Ski resorts are reinventing themselves as all-season enclaves for
adventure-seekers. From California to Quebec, head to these ski-hill towns for mountain biking, hiking, summer skiing and more.
An ideal destination for groups with diverse interests (or short attention spans), Blue Mountain Resort offers a variety of summer activities, including golf, tennis, ropes courses, mountain biking, hiking, a mountain coaster, ziplines and even mountaintop Segway tours. There are also summer camps for kids. The whole family will also love the brand new Canopy Climb Net Adventure, which opens in July. You’ll climb around rope nets, go down slides and look out from a watch tower in a treehouse above the forest. —K.T.
About half an hour from Quebec City, this ski resort shines in the summer thanks to 130 km of cross-country and 30 km of downhill mountain-biking trails, plus canyoning, disc golf and the four-star Le Grand Vallon golf course. Hikers can explore more than 42 km of trails for all levels, including short walks from the lift-accessed summit and options for mountain ascents. One highlight is Le chemin des chutes, a 90-minute loop that passes by three cascading waterfalls. —K.T.
For a summer adventure in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, hike to the top of Mont Sutton ski area, then camp in a tent or stay in the rustic chalet. You can explore the nature trails in nearby Parc d’environment naturel de Sutton, and rent a mountain bike or e-bike to tackle a few of the 30 kilometres of double- and single-track trails maintained by Plein Air Sutton. The town of Sutton, just five km from the ski hill, is an ideal base thanks to its many microbreweries, cafés and range of accommodations. —L.K.
Mountain biking is a huge draw here. Silver Star is home to B.C.’s second-largest bike park, offering more than 85 km of cross-country and downhill trails for newbies and experts alike (open daily through the summer). Those who prefer two feet over two wheels can sample from 16 km of hiking trails (with lift access), two nine-hole disc golf courses and the “gnome roam,” a family activity that gets kids hunting for hidden gnomes as they explore the village and trails. —K.T.
Perched in the Northern Sierra Nevada range, with views of Lake Tahoe from the summit, Squaw Valley ski resort turns into a thrilling nirvana in summer. Ride the Aerial Tram to access alpine hiking trails, swim at the High Camp pool, go geocaching or even downhill skiing (until July 7). Plus, the base area has a ropes course and climbing walls. You can also rent a bike to cycle the paved path all the way to Tahoe City and the lakeshore, where paddleboard and kayak rentals await. —L.K.
Nestled in the scenic Yampa Valley northwest of Denver, this ranching community-turned-mountain playground is where meditative pastimes—think fly fishing and soaking in the nearby Strawberry Park Hot Springs—are just as popular as adrenalin-fuelled adventures. Stay at Steamboat Resort to hit the biking trails or ride the mountain coaster—which has more than 1,900 metres of twists and turns. To soak in the area’s western history, head downtown to the Steamboat Whiskey Company. —L.K.
Sun Peaks Resort, near Kamloops, British Columbia
The compact, European-style village of Sun Peaks, located about 45 minutes northeast of Kamloops, packs in a range of adventurous pursuits from the end of June through October. There are more than 40 km of maintained trails, including hikes through wildflower-studded meadows, and both downhill and cross-country mountain biking routes. Kayaking or canoeing on nearby McGillivray Lake, and trail rides that leave from the resort base, are popular activities for families. —L.K.
The area’s world-famous Whistler Mountain Bike Park definitely draws a summertime crowd with its freeride, downhill and cross-country trails, including the infamous Top of the World trail that boasts a 1,000-foot vertical drop. But the other big star here is the Peak 2 Peak Gondola—the highest and longest lift in the world. This gondola spans more than four km and offers jaw-dropping views of volcanic peaks and coastal rainforest. Once at the top, adventurers can explore the 50 km of hiking, running and interpretive walking trails that show off the area’s lakes, ancient glaciers and beautiful alpine wildflowers. —K.T.
[A version of this story appears in the June 209 issue of WestJet Magazine]