11 Ski Resorts that Are Just as Amazing in the Off-Season

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Once the snow stops falling many ski resorts pack up operations and become a ghost town for the summer. But not at these spots!

Once ski season is over these ski resorts and towns are just getting started. From world class mountain biking to hiking 14ers to enjoying the quaint downtowns, summer is the time for adventure.

So trade in your skis for a pair of hiking books and a fly fishing rod and head out on an adventure you might not have expected to find this summer!

Aspen Snowmass – Aspen, Colorado

Maroon Bells Mountain Peaks reflected in Maroon Lake near Aspen Colorado, USA.
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Aspen has it all when it comes to summer activities and adventure. Start the day with a hike at the Maroon Bells, or break out your mountain bike for a downhill adventure on the resort’s trails with twisting turns, berms, and handbuilt features. 

In the afternoon, trade in your dusty gear for more formal attire to attend one of the many festivals that call this area home, including the Aspen Food and Wine Classic and Jazz Aspen. If you’re still up for more than that, take a stroll through this historic ski town’s charming downtown shops and restaurants.

Park City – Park City, Utah

Downtown Park City, Utah
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One look at a map of Park City and the trailheads that surround the city and it quickly becomes apparent that there are no shortage of options for outdoor adventure. Whether you’re looking to hike to the high peaks of the Wasatch Range or mountain bike, this ski town has plenty of options. 

While Park City may be known for hosting the world-famous Sundance Film Festival each January, it is also home to equally impressive summer events like Savor the Summit and the Tour is Utah bike race.

Lake Tahoe – Lake Tahoe, California

Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe
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Lake Tahoe has it all for summer adventures, with the mountains and lake sitting right next to each other. From hiking to mountain biking to paddleboarding or kayaking, the summer adventures are non-stop at Lake Tahoe.

This area also draws in big acts and events like the Big Blues Music & Brews festival, the Tahoe Brewfest, and the Summer Concert Series, which has featured A-list performers such as Lady Gaga.

Whistler Blackcomb – Whistler, British Columbia

View of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola with Whistler Mountain as backdrop in summer. Photo taken on Blackcomb Mountain.
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Exploring Whistler Blackcomb in the summer is a thrilling experience with endless outdoor activities. Ride the mountain biking trails, hike to stunning viewpoints like the Whistler Summit Trail, and zip-line through the lush alpine forests. The Peak 2 peak gondola is a must-do for any visitor, and the summer wildflower displays in the high mountain meadows are a can’t-miss.

Jackson Hole – Jackson, Wyoming

The Aerial Tram Taking Visitors and Tourist up to the Mountain in Jackson Hole Wyoming
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Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is built on the famous Grand Teton mountain range, just south of Yellowstone National Park. This area transforms into a summer playground as folks come from all across the world to see the wildlife, raft and fish the rivers, and take in the scenery of the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

The tram at Jackson Hole stays busy all summer with tourists looking to take in the views and snack on one of the famous Top of the World waffles at Corbett’s Cabin.

Mt. Bachelor – Bend, Oregon

Mount Bachelor being reflected in Sparks Lake near Bend, Oregon
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Mt. Bachelor and the Bend area at large are among the few ski resorts that get busier during the summer than winter. The area surrounding Mt. Bachelor is a mecca for hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, and paddleboarding. 

With dozens of lakes and rivers and hundreds of miles of trails, there is no shortage of things to do in Bend and at Mt. Bachelor during the summer months. The resort keeps busy with a world-class downhill mountain biking operation and a zip line featuring the most vertical drop in North America!

Baker Ski Area – Mt. Baker, Washington

Mt Baker
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Mt. Baker lays claim to the snowiest ski resort in North America. But come summer this stunning mountain is a destination for hikers and climbers looking for stunning alpine lakes, and jaw-dropping hikes. Located at the northern edge of Washington state and without any amenities close by, most of the resort shuts down during the summer months, but that doesn’t stop the crowds from showing up to take in this gorgeous region.

Mt. Baker is located close to the little-visited North Cascades National Park, where you can find solitude and adventure in this imposing mountain range.

Stowe Mountain Resort – Stowe, Vermont

Iconic New England church in Stowe Vermont, USA
Photo Credit: depositphotos.com

Stowe, Vermont is perhaps the most quintessential New England town you’ll find in the region. Its rolling hills, lush maples, and quaint downtown make a visit a treat any time of year. This idyllic town transforms into a paradise for outdoor lovers during the summer.

Spend your days swimming in the area’s cool lakes, biking past farmland on quiet rural roads, or tasting your way through the town’s world-famous craft beer scene.

Whitefish Mountain Resort – Whitefish, Montana

view of the main street of Whitefish, Montana
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Whitefish Mountain Resort sits just outside the popular Glacier National Park in northern Montana. This means that outdoor adventures rule the day.

At the resort itself, you can spend your days mountain biking their 20+ miles of downhill trails, riding the alpine slides, or filling your belly with fresh mountain huckleberries.

Just a couple of miles down the road, you’ll find the entrance to one of the wildest national parks in the country—Glacier. Here, you can drive the famous Going-to-the-Sun road, hike to stunning glacial lakes, and search the hillsides for resident grizzly bears.

Taos Ski Valley – Taos, New Mexico

Boardwalk in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico in fall
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Most folks heading to New Mexico in the middle of summer come expecting sizzling daytime temperatures that limit outdoor activities to floating in the pool. But at Taos, which sits at over 9,000 feet and is surrounded by lush pine forests, the temperatures stay cool even on the hottest days down low.

This means that Taos is the perfect summer getaway for hiking, mountain biking, or river rafting. The town is also an art lover’s paradise with plenty of museums and galleries to explore.

Sugarloaf – Sugarloaf, Maine

Foliage at Sugarloaf, Maine
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Sugarloaf is home to the largest ski resort east of the Rocky Mountains, and the fun at this rural resort continues once the snow melts. Come summer, the ski area transforms into a biking and hiking paradise with plenty of room to spread out. The resort is also home to one of Maine’s highest-rated golf courses if you’re looking to hit the links. 

This area is a perfect family destination for its low-key atmosphere and family-friendly events.

About the author
Derek Carlson
Pacific Northwest native, cross-country skier, hiker, mountain biker, wannabe fly fisherman, writer and owner of Roam the Northwest