How to Enjoy a Ski Destination When It’s Not Ski Season

Just because the slopes are bare doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit a ski resort. From wildlife tours to stargazing, many have more to offer in the warm months than you may think.

Vail, Colo., Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Park City, Utah, may all be mainstay skiing destinations, but trips to their resorts — or those in any other ski spot in the United States for that matter — shouldn’t be confined to ski season. Top ski locales offer plenty of diversions in the summer and fall, too.

Ski resorts are a hiker’s haven, with dozens of possible treks ranging from easy to strenuous. The slopes that are so much fun when covered in snow are great to explore when the ground is bare, and many resorts even offer hiking tours off-season. Your hotel’s concierge or the local tourist office will be able to give you a list, along with maps, of all of your options.

And there’s beautiful scenery in store for those willing to hit the trail: You’ll walk through an abundance of colorful wildflowers. They’re a stunning sight. While you’re up in the hills, enjoy lunch at a mountain restaurant and then save your knees by taking a gondola or tram back down, a perk that many ski resorts offer to hikers in the spring and summer.

Unlike the winter, wildlife is replete in ski destinations come summer and fall, with high chances of spotting herds of antelope, bison, moose, elk, deer and big horn. You may even get a glimpse of a bear.

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