Endless activities at Adventure Ridge | VailDaily.com

Endless activities at Adventure Ridge

Andrew Harley

With summer’s end lurking in the distance, it’s time to consider following through on some of those elaborate plans we had for this year’s warm weather.

A good place to start requires a ride on the Eagle Bahn Gondola.

Vail Mountain’s Adventure Ridge is not just a place to tuck the children away on sleds, while parents enjoy the slopes.

Adventure Ridge offers dozens of activities for people of all ages.

At the base of Vail Mountain, next to the gondola, Adventure Ridge begins with miniature golf and a rebound trampoline.

A luxurious round of high-country miniature golf costs $7, which is a true bargain considering your putts will fly much further than at sea level.

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The rebound trampoline combines a bungee harness with a trampoline.

“It felt like I was floating,” said Jessy Steur, 9, from Chicago.

The gondola ride up to the top shows a different Gore Range and Vail Mountain than exist in the winter. The snow is almost entirely gone, and gondola riders have to opportunity to see the types of plant life that gets crushed underneath hard-packed snow and hundreds of thousands of skis and snowboards each winter.

The most popular sport on Vail Mountain in the summer is probably mountain biking, and there are all sorts of different passes and deals for anyone who wants to ride.

Now, there’s a ton of other stuff to do. There are interpretive, guided hikes with the Gore Range Natural Science School daily at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There’s a BMX park, which includes a dirt track with bumps and jumps. There’s the Gore Range Natural Science School Discovery Center, which features interactive displays, thrill sledding, which is temporarily closed due to parts issues, and indoor laser tag.

The laser-tag battlefield lies in the old gondola dropoff point; two cars hang from the ceiling as part of the field of walls and obstacles in the dark venue.

Adventure Ridge also has a plethora of free activities, including disc golf, volleyball, bocci, croquet and horseshoes.

And, along the south side of the gondola building, there is a “Dino Dig.”

“Kids absolutely love it,” said Adventure Ridge’s Russell White. “It’s filled all day long.”

The Dino Dig involves digging through a sand pit with excavation tools for mock-dinosaur bones, bronze-casted after dinosaur bones which have been found in Colorado.

“I like all the things to do,” said Steur, as she watched her mother Stacy and little sister Jacqueline clean the skeletal head of an ancient beast.

The Steurs are visiting Vail from Chicago, and plan on frequenting Piney Lake for the next couple days.

“The gondola ride up was probably my favorite,” said Ryan Steur, 12. “Looking at the mountain views is very relaxing.”