Of course, this list could be another list of “easy” resorts to name like Lake Tahoe, Whistler, or Jackson Hole. Instead of showcasing the crowded summer destinations, we decided to focus on some lesser known spots. Here’s 6 ski towns to visit in the summer and why.
In 2004, Wallace declared itself as the “center of the universe”, and just like this proclamation, this funky town is truly one-of-a kind. Even though it’s home to only 800 permanent residents, Wallace’s history could fill an entire book. From being the “Silver Capital of the World” to the ONLY spot on a U.S. interstate with a stop light, it’s colorful past is well worth the visit in itself. In addition, it’s home to amazing cuisine & crossroads to FIVE nationally recognized trails including the Hiawatha trail. And for those looking for a bit more adrenaline pumping fun, only ten minutes from downtown is the world-class lift accessed mountain biking at Silver Mountain, offering up 3,400’ vertical feet of riding!
Invermere, British Columbia
When someone talks about mountain biking in Canada, the first place that comes up is Whistler. Even though this is a great option, for those looking for less crowded trails and a more relaxed vibe, you need to look east at Panorama & the town of Invermere. This resort is a two-time top-five winner in the MTB Parks.com Riders’ choice and a harbor of cycling fun that features natural features for all abilities alongside some man-made expert obstacles. Of course, a summer vacation isn’t just about bike riding. You can also go for a leisurely kayak on Lake Windermere, whitewater raft on the Kootenay, or hop on an ATV with Toby Creek Adventures. After a day full of adventure, you can go soak away those sore muscles at either Radium or Fairmont Hot Springs.
Traverse City, Michigan
With the exception of New York, Michigan boasts more ski areas than any other state. And the most famous one is Boyne, next to the cozy resort town of Traverse City. Even though in the winter it makes sense that skiers & snowboarders look West to the hulking peaks to feed their need for powder turns, in the summer, this place blooms for summer fun. Nestled on the Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan, it’s well worth the trip. From scenic lake views so big you can’t see the other side to exhilarating mountain bike adventures on the 4,000 acres surrounding Boyne Highlands to the annual festivals like the National Cherry Festival, the opportunities for fun are endless. It makes sense why this hamlet was named the best small town in America in 2015 AND 2016.
Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec
For those looking to escape the mid-summer heat, there’s no “cooler” spot than Mont Sainte Anne. Renowned as the “mecca” of mountain biking in Eastern Canada, it has the LARGEST cross-country bike network in Eastern Canada offering more than 80 miles of trails to ride alongside 23.1 miles accessible via chairlift. Combine that with one-of-a kind endeavors like Via Ferrata, endless hiking opportunities, paragliding and jaw-dropping views of the mighty Saint Lawrence, you can’t go wrong. Not enough? Only 30 minutes away is the capital of the province Quebec City. The city dates to 1535 and contains the ONLY fortified city walls remaining in the Americas north of Mexico alongside having world class cuisine.
For skiers & snowboarders, Alaska sets the bar for the steepest and most challenging terrain. Countless videos and magazines have showcased the insane peaks in this state. But summertime in Girdwood offers up even more adventures & endless daylight to get it all in. Nicknamed the “Last Frontier”, it’s truly stacked with wildness like no other place. From seeing grizzlies in the wild, salmon spawning, and of course the most popular attraction is the Portage glacier cruise. These vessels take you within 300 yards of the glaciers as they split and crash directly into the ocean. But that’s not all! Alyeska Resort serves up lift accessed mountain biking on the weekends. Or for the water variety, hop into a kayak in the Prince William Sound and really get a feel of this beautiful place.
Last but not least, we couldn’t have this list of ski towns to visit in the summer without including Timberline. For those skiers & snowboarders that NEED to ski in the summer as well, it’s home to the ONLY perennial ski resort that’s ALWAYS open. If that wasn’t enough, you have world-class hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail AND the National Historic Landmark the Timberline Lodge. To top it off, you’re only 60 miles away from the eclectic city of Portland.
As us “snow addicts” wait for winter to return, we don’t have to get depressed. Instead, make lemonade out of those lemons & get that adventure fix by visiting one of these awesome ski towns in the summer! Happy trails to all!