Slope Sides

Ski resorts have realized how perfect their alpine playgrounds are for summertime family getaways. They're opening their slopes to mountain bikers and hikers, ratcheting up adrenaline levels at kids' adventure camps, expanding day care, and offering lodging deals in the off-season. Here, four of the summer's best.

Utah's Wasatch Range     Photo: Abrahm Lustgarten

Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler
In summer, Whistler's still-snow-covered Blackcomb glacier attracts planeloads of serious skiers and boarders, and an equal share of vacationing families who love the novelty of British Columbia skiing in the morning and rafting the Class II Green River׫or hiking in Garibaldi National Park, or soaring in a tandem paragliderÑin the afternoon. The Westin Resort & Spa (888-634-5577; www.westinwhistler.com) offers posh suites with kitchens that start at about $118 (American) a night. Splurge on a body wrap at the hotel's Avello Spa and Health Club while your children play in the Whistler Kids program (18 months to 12 years, about $43 per day or $25 per half-day, including lunch; 800-766-0449; whistler-blackcomb.com/mountain/kids).
The Mountain Suites at Sundance Resort
A sanctuary of handsome, weathered buildings in a quiet canyon outside Provo, Utah, Sundance Resort has a mission: to foster creative expression, communion with nature, and environmental stewardship. In that spirit, youngsters at Sundance Kids camp (ages three to 12, $50 per day) begin the day with yoga, followed by photography, jewelry, and pottery sessions. Mom and Dad can take similar classes at the resort's Art Shack studios. Stay in a Mountain Suite and you'll be steps away from horseback riding, lift-served mountain biking, and hiking trails in the Wasatch Range. Decorated with Native American textiles, each one-bedroom suite ($450 per night) sleeps four and has a kitchen (800-892-1600; www.sundanceresort.com).

Condos at Sun Valley Resort
Idaho's Sun Valley, escape of the rich and famous since 1936, becomes a laid-back, family-friendly hiker's paradise when the snow melts. Eighty miles of trails zigzag through Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and lifts allow even the youngest children to reach the incredible vistas on 9,000-foot Bald Mountain. Parents can go cast on the holy waters of the Salmon River while kids rock climb and ride horses at Sun Valley Day Camp (ages six months to 14 years, $59-$90 per day and $49-$64 per half-day; 208-622-2288; www.sunvalley.com). You'll have room to spread out when you rent a condo through Sun Valley Resort (800-786-8259; www.sunvalley.com) or Premier Property Management (800-635-4444; www.premier-sunvalley.com). One- and two-bedroom units cost $180-$300 per night.
Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel
With 50 miles of steep, boulder-strewn singletrack, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, vies with Mammoth as one of the country's primo downhill-mountain-biking hot spots. And Steamboat Kids Adventure Club's mountain-bike clinic lets nine- to 12-year-olds get in on the fun. Younger kids are also welcome at the Adventure Club (ages three to 12, $48 per day; 970-871-5390; www.steamboat.com). For easy trail access, stay at the 328-room Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. Each luxurious one-bedroom suite sleeps six and costs $225 per night (877-269-2628; www.steamboatgrand.com).

More at Outside

Elsewhere on the Web

Comments