I’ve always wondered what ski towns were like in the summer. Are they abandoned ghost towns? How do they attract visitors when it’s not cold?
This June, I spent some time in a few ski towns near Denver: Dillon, Keystone, Silverthorne, Georgetown. Keystone summer activities included conferences, bars, and hiking. Read on to discover some of the best things to do I found in these ski towns during the summer months.
Colorado Summer Activities: Things To Do in the Ski Towns
So what’s the ski town secret to pulling in summer tourist money? Bacon, evidently.
One resort offered a Bacon Tour with live music and games. I want to laugh at the idea that anyone would travel to a ski town for a bacon convention. But I can’t, because I’m too busy salivating. Much like the Sauerkraut Festival in Vermont, the Bacon Tour in Colorado sounds so bizarre that it must be fun. Hell yes, I’d attend!
The town of Dillon came up with another way to attract visitors in summer: Booze. And bluegrass music. Hell yes, I’d attend!
Keystone, Colorado stayed busy with a number of conventions going on (TBEX, holla!), but even so, there were still times when the gondolas were totally deserted.
The same was true of the ski lifts in a nearby town. No one’s going to ski on those little patches of snow!
Miniature golf is another way to lure in guests. But this course is about as lame as they come. As you can see, no one took the bait.
Summer is the best time to ride bikes through the mountains. I encountered a gaggle of bikers on my last day in Colorado.
When the sun comes, the cabins and resorts turn their focus to summer activities.
For Dillon and Silverthorne residents, that means boating and fishing on the lake! What fantastic views.
This ski rental shop in Silverthorne didn’t have much luck attracting guests since there wasn’t any snow around. Someone come buy a jacket! Please?
I guess there’s only so much ski towns can do to seek out visitors in the summer. Fortunately, they only have a few short months before things get cold and snowy again.
Keystone Summer Activities
As noted above, Keystone Resort has plenty going on during the summer. Events include horseback riding, fly fishing, spa events, and more. Then there’s my favorite activity, frisbee golf!
In terms of outdoor adventure, you can find lots of biking, hiking, ATV riding, and more. Check out this directory of hiking trails and information on mountain biking. Private companies such as this one offer whitewater rafting and ATV riding the Keystone area.
In short, you won’t be snow tubing or zipping down the slopes, but you can still find some cool summer activities in Keystone and other nearby Colorado ski towns.
And of course, if you’re up for a Colorado road trip, you won’t want to miss the underrated Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, the chance to climb America’s tallest sand dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park, or the chance to see bighorn sheep in Rocky Mountain National Park.