10 Nights Colorado's Ski Resorts in Summer
Once the snow has gone and spring has sprung the mountains of Colorado come alive with stunning foliage and are as beautiful without the snow as with. Summer is as busy as winter is for Colorado’s ski areas offering hiking, wildlife, mountain biking amongst amazing mountain vista’s, this tour is perfect for those who love the outdoors.
Days 1 & 2: Denver, CO
Welcome to the “Mile High City,” gateway to the spectacular Rocky Mountains! Denver is a vibrant city with 300 days of annual sunshine and the breathtaking Rocky Mountains in their backyard. See the Colorado State Capitol, modelled after the U.S. Capitol, with a step that is exactly one mile above sea level and spectacular views from the rotunda. The Denver Art Museum is itself a piece of sculpture. Nearby, the Colorado History Museum tells the colourful story of the gold miners, cowboys, sod busters, railroaders, soldiers and explorers who have called Colorado home. A block from the park is the U.S. Mint. This is the second largest storehouse of gold bullion in the U.S. and the spot where 10 billion coins are made each year. Stroll 16th Street Mall, with its outdoor cafes, shops, fountains, open plazas and parks.
While there's a lot to do in Denver, there's plenty to do right outside of it as well. Located just 30 minutes outside the city, you can experience a part of Wild West history at Buffalo Bill Cody's grave. This landmark from 1917 rests on the top of scenic Lookout Mountain, along with a museum, where you can explore Buffalo Bill's life—from his days as a Pony Express rider and buffalo hunter to his legacy as the world's greatest showman. While you're out and about, 15 minutes or so from the grave and museum is a chance to take in an inspirational sight: a buffalo herd serenely grazing off the land. This herd of approximately 40 buffalo is directly descended from the last wild buffalo herd left in America.
2 nights Denver
Standard: Comfort Inn Downtown Denver
Select: Curtis Hotel, a Doubletree boutique property
Day 3: To Winter Park, CO (80 miles)
The drive from Denver to Winterpark takes approx 90 mins however you will want to make a stop en-route at historic Georgetown, Colorado’s most well-preserved mining town’s approx 40 miles west of Denver, if they made a movie about early mining towns, Georgetown could be the star. It's so well preserved that if it weren't for the cars, it'd be hard to tell if you were in the right century. An active historical society sees that it stays that way, and the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District recalls the days of the silver boom in this area, located just 45 minutes west of Denver. You'll find artefacts from the era preserved at the Hotel de Paris, now a museum, and see how the well-to-do lived at historic Hamill House Museum.
Once the third-largest town in Colorado, it is now home to slightly more than 1,000 residents. But on weekends, its capacity overflows with visitors who want to shop, sightsee, have lunch or spend the night at a Victorian bed-and-breakfast inn.
The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a major attraction here, and takes visitors on a round trip narrow gauge steam train ride from Georgetown to nearby Silver Plume and back, with an optional stop for a tour of the Lebanon Silver Mine.
Near town is the breathtaking Guanella Pass Road, which at its 11,600-foot summit might literally leave you panting. If wildlife watching is your passion, stop at the Georgetown Wildlife Viewing Area for a glimpse of one of the hundreds of bighorn sheep living in the area. from Georgetown take highway 40 20 miles north over the continental divide on to Winter Park.
Winter Park is also a spectacular summer vacation destination. You can ride a ski lift up a mountain and hike down a wildflower-strewn trail, and mountain bikers find plenty of places to ride here.
Visit the Cozens Ranch museum just north of town, the site of a stage stop and post office from the 1870s. Be sure to check out the room commemorating Doc Suzie, the first female doctor in the area.
1 night Winter Park, CO
Standard: Vintage Hotel
Select: Winter Park Hotel
Days 4 & 5: To Steamboat Springs, CO (95 miles)
Today its back onto highway 40 following the Blue River heading North West all the way to Steamboat Springs making a stop at Hot Sulphur Springs Colorado has many hot springs, and in some cases, like Hot Sulphur Springs, they're the primary attraction in a town.
Hot Sulphur Springs almost lost its raison d'etre when the springs fell into disrepair. But they were bought, refurbished and reopened in the 1990s and have been booming ever since. It's become a favourite place for skiers from surrounding resorts to come relax their sore muscles after a hard day on the slopes.
The mineral springs were once used by the Ute Indians, who believed in their healing powers, and when the spring reopened, it was blessed by a Ute elder. Today, visitors can find relief in one of 21 different pools, or with a massage or other treatment in the spa.
You can stay at the hot springs resort or get a little quieter room at the historic Riverside Hotel. The hotel also offers the best dining in town.
While you're there, visit the Grand County Historical Museum in the Hot Sulphur Springs schoolhouse.
If you need a little more activity, visit the nearby Arapahoe National Forest for the usual array of hiking and such.
But if you're seeking a relaxing spot, this is it. Just say aaaahhh..
Steamboat Springs is a perfect location to explore mountains, rivers, lakes and National forest that surround this stunning area. Think skiers in cowboy hats and you'll have a pretty good mental picture of Steamboat Springs in north-western Colorado. Yes, there's world-renowned skiing here, but with an undercurrent of cowboy culture. The wide-open Yampa Valley brought cattle ranchers here in the 1800s, and the town's signature store still sells Western wear.
Like many of Colorado's most attractive towns, Steamboat Springs has great hot springs. The hot springs in Steamboat are down an adventurous drive north of town that brings you to a riverside canyon in one of the most perfect soaking settings imaginable.
In fact, the town got its name from its famed water works. Fur trappers who visited the area in the late 1800s heard the bubbling sound of one of the local hot springs and thought it sounded like a steamboat coming down the Yampa River.
Favourite outdoor activities among visitors are a hike to scenic Fish Creek Falls, followed by a mountain-bike ride or hike through the surrounding parks and forests. On cool summer nights, everyone goes to strings music festival a summer concert series, or to the rodeo, which draws the future stars of the rodeo circuit.
Steamboat is known, also, for its long-standing Western heritage — with a more than 100-year-old summer rodeo — and deep-seated ski heritage. The town is home to two ski areas: Steamboat Ski Resort and Howelsen Hill, the oldest ski area in continuous use in the state of Colorado, as well as nearly 90 Winter Olympians who call the area home.
2 nights Steamboat Springs, CO
Standard: Comfort Inn Steamboat Springs
Select: Sheraton Steamboat Hotel
Days 6 & 7: Snowmass / Aspen, CO (156 miles)
Today start your journey early so you can take a leisurely drive through the stunning Rocky Mountains crossing the Colorado River onto Snowmass or Aspen, making a stop at the historic resort town of Glenwood Springs famed for its Glenwood Hot Springs, thrilling rides at Glenwood Caverns adventure park, snow sports at sunlight Mountain Resort, world-class fishing and rafting and miles of scenic paved recreation paths.
The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, established in 1888, is the world’s largest outdoor mineral pool, famous for its healing thermal waters and its size — it's more than two city blocks long. At the nearby Yampah Spa & Vapour Caves, you can soothe away muscle aches in underground caverns — a natural geothermal steam bath — just like the Ute Indians did centuries ago. Or take a 10-minute tram ride up to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park where you can view amazing crystalline formations on a tour of its mountain caves. Gentle activities here include panning for gemstones, while adrenaline-junkies love the giant swing that launches riders 1,300 feet over the Colorado River. Less than an hours drive South of Glenwood Springs is Snowmass/Aspen.
Tucked high into the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Snowmass is renowned as one of the best ski resorts in the world, and now its summers are garnering a reputation to match. This mountain town, nestled amidst some of the most spectacular vistas in Colorado offers a wealth of culture, summer adventure, and alpine mountain charm. The best of the west can be found in Snowmass, whether visitors are seeking the serenity of award-winning fly-fishing rivers, a taste of cowboy culture at the weekly rodeo, or the heart-pumping adrenaline of a mountain adventure. More than 50 miles of hiking and biking trails, an 18-hole Jim Engh-designed golf course, two 18-hole disc golf courses, an Ice Age fossil museum, and a renowned arts center provide countless ways to while away the summer hours. A vibrant events & festivals schedule encompasses every taste, from a weekly music series that draws national acts and thousands to town for sunset concerts, to culinary, arts, and athletic festivals. Just 9 miles from downtown Aspen, Snowmass brims with unmatched natural splendor—and myriad ways to enjoy it.
Aspen is known for being the Rocky Mountain playground of the rich and famous, but this authentic mountain town offers far more than just glitz and glam.
Aspen is consistently rated one of the world's top ski areas by ski and travel publications, and ski-in, ski-out lodges are the norm. Experts slide around on Aspen Mountain, locals gravitate towards Aspen Highlands, beginners and freestyle park denizens end up at buttermilk, and families love Snowmass.
Despite this winter reputation, the town is a year-round destination. Spring brings about abundant wildflowers in the alpine meadows, Maroon Bells offer excellent hiking with breathtaking views in the summer, and dense, golden aspen groves are a sight to behold in autumn. The area also beckons mountain bikers, kayakers and rafters, and rock climbers to explore its wonders throughout the warmer months.
Aspen also draws travellers to its urban cultural scene, which belies its small-town charm. Art aficionados rub shoulders with wine connoisseurs and concert-goers, culinary epicures and fashion mavens vie for reservations at Aspen’s hot-spot restaurants, and people flock from around the world to high-profile events like the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and X Games. And for anyone wanting to lay their head in Aspen, accommodations run from posh to economical, ensuring everyone feels welcome.
2 nights Snowmass, CO
Standard: Crestwood Condo's, Snowmass
Select: Viceroy, Snowmass
Days 8 & 9: Vail, CO (103 miles)
Today enjoy a stunning drive en route to vail, crossing amazing forests, mountain ranges, raging rivers, the continental divide and amazing views from Independent pass 12,095ft above sea level which is normally closed in the winter. Make stops at Twin Lakes Resting in the shadow of Colorado’s tallest peak, Twin Lakes is one of Colorado's most scenic locations. The community lies adjacent to the state's two largest glacial lakes along the Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway. Once a mining transportation hub that served the communities of Leadville and Aspen, today Twin Lakes is a place to get away from it all. The area is especially popular for fishing, boating, hiking, snowmobiling and photographing quintessential Colorado scenery. Leadville Not everyone came to Colorado seeking gold. Other minerals played an important part in the state's history, as you'll discover in Leadville. And at 10,152 feet, it’s North America's highest incorporated city.
Leadville was home to H.A.W. Tabor, who became almost as famous for leaving his wife and marrying a younger woman as for discovering one of the richest silver strikes in the state. His second wife, Baby Doe Tabor, became the stuff of legends — there's even an opera about her.
Leadville was a very influential boomtown — it was almost named as Colorado's capital city. Well-preserved, Leadville has 70-square city blocks of Victorian buildings, all part of a designated National Historic Landmark District, along with 20-square miles of a preserved mining district. More than 50 buildings date back to the 1870s, including the Tabor Opera House and Turquoise lake Located at nearly 11,000 feet, this high-altitude body of water nearly touches the clouds. Smart anglers tie on a fly and look to sunken logs for wily brown and brook trout. before arriving in Vail.
When people think skiing in Colorado, Vail is often the first town that comes to mind. Established less than 50 years ago, saying the small town has grown rapidly in popularity is quite an understatement.
World-famous skiing and a high celebrity quotient have put it on the map for many travellers. Located in the heart of the Vail Valley, in the Colorado Rockies, it's a town created by and for skiing.
Vail lies about 25 miles from Camp Hale, which spawned the famous 10th Mountain Division of mountain-trained soldiers during World War II. The Colorado Ski Museum in town honours the memory of those soldiers, who played a pivotal role in the war.
Luxurious condos, first-class ski resorts and cosy lodges surround a village sporting dozens of restaurants that indulge visitors.
The town is home to a number of big annual events, including a food and wine festival, the World Alpine Ski Championships, a huge July 4th extravaganza, nationally renowned summer music and dance festivals and a locally loved rubber ducky race.
Former president Gerald R. Ford made his home here much of the time. His philanthropy created the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheatre and the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, a must-see. Also check out the Vail Nature Centre for an all-natural attraction.
At Vail Pass, visitors can find a handful of scenic and easily accessed lakes in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area. The hike up Mount of the Holy Cross is no easy task, but one of the most popular in the area.
As big as skiing is in the winter, it is replaced by top-notch hiking, cycling and golf in the summer.
2 nights Vail, CO
Standard: Evergreen Lodge
Select: The Landmark Lodge
Days 10: Breckenridge, CO (37 miles)
Today time to start you way back towards to Denver, but you still have 1 night to enjoy in Breckenridge Breckenridge's quaint main street could be a painting of the mountain resort of your dreams.
The oldest and largest town in Colorado's famous Summit County started out, like many, as a mining town, and locals aren't about to forget it — the 250-plus buildings on the National Historic Register attest to that. Take one of the 12-block downtown walking tours or check out the 1875 Edwin Carter Museum, thought to be the oldest museum in the state. Also take time to stop by the church built by "Father" Dyer, an itinerant Methodist minister who visited town frequently, often using snowshoes to get around.
Four mountain peaks make up the resort, providing 2,358 acres of amazing skiing and enough variety to suit even the most seasoned skier. Nordic centres cater to cross-country skiers and snowshoers, as well. In summer, you can ride the ski lift up to hiking trails with unparalleled views. For outdoor pleasure there's also cycling and golf. There are even Jeep tours that take you to area ghost towns. Summit County sports a challenging paved bike trail system, connecting Breckenridge with other nearby towns.
Diners will find a mix of cuisine, from seafood to Mexican and Italian to continental, as well as a range of places to stop in for a quick bite or sit and savour several courses. Lodgings range from romantic bed-and-breakfast inns to luxe ski resort hotels. There are also many budget-friendly options available for families.
Festivals punctuate the annual calendar, from the Ullr Fest (celebrating the Nordic god of snow) and the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships in winter, to the annual summer music festival in the newly renovated Riverwalk Center.
Whether you go for the masses of wildflowers in summer or the snow sports of winter, be sure to walk down the quaint Main Street, do some window shopping and admire the well-preserved architecture.
1 night Breckenridge, CO
Standard: Breckenridge Mountain Lodge
Select: Village Hotel at Breckenridge
Days 11: Denver, CO (80 or 110 miles)
Today as you head back to Denver for your flight home you can either take interstate 70 if your time sensitive or a more scenic route along the 285 through Pike National Forest and make a stop to see Dinosaur Ridge National Natural Landmark, Dozens of scientists from the east travelled to Denver in search of additional fossil sites in the area now dubbed Dinosaur Ridge. Today, this scenic mountain ridge is a National Natural Landmark and preserves more than 300 dinosaur footprints. Your whole family will enjoy the interpretive displays available in the Visitors Centre, as well as informational signs placed along the mile-long path.
Pre, post or extra nights: Pre, post & extra nights within the itinerary can be added to this tour, please let us know at time of booking if you would like to extend your stay anywhere and we will be happy to quote the extra nights.
Documentation/joining instructions: A prepaid voucher for your first hotel stay will be issued to you prior to travel, your self-drive guidebook with all other documents, driving directions & maps etc will then be waiting for your collection on check in at the first hotel.
Included in the tour:
All hotel taxes
Not included in this tour:
Overnight parking charges if applicable
Flights – Please contact us to arrange flights direct into Denver with our airline partner British Airways.
Car Hire - Please contact us to arrange car hire with our rental partner Alamo rent a car at very competitive rates.
All rates quoted below are per adult per package in Great British Pounds and include all taxes.
Up to two children under 11 can stay free when sharing the same room with two adults.
Accommodations are offered on two quality levels: “standard” indicates good, moderate accommodation with several facilities, possibly a dining room and sometimes a swimming pool. “Select” indicates a more superior accommodation in great locations, with extended facilities including a dining room and usually a swimming pool. All rooms on both level offer en-suite private facilities.
Tour departs everyday
01 May – 01 Oct 2018
Tour departs everyday
01 May – 01 Oct 2018
To book this tour along with flights, car hire and extra nights or if you have any questions please call us on 0844 80 444 80 we are open 7 days a week until late.