, or free-fall off the Drop Tower. This all sits just 1 mile away from Grand Teton National Park and about an hour from Yellowstone National Park, which should be on your travel bucket list too. Rooms for four start at $249 a night; jacksonholenet.com.
MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN California
This Southern Californians’ hot spot lets kids as young as 6 ride at the country’s premier bike park, which has 3,500 acres and more than 80 miles of single-track trails complete with jumps, berms, and drops. Get started at the Discovery Zone, which features beginner terrain and is designed to make progression easy. For those who prefer a slower pace, take the gondola to the top of the peak and explore six on-mountain nature learning stations. Condos for four start at $199 a night; mammothmountain.com.
PARK CITY Utah
The resort’s Canyons Village is the center for mountain biking. Ride the Red Pine Gondola to explore trails for all levels. Or enroll your crew in the weeklong Youth Rides, open to kids as young as 5 provided they can ride a two-wheeler. You’ll also want to hit up the resort’s Adventure Zone for a mile-long alpine coaster, the Flying Eagle Zip Line, and more. Rooms start at $156; parkcitymountain.com.
SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH Vermont
There’s one thing that gets kids psyched for vacation like nothing else: swimming! And “Smuggs” offers water fun in spades. The Mountainside Water Playground has a 300foot Giant Rapid River Ride, Notchville Park challenges kids to scamper across a lilypad installation without falling in, and the Courtside Pool has an aqua-volleyball court. You’ll also want to take a shuttle to Bootleggers’ Basin so big kids ages 13 and older can try out a Flyboard, in which a board with water jets propels those who dare several feet above the water! Or hike up to the Rum Runners’ Hideaway reservoir for some laid-back picnicking and water sports. Condos start at $200 a night; smuggs.com.
SNOWSHOE MOUNTAIN RESORT West Virginia
Snowshoe is four hours and a world away from Washington, D.C. Here, the competition isn’t about politics but water sports. Take the Ballhooter Lift to Shaver’s Lake. Then let the kids loose to canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or test their skills on the floating challenge course. Kids will also love Camp Wildcat, where they can mountain bike and try archery. Rent a condo for $177 a night at Allegheny Springs; snowshoemtn.com.
SQUAW VALLEY SKI RESORT California
Hop onto the Aerial Tram for the ten-minute ride up the mountain while surrounded by the beauty of Lake Tahoe and the High Sierras. Once you’re there, head over to High Camp and take a spin around the outdoor roller rink. (There’s also a mountaintop pool and a hot tub to splash around in.) When you’re back down in the village, try the ropes course with its two circuit courses, eight bridges, and seven zip lines up
to 50 feet off the ground.
Wheee! One-bedroom suites with a sleeper sofa start at $210 a night; squawalpine.com.
SUGARLOAF MOUNTAIN RESORT Maine
First stop: the Outpost Adventure Center in the resort’s base village, where you can grab all the info (and rentals) you’ll need. The zip-line tour is a must-do—it takes you over a scenic brook and along the path of the area’s original gondola. You’ll also want to book a spot on the weekly Moose Safari, where a naturalist guide will help you spot the shy Maine moose hiding among the evergreens. Rooms in the lodge with two queen beds start at $195 a night; sugarloaf.com.
TELLURIDE RESORT Colorado
Here, adventure is all about the transportation. It starts before you ever get to the resort, driving the Million Dollar Highway, an S-curved scenic drive south from Grand Junction (and the only route into town). It continues when you get to Telluride, where you can jump onto a series of free gondola rides from the historic downtown to the mountaintop resort. Then it revs up with a 4x4 Jeep tour with a professional driver. Bump and bounce over the rocky road to summit a 14,000foot mountaintop. A junior suite starts at $202 per night; tellurideskiresort.com.
Some families want the white stuff in summer, so head to this Mount Hood resort that’s open for skiing and boarding yearround. There’s even enough snow for a summer terrain park! Or better, sign up for Family Race Camp to work on gate training for the Slalom. For a different kind of thrill, stay at the iconic Timberline Lodge. It was built in the
1930s and served as the
movie backdrop for The Shining. (Creepy!) Family rooms for five start at $295 a night; timberlinelodge.com.
VAIL RESORT Colorado
The adrenaline rush starts at Vail’s Epic Discovery Center. There’s the Forest Flyer mountain coaster that screams 3,400 feet down the mountain, the speedy 550-foot-long Eagles Nest water-tubing hill (and its little brother, the Marmot Mini tubing hill), zip lines, a ropes course, a bungee trampoline, a climbing wall, and more—all accessible via the Eagle Bahn Gondola. A lodge room with two queen beds starts at $185; vail.com.
WHITEFACE MOUNTAIN RESORT New York
Lake Placid is home to two former Winter Olympic Games, so buy an Olympic Site Passport ($35) to tour all the locations and—if you’re lucky—catch a glimpse of some up-and-coming athletes training. Then let the kids get their own Olympicstyle competition going at the Adventure Zone’s series of inflatables and slides. Suites start at $304 a night at Whiteface Lodge; whiteface.com.
WHITEFISH MOUNTAIN RESORT Montana
For families with younger kids, Whitefish Mountain is the place to be! Over the last few years, they’ve added Strider Bike Park, which offers a dirt-bikelike experience, all done on balance bikes, as well as the Spider Monkey Mountain, where kids ages 4 and older can clamber through rope webs and then sail down a two-story slide. Plus, they’re debuting summer tubing this year. All the while, the older siblings can check out the Aerial Adventure Park. A room for four starts at around $229 a night; skiwhitefish.com.
Kids can scale a ropes course in Park City, UT.
Split time between summer skiing and hiking at Mount Hood, OR.
Squaw Valley’s High Camp sits at an elevation of 8,200 feet.
Snowshoe Mountain’s kids’ club offers a wild ride.
Telluride, CO, has one of the state’s highest peaks.
Soar above the forest on the zipline tour in Vail, CO.