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Reasons to Visit Keystone Ski Resort in Summer

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Keystone Ski Resort in SUMMER? Yes! When I suggested families head to ski resorts in summer for outdoor activities during a radio interview, the DJ scoffed, “What in the world is there to do at a ski resort without any snow?” Plenty, that's what! Last summer, along with 12 other family members spanning three generations, I embarked on one of the most memorable and meaningful vacations of my life in Keystone, Colorado. Let me convince you to do the same with these reasons to visit Keystone in summer.

Three generations at Keystone Ski Resort in summer (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

Three generations at Keystone Ski Resort in summer (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

1. Mountain Top Yoga

Keystone is gorgeous in winter but it's equally beautiful in summer when you can still see mountains drizzled with white snow in the distance and the grass is green and dotted with wildflowers. Kickstart your day with a scenic gondola ride from River Run Village to do some Mountain Top Yoga<. Stretch, breathe and rejuvenate your mind and body all while taking in views of the 10 Mile Mountain Range.

Morning mountaintop yoga with views to awaken your senses

Morning mountaintop yoga with views to awaken your senses (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

2. Horseback Riding

Although the pace is slower than from atop a set of skis or a snowboard, Keystone's mountain range is never more impressive than when viewed from the saddle of a horse. Choose a one- or two-hour ride in the White River National Forest with an experienced wrangler from Keystone Stables as your guide. Although our crew loved our ride up and then down the side of a mountain, those with a fear of heights (or horses) might find portions of the ride intimidating. (Kids must be 8 or older to to attend the trail ride but brief pony rides near the stable are available for kids ages 3-7.)

Exploring Keystone Mountain by horseback (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

Exploring Keystone Mountain by horseback (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

3. Summer Snow Tubing

Just because it's summer, it doesn't mean you can't get some snow play in! Take the gondola up Keystone Mountain from River Run Village for some adrenaline-pumping Adventure Point Summer Snow Tubing. I don't know who had more fun zooming down the snow covered tubing hill, my 6-year-old son or my 70-year-old parents! Thankfully, a magic carpet makes getting back up the hill for return slides easy and fun. (Participants must be at least 42 inches tall, which tends to be about 4 years old.)

Do I look a little nervous on my yellow inner-tube on our first slide down the hill? That's only because I am! ~ Keystone Ski Resort in Summer (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

Do I look a little nervous on my yellow inner-tube on our first slide down the hill? That's only because I am! (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

4. Apres “Ski”

Okay, there's not really any skiing in summer at Keystone Ski Resort. But who says you can't enjoy an apres ski anyway? After a day of snow tubing, horseback riding or fly-fishing, a couple cold drinks and hot beer cheddar fondue hits the spot at 9280 Tap House in River Run Village. Happy hour takes place daily 3-6 pm inside or on their outdoor deck.

Beer cheese fondue apres "ski" is yummy year-round

Beer cheese fondue apres “ski” is yummy year-round (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

5. Kidtopia Play Park and Breckenridge Fun Park

At Keystone Ski Resort in summer, you'll find the Kidtopia Play Park in River Run Village with a bounce house, climbing wall, mini golf, gem panning, bungee trampoline, and Montezuma Mine Shaft maze. Next door to Keystone is sister Vail Ski Resort, Breckenridge—home to the Breckenridge Fun Park. Breckenridge offers much of the same activities plus the Alpine SuperSlider, Gold Runner Alpine Coaster and zip-line. The Kidtopia Play Park provides fun activities for kids after lunch or shopping in the village, while Breckenridge Fun Park is worthy of a full-day visit, especially with adventurous kids. (Age and height restrictions apply for some of the Kidtopia Play Park and Breckenridge Fun Park activities.)

All ready to zoom down the Alpine Slide at Breckenridge Fun Park ~ Keystone Ski Resort in Summer

My husband and son all set to zoom down the Alpine Slide at Breckenridge Fun Park (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

6. Lake Fishing and Fly Fishing

Even if you didn't fall in love with the idea of fly-fishing (and Brad Pitt!) while watching A River Runs Through It, you may want to try your hand at this graceful form of fishing while in the Colorado Rockies. Don waders and fight to hold yourself against the river's cold current for a catch and release adventure you'll always remember. All gear is provided by Colorado Angler as well as lessons in casting to mimic the flight pattern of a fly on the waters surface.

My niece, Siobhan, was the lone gal in our crew to join the fly-fishing adventure at Snake River near Keystone ~ Keystone Ski Resort in Summer

My niece, Siobhan, was the lone gal in our family to join the fly-fishing adventure at Snake River near Keystone

For a more relaxing experience, choose lake fishing. My family set sail with Big Ed's Fishing Ventures on two pontoon boats. Big Ed's will provide all you need, including rods and reels, lures, and a captain for each boat. Large parties of seven or more (like us) receive a 10% discount off their second and third boats. Although I opted to go for a hike with my teenage nephew instead of joining the fishing crew that day, I did get to reap the benefits of plenty of rainbow trout for lunch. Big Ed's is happy to cater to families with young children; in fact my 6-year-old was beyond thrilled when he caught his first-ever fish! No matter which type of fishing you choose, lake or fly, all fishers need a valid fishing license.

Fresh-caught fish grilled up by my brother, Mike, back at our cabin ~ Keystone Ski Resort in Summer

Fresh-caught fish grilled up by my brother, Mike, back at our rental cabin (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

7. Wagon Ride Dinner

The Wagonride Dinner stands out in my memory of this incredible trip. This is only partially because it was one of the only Keystone adventures that we all did together. It also has to do with the crazy beautiful scenery, the sweet draft horses, a delicious barbecue dinner, the campfire songs, and the cowboy games. Read more about what made our Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner so special.

Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner ~ Keystone Ski Resort in Summer

Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

8. Keystone Spa

Any vacation is made more relaxing and enjoyable when a spa day is added to the itinerary if you ask me, my sister, and my soon-to-be-sister-in-law! With muscles sore from all of my mountain activities, the Bliss Journey treatment (featuring a 50-minute massage plus a 50-minute customized facial) was just what I needed. Arrive AT LEAST 30 minutes prior to appointment time at the Keystone Spa at the Lakeside Village to make use of the whirlpool, relaxation room, sauna, steam room and fitness studio. (Guests must be 15+ to enjoy all of the spa's facitilies and services; kids aged 12 and under may receive a manicure or pedicure if accompanied by a parent.)

My sister, Karen, and soon-to-be-sister-in-law, Heidi, relaxing at Keystone Spa ~ Keystone Ski Resort in Summer

My sister, Karen, and soon-to-be-sister-in-law, Heidi, relaxing at Keystone Spa (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

9. Friday Afternoon Club

If you happen to be at Keystone Ski Resort in summer on a Friday, you must make time for Friday Afternoon Club. Take the gondola from Riverside Village to Summit House for an evening of live music, food and drinks with 360 degree views of the Rockies. Parents may appreciate a full bar while kids will love free activities like horseshoes, corn hole, ladder ball and bocce ball.

Good food, good music, good times and great views in Keystone in summer ~ Keystone Ski Resort in Summer

Good food, good music, good times and great views in Keystone in summer (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

10. Connection

It would be an understatement to say it was difficult to narrow down a multigenerational vacation destination with 13 family members ranging in ages from 6 to 70. After many suggestions including Hawaii, Utah, San Diego, and a Disney Cruise, I finally convinced my fellow type-A family members to head to Keystone. We didn't want the focus of this trip to be on site-seeing, beaches or cruise activities. Rather, we wanted to spend time together and doing things that everyone would enjoy and remember for a lifetime. With various personalities, preferences, and abilities, we were able to put together an itinerary that, amazingly, pleased us all. Some of my all-time favorite family memories were made on this trip and I came home feeling more connected to my 12 travel mates, each and every one of them!

Have you ever vacationed at a ski resort off-season? Would you consider visiting Keystone Ski Resort in summer? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: Many activities and some meals were hosted by Keystone Ski Resort and other providers for my family of four during our Keystone vacation. All opinions are mine, as always.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. Amazing inputs about Keystone Ski Resort. I am a planning for a Colorado tour soon. Can you suggest

    any travel tips for Denver as well?

  2. Jody Robbins says:

    Summer snow tubing sounds awesome! I don’t know why we don’t do that in the Canadian Rockies.

  3. What a great trip!

  4. We love escaping to our local ski resorts in the summer. It’s a fun and scenic way to beat the heat and enjoy off-season pricing. We visited Keystone a few years ago and it is indeed a fun place to spend a summer vacation! I’m glad that your whole family had such a fun reunion there.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Allison – Agreed! Keystone really is just incredible for families all year round.

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