Summer shines in the valley |

Summer shines in the valley

Kent Roberg

Summer in the Colorado Mountains is simply stunning. One of the most breathtaking and beautiful times of the year is upon the valley. Locals and visitors alike find themselves outdoors at every opportunity. Hiking, biking, rafting or fishing are just a few of the excuses to get outdoors. All you need to get started is sunscreen, water and a little motivation. So fill up that camelback and don’t forget your sunglasses. The sun is shining and your spirit will be soaring. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Hiking is one of the most affordable and accessible activities in the mountains. From leisurely strolls to adrenaline pounding, technical mountaineering, the valley has something for all ages and physical abilities. The Vail Hiker by Mary Ellen Gilliland is an excellent resource for hikes in the Vail area. Another good source of information is the Wildernet search functionality found on the recreation pages of this website.

In the off season many of the local trails in and around the White River National Forest are closed. The local elk population is calving this time of year. Once they have completed their migration to higher elevation in the Sawatch mountain range the forest service will open all the trails for public enjoyment.

Lance Armstrong won’t be riding through the valley this summer, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be. Whether your passion is road biking, climbing or down hilling you can get your fix.

For the road junkie Highway 24 over Battle Mountain Pass to Leadville is a certified top of the Rockies scenic byway. Vail Pass is a popular climb with scenic views of east Vail and the Gore Range.

In the height of the season Vail opens the Gondola to down hillers. Hop on the gondola and enjoy the views, relax and then bomb some of the most challenging terrain around. Local riders maintain the trails and features so check with the lift operator for 2004 fees.

Meadow Mountain on the outskirts of Minturn offers a mellow climb and great views at the top where a fun cruise down awaits. The bike path through Vail is great for those looking to coast along and take in the summer scene. Bike rentals are available at many locations in the Vail Village and Lionshead. This is a great way for the whole family to get out and enjoy the laid back lifestyle prolific in the valley.

No fisherman worth their waders will give you any useful advice on where to catch fish. You may, however, benefit from a few tips to help start you in the right direction. Local outfitters are plentiful and easily accessible through out the valley. Gore Creek, the Eagle river, and a bounty of high mountain lakes offer gold medal waters and trophy sized trout. Trust us, they’re out there, but we need to hang on to our waders for at least another summer. I’m sure you understand. Check the fishing pages of this website for more detailed and (hopefully) informative information.

If you are looking for something more low key check out the many concerts, festivals and markets found in abundance throughout the High County. The community calendar found on this website and local resort chambers are excellent resources. Sign up for our bi – monthly newsletter, FiftySeven50+, covering news, entertainment and all the cultural happenings in Aspen, Vail, Summit county and all surrounding areas. To subscribe e – mail and type subscribe me in the subject line.

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