Golf, Ski, Kayak, Board & More in the Rockies
Photo: Rafting on the Roaring Fork, © Red Mtn Productions
April is that seasonal sweet spot when we can have our winter cake—there remains just enough high country snow to ski, snowboard, snowshoe and snowmobile—and start gorging on summer’s endless treats as well. Here are four Rocky Mountain destinations that currently sport astonishing dual-season delights:
1. Aspen Mountain’s downhill trails are open through April 19, yet the unseasonably warm weather has locals rocking to a different beat with golf, trail hiking, horseback riding, tennis, zip lining, four wheeling, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding at the North Star Nature Preserve, and fly fishing and rafting along the Roaring Fork River. Special event: Aspen Highlands concludes the winter season with its annual and totally ridiculous Schneetag (April 12, video below), which invites Daring Do-rights to pilot self-made down a hill, over a jump and across a pond on a craft they built themselves.
Photo: Biking on the Rio Grande Trail, © Red Mtn Productions
2. Durango, Pagosa Springs and Silverton are in the waning days of their respective ski and board seasons, which means regional golf courses are opening to great fanfare and rising snowmelts now offer spectacular water recreation on the Animas, Pine and Rio Grande rivers. Special event: Road bikers are prepping for the 42nd Annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic (May 22-25), which pits riders against the Durango & Silverton Railroad’s historic steam-powered train on a race through the Rockies.
3. It’s “Springalicious” in Steamboat, where locals are celebrating the warming weather with hiking, biking, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, hot springs soaks, and Yampa River fly-fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Special events: Send out winter with a side-splitting splash during Steamboat’s season-ending 35th Annual Cardboard Classic (April 11, video below) and Splashdown Pond Skim (April 12, pictured below).
Photo: The Steamboat Pond Skim, Courtesy of Steamboat
4. Vail already is swimming in warm-weather activities like golf, biking, Eagle River fly fishing and whitewater rafting, Gore Creek kayaking, weekly art walks and more. Special event: The 13th Annual Spring Back to Vail (April 17-19) marks the bucolic winter season ending of the legendary ski resort with its infamous World Pond Skimming Championships, après-ski parties, free concerts, giveaways and more.
Photo: © Chris Duthie
Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.