Most people flock to ski resorts in the winter to get their fix of adrenaline on the snowy slopes. But many of the same resorts have created activities and adventures that make it just as much fun to visit during the warmer summer months. From mountain biking and music festivals to scenic tram rides and epic hikes, don’t wait until the snow begins to fall to take a trip to the mountains—here are nine ski resorts, across the U.S. and Canada, where you can also have some serious off-season fun.
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1. Mammoth, California
Mammoth Mountain’s world-class ski runs transform into thrilling downhill mountain bike trails during the summer for an ultimate high-alpine riding experience at Mammoth Bike Park. Guests and their bikes (rentals, including e-bikes and equipment, are available) ride to the top via the scenic gondola or chairlifts. There are various downhill trails for different ability levels, including more than 80 miles of singletrack offering plenty of pavers, berms, jumps, and drops, as well as a beginner-friendly Discovery Zone, and a Derailed Zone for expert and pro riders. A scenic cross-country trail goes from the mountain to the downtown village.
Now a skier’s paradise, Mammoth Lakes was once the site of a booming gold rush
2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
For an adrenaline-filled high alpine adventure, try Jackson Hole’s guided Via Ferrata excursion that traverses the Tetons through rock climbing, suspension bridges, and ladders. Six routes accommodate a variety of skill levels, from beginners to advanced, and climbers wear a harness that secures them to safety cables along the way.
For a less strenuous outing, take the Aerial Tram 4,139 feet to the “Top of the World” in just about 12 minutes. Pop into Corbett’s Cabin for world-famous gourmet waffles before hiking down one of the many trails that lead back to the bottom. Stop by the newly-renovated Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole to reward yourself with an après hike adult beverage at The Handle Bar pub.
3. Whistler Blackcomb, Canada
You can easily spend a whole day or more exploring Whistler Blackcomb, with its more than 30 miles of hiking trails for all levels. The newly-opened, 426-foot-long Cloudraker Skybridge and Raven’s Eye Cliff Walk viewing platform suspend you almost 40 feet out, off a cliff’s edge, with expansive views of Whistler Valley. Take advantage of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola for a 360-degree sightseeing experience that takes you between Whistler and Blackcomb peaks. Whistler is also known worldwide as a downhill mountain biking mecca with singletrack trails (ranging from green to double black diamond) at Whistler Mountain Bike Park and remote backcountry access via heli biking.
4. Lake Tahoe, California
Just 40 miles east of the bustling “Biggest Little City” of Reno, summer travelers can take a day trip to Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, and a top summer vacation spot. Skiers wishing to visit their favorite resorts in the summer can explore the newly-rebranded Palisades Tahoe with endless outdoor adventure opportunities. Take a scenic 10-minute ride to the top on the Aerial Tram, which climbs over 2,000 feet, to get unspoiled views of Lake Tahoe and the picturesque mountain terrain. Once you arrive at High Camp, the fun continues with activities such as roller skating at an outdoor rink, playing a 9-hole disc golf course, geocaching, and incredible hiking.
5. Park City, Utah
In sharp contrast to its famous winter season, Park City offers a wide variety of fun summer activities that appeal to travelers of all ages. As the home of the 2002 Winter Olympics, Park City offers unique experiences that let guests feel what it might be like to be an Olympian. With the Summer Bobsled Experience you can hit speeds of up to 60 miles per hour as you (with a professional bobsledder at the helm) speed down a concrete Olympic bobsled, luge, and skeleton track. Utah Olympic Park also offers exciting zip-lining tours that soar high above the mountain ski trails below.
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6. Vail, Colorado
For summer fun at Vail, Epic Discovery provides an on-mountain summer experience with big-time thrills through activities including the Forest Flyer alpine coaster, summer tubing, aerial challenge courses, a bungee trampoline, and an interactive trail system. Pick and choose which activities are right for you or try them all with an Adventure Pass. For those looking to push their limits, try a challenging “fourteener,” hiking up a mountain that is higher than 14,000 feet.
7. Snow King Mountain Resort, Wyoming
Get a bird’s eye view of the forest with Snow King Mountain Resort’s challenging Treetop Adventure course. Guests are harnessed for safety while riding zip lines, traversing suspended bridges, scrambling up nets, crossing swinging logs, and even riding an aerial skateboard—all while taking in the spectacular views of the Tetons. At the base of the mountain, Snow King Resort offers hike-in and hike-out accommodations and makes a convenient home base for visiting nearby Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
8. Big Sky, Montana
Try a unique outdoor activity at Big Sky Montana’s The Search for Creature X Outdoor Escape Room. Grab your friends to work as a team to solve the mystery and locate a mysterious creature while roaming the mountain.
9. Powder Mountain, Utah
“Downhill thrill” takes on a new meaning this summer at Utah’s beloved Powder Mountain ski resort, with the opening of Utah’s newest bike park, Power Mountain Bike Park. The new park offers lift-access to two flow trails and some technical singletrack trails. Unlike larger bike parks, Powder Mountain prevents overcrowding by limiting daily lift tickets to 250.