Top Picks

Ski Resorts in Summer

By: Peter J. Frank

The snow may be gone, but that doesn’t mean the season’s over for America’s top ski resorts. It turns out the gorgeous scenery, wide range of activities and clean mountain air are just as appealing in the summer—and come with zero threat of avalanches. Here are a few top choices. See them all in our Ski Resorts in Summer Collection.

Aspen, Colorado

Summer makes it possible to explore Aspen’s gorgeous scenery without strapping on a pair of skis. At the Little Nell, for example, the Ride & Dine series involves a bike ride (15 or so miles) that ends in an alfresco dinner with wines from the 20,000-bottle cellar and farm-to-table cuisine by the chefs at Element 47. Or take an off-road vehicle to the top of Aspen Mountain for epic views of the Continental Divide.

Park City, Utah

The Montage Deer Valley takes advantage of Park City’s proximity to Utah’s incredible desert landscape by putting together pull-out-all-the-stops itineraries to area national parks. Each day-long Montage Expedition accommodates up to 7 guests and provides private air transport, a gourmet picnic lunch, and an expert guide to show you the best of Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon or Zion.

Banff, Canada

The turrets and mansard roofs of the Fairmont Banff Springs look just as majestic against the green-carpeted mountainside as they do when that backdrop is wearing a blanket of white snow. And while visitors flock here in winter to partake of the “champagne powder” at the area’s trio of ski resorts—Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay and Lake Louise—the summer brings everything from golf and tennis to Mountie meet-and-greets and Banff’s arts and music festival. 

Vail, Colorado

For four generations, the Bavarian-style Sonnenalp Hotel, smack in the middle of Vail Village, has been operated by the same family. That famously warm hospitality isn’t just in the chilly winter—the hotel is open year-round. Summer’s offerings include guided hikes in the pine-scented, flower-speckled mountains, preferred access to tee times at the hotel’s championship golf course, and outings to the nearby Beaver Creek rodeo. 

Whistler, Canada

Families and active couples aren’t the only ones to flock to Whistler in the summertime—it’s also prime season for spotting black bears and their cubs. Take a tour to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat—not to mention coyote, hawks, owls and other wildlife. Back at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, the warm weather makes it easier to enjoy the pool and the Robert Trent Jones Jr., Audubon-certified golf course.

Snowmass, Colorado

The summer activities here prove that H2O is plenty of fun once it’s thawed out. The Viceroy Snowmass organizes fly-fishing outings on the Roaring Fork River, one of America’s top fisheries, located less than 15 minutes from the hotel. If that’s not thrilling enough, you can go whitewater rafting in the Arkansas River’s Class IV rapids. Afterwards, have a eucalyptus soak and a Native American–inspired hydrotherapy treatment at the Viceroy’s 7,000-square-foot spa, complete with waterfall.