It’s probably obvious by now that we, here at the home base of the Brave Ski Mom, spend a lot of time in the mountains. Winter, spring, summer and fall, you can find us at altitude. One of our perennial four-season favorites is….no surprise…Snowmass.
Ten years ago this summer, my husband’s brothers and sisters joined us for a weeklong family reunion in Snowmass. Our boys were tiny and we spent a lot of time splashing in the pool at the Snowmass Club. We also rode chairlifts up and hiked down (well, some of us rode down in backpacks) the mountain. Most tellingly, we rural westerners shocked our city-slicker cousins by attending, and enjoying the Snowmass Rodeo (and while they didn’t want to admit it, they enjoyed it too).
We try to get to Snowmass at least once each summer. Sometimes we go for a long weekend of hiking and biking. Other times, we’ve left the kids behind and enjoyed the Jazz Aspen/Snowmass concerts over Labor Day weekend. We’ve even driven up just for the day to meet friends vacationing from out-of-state. Invariably, we have a great time. I promise, if you go to Snowmass this summer, you will too.
June 22-24: G4 Weekend. Summer gets underway this weekend with G4: Gravity (as in the opening of the Valhalla gravity mountain bike trail — a new addition to Snowmass Mountain’s extensive dirt trail system); Guitars (as in live music featuring modern roots singer-songwriter David-Jacobs Strain on Saturday evening); Gondolas (as in half-price tickets for the summer opening of the Elk Camp Gondola serving 50 miles of terrain); and Games (as in free bike clinics and Kid Zone games at Camp Snowmass).
Test Your Legs
If you like your weekends full of adrenalin, competition and hair-raising challenges check out some of these biking and running events. Join in when you can. Or take inspiration from the pros and hit the trails.
June 30: Snowmass Half & Half Charity Run. A 10k mountain run with steep climbs, sharp descents and beautiful views.
July 13-15: Snowmass Enduro Mountain Bike Races. Over 1,000 top regional competitors will pedal to glory on extreme downhill, cross-country and mountain cross terrain.
July 21: 12 Hours of Snowmass. Take in the USA Pro MTB Ultra Endurance Tour where professional mountain bikers will race dawn to dusk to benefit local programs for kids.
August 3-5: Blast the Mass Gravity Races. The Mountain State Cup Series will award regional honors after testing competitors on the extreme downhill, cross-country and mountain cross courses.
August 21: Women’s Pro Road Race (Snowmass Stage). Coinciding with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge for men, 80 élite and professional women road bike racers will compete in Snowmass.
August 25-26: Power of 4 Mountain Bike Race. An uphill/downhill event that tests even the best mountain bikers. Last summer my neighbor, Donna, killed it. She claims Lance Armstrong didn’t finish. It’s harder than you’d imagine. Or, maybe not.
Feed Your Senses
Or maybe you prefer art, music, gourmet food and the latest in creating a personal Nirvana?
July 20-22: Parade of Homes Expo/Culinary & Arts Festival. Come see the hottest products and trends at the Home and Garden Expo. Then, feed your senses and your soul at with food created by celebrity chefs, a juried art exhibit and more at the Culinary and Arts Festival.
August 31-September 2: Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival. What can I say? There’s nothing better than three days of outdoor music in Snowmass. For this year’s lineup, check here.
September 14-15. Snowmass Village Rotary Wine Festival/Snowmass Balloon Festival. Local chefs pair outstanding cuisine with extraordinary wine, while 35 balloons take to the skies in the highest-altitude and longest-running hot air fest in Colorado (make that hot air balloon fest…I’m pretty sure our Snowmass family reunion might take the other title).
When You Go…
This list of events is far from complete. So for more information on all summer happenings at Snowmass (and continually updated information) please visit SnowmassTourism.com.
It’s not all about the weekend. In addition to the Wednesday night rodeo, Thursday nights tee up more modern sounds with free concerts ranging in genre from the classic country rock of Firefall and Pure Prairie League to the psychedelic soul of San Francisco’s Monophonics and so much more. Concerts began on July 28th and run through August 16th. And did I mention these shows are FREE?
Sleep and Eat
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few fantastic places we found this past ski season. Over spring break we stayed at The Crestwood. This condominium property has a perfect location just above the Snowmass base village and a really lovely outdoor pool — perfect for summer relaxation (and it was mighty fine in March, too).
Another fantastic pool is found at the Snowmass Viceroy, with cabanas and food and drink service from The Nest. Think beach resort at 8200 feet.
At the recommendation of a friend in Snowmass, we tried The Artisan restaurant in March. Located in the Stonebridge Inn, this lovely restaurant serves regional, seasonal food and has outdoor seating in summer. Our meal was delicious and perfect for families.
Chef Randall Baldwin takes recognizable food and makes it memorable with some fun (and tasty) twists. The staff was outstanding. By the time we left, we were all on a first-name basis. We’re going back. We have to. They’re friends.
And while I don’t want to rush summer along, if you are looking for information on winter in Snowmass, please see the following Brave Ski Mom posts.
- Snowmass, Colorado: Family Friendly at Any Age, September 22, 2010.
- Spring Break Guide to Snowmass, Colorado: A Top Ten List for Skiing Families, March 17, 2011.
- Art in Unexpected Places: In Your Pocket and On the Slopes, February 10, 2011.
- Perfect Timing at Buttermilk and Snowmass, January 8, 2012.
- Why Our Family Loves to Ski at Snowmass, Colorado, February 23, 2012.
- A Different Look at Snowmass, February 27, 2012.
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