6 Ski Resorts Perfect For A Summer Hiking Trip
With no snow, the trails are open for exploring.
With miles of carefully groomed trails and villages full of restaurants and entertainment after dark, ski resorts can make for the ideal summer hiking destination. From British Columbia to Vermont, these mountains offer gondolas that can skip the tedium of an uphill climb and transport visitors straight to trails with access to some of North America’s pristine national forests and parks. These six hotels make ski lodge style charm a year round passion through their easy access to the continent’s best resort hiking mountains.
Photo: Jake Young
At the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel in South Lake Tahoe, guests can stay in comfort just steps from the Heavenly Mountain Gondola and a whole range of hiking trails of all difficulties. After riding the 2.4 miles up to the Tamarack Express chairlift, explorers are treated to the 360 degree views from 9,000 feet up that help give the resort its name. Several zip lines, three ropes courses, and mountain bikes are available when visitors want a break from walking the routes below the chairlifts—or visitors can relax in the resort’s heated indoor pool.
Photo: Emily Haggar
In summer, the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains in British Columbia offer some of the best hiking trails in all of Canada. A stay at the Summit Lodge & Spa in Whistler Village puts hikers just a short walk from the Village Gondola and a range of hikes. From sky waterfalls to the ancient cedar grove just several miles’ drive from the village, the Whistler area is home to arguably the most diverse range of vistas. Only at Summit Lodge can a guest enjoy a Japanese spa treatment and some sushi after an afternoon on the glacier trail.
Photo: Michael Gerpe
Summer hikers who stay at the Lodge at Breckenridge are spoiled by easy access to multiple ski resorts with miles of trails. Perched 10,200 feet above sea level over the Breckenridge Ski Resort, the Lodge is a rustic hotel with modern luxury just minutes from Breckenridge’s mountain hikes, from high altitude treks to guided day hikes that can teach visitors about local Colorado wildflowers and animals. A short drive away, the trails at Copper Mountain offer their own stunning views and outoftheway trailheads to explore.
Photo: Shannon Kalahan
As one of the tallest of the Green Mountains of Vermont, Mount Killington is one of the best climbs of any summit on the famous Appalachian Trail. Hikers who stay at the nearby Inn of the Six Mountains are just a short drive down the road from the main gondola at the Killington Ski Resort, which opens access to a range of trails down and around the slopes. The inn is also a short way from the walks of Gifford Woods State Park.
Photo: Matt Wiley
Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Vail offers some of Colorado’s most dramatic views in all seasons. Visitors to Vail can ride the Eagle Bahn Gondola up to the “Eagle’s Nest,” where hikers can order lunch on the patio in sight of a 14,000 foot peak. Hikers who stay at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa can choose from Vail’s own trails as well as a handful of hiking trailheads around nearby creeks. Guest also have the flexibility to choose from hotelstyle guest rooms to condos and even home rentals that promise to maintain the benefits of staying at a pampering resort.
Photo: Vladimir Karcha
Jackson Hole offers arguably the most extensive network of trails of any ski resort in the U.S. between its ski trails and its access to Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger Teton National Forest. Guests at the Rusty Parrot Lodge can enjoy a luxury experience in the room’s private whirlpools and warm up by the private fireplace if the summer nights get colder. During the day, there’s access to the gondola up to the 10,450foot summit of the Southern Teton peaks. Booking a private guide for part or all of the day can ensure hikers get the most of their time walking the slopes.
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.