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Chapter 3: Spend Your Summer Vacation in the Mountains

Although you might love winter and snow-covered slopes at alpine resorts, the summer is perfect for exploring the mountains and enjoying the cool, clean air. During the summer, when the mountains are covered in greenery and wildflowers, you can hike, bike, kayak or enjoy a host of other outdoor activities. Taking your summer vacation in the mountains is also an excuse to slow down, disconnect and lose yourself in the gorgeous scenery.

If your ideal escape takes place in the mountains, a private jet can get you close to your destination. This chapter covers the top mountain destinations in the country to inspire your summer travel plans and get you ready to fly.

What Are the Best Mountain Destinations?

From the Rocky Mountains to the Sierra Nevadas, there are plenty of peaks to take your breath away. Here are some of America's best mountain destinations and how to reach them on a private jet:

  • Crested Butte, Colorado: Fly to Aspen/Pitkin County Airport
  • Telluride, Colorado: Fly to Grand Junction Regional Airport
  • Jackson, Wyoming: Fly to Jackson Hole Airport
  • Park City, Utah: Fly to Salt Lake City International Airport
  • Ouray, Colorado: Fly to Grand Junction Regional Airport
  • Whitefish, Montana: Fly to Glacier Park International Airport
  • Truckee, California: Fly to Reno-Tahoe International Airport
  • Sisters, Oregon: Fly to Redmond Municipal Airport
  • Vail, Colorado: Fly to Eagle County Regional Airport
  • Aspen, Colorado: Fly to Aspen/Pitkin County Airport
  • Bozeman, Montana: Fly to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport

What Can You Do in the Summer in the Mountains?

In the summer, mountains provide endless opportunities to reconnect with nature and go on an unforgettable adventure. You can enjoy activities such as:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Fishing
  • Golfing
  • Swimming
  • Rock climbing
  • Soaking in a hot spring
  • Taking a scenic train ride
  • Horseback riding
  • Riding an all-terrain vehicle
  • Kayaking
  • Rafting
  • Visiting a national park
  • Riding a mountain coaster
  • Observing wildlife
  • Paragliding
  • Paddleboarding
  • Gliding on a zip line
  • Relaxing in a spa
  • Shopping
  • Camping
  • Stargazing
  • Attending festivals or outdoor concerts
  • Exploring local history
  • Sampling regional cuisine
  • Visiting wineries
  • Touring breweries
  • Absorbing the scenery

What Are the Best Places to Visit in Colorado During the Summer?

With over 40 peaks exceeding 14,000 feet in height, captivating cities and an abundance of outdoor and indoor activities to enjoy, it's no wonder Colorado sees millions of visitors each year. For example, nearly 87 million people visited the Centennial State in 2019.

To help you plan your Colorado break, here are some of the state's top places to explore in the summer:

  • Denver: Set against the Rocky Mountain foothills, the Mile High City offers awe-inspiring scenery in addition to breweries, museums, parks and historic sites. You might also use Denver as your base for Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Aspen: Situated in the White River National Forest, Aspen is a picturesque ski town that's well worth visiting in the summer. From Aspen, you can head to Maroon Bells — one of the most photographed spots in the country — or attend the Aspen Music Festival.
  • Garden of the Gods: Located in Colorado Springs, Garden of the Gods features giant, ancient red rock formations with Pikes Peak as a backdrop. You can experience this unique park by hiking, biking, rock climbing or taking a guided tour.
  • Mesa Verde National Park: Mesa Verde was once the home of the ancestral Pueblo people, who built communities in the cliffs about 1,400 years ago. This World Heritage Site is a must-see if you love history and haunting landscapes.
  • Palisade: Located a short drive from Grand Junction, Palisade is in the heart of Colorado's wine country. This small, scenic town has two-thirds of the state's vineyard acreage and a quarter of its wineries. It's the perfect place for a vineyard bike ride.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park: For a chance to enjoy the Rockies and spot bighorn sheep, elk, moose and various other animal species, consider visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. The park features over 300 miles of hiking trails, with paths leading to falls, lakes, mountain peaks and meadows.
  • Vail: Vail is worth visiting any time of the year for its European-style architecture, designer boutiques and innovative restaurants. You'll also find adventure in Vail, including a chance to hike with a llama or ride a mountain coaster.
  • Boulder: Boulder has everything you could hope for in a Coloradan vacation, including miles of hiking trails, award-winning restaurants, notable breweries and a laid-back atmosphere.

Where Should I Stay in Colorado in the Summer?

Colorado's top destinations offer elegant and cozy places to stay, many with stunning mountain views. Here are a few of the state's best resorts and hotels:

  • The Little Nell in Aspen: As Aspen's only five-star hotel, The Little Nell offers ultimate luxury. Every room provides up-to-date technology, comfortable, modern furnishings, a gas log fireplace and heated marble bathroom floors. When you're not relaxing in your room, you can sip rare wine in the hotel's fine dining restaurant, shop the boutique or de-stress in the outdoor hot tub.
  • Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail: The Sonnenalp Hotel, with its wooden balconies and striped shutters, looks like it was taken from a village in the Alps. Here you'll find an award-winning spa, four restaurants and exclusive access to a championship golf course.
  • Garden of the Gods Resort and Club in Colorado Springs: This resort and club provides spectacular views of the Garden of the Gods and offers plenty of outdoor amenities. Spend the day on the 27-hole golf course, take a private pickleball lesson or relax in the infinity pool as you gaze at the mountains.
  • The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs: The Broadmoor is a legendary five-star hotel that's been welcoming visitors since 1918. Here you can immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings as you play golf or tennis or swim in the lakefront infinity pool. End your day with a relaxing massage at the spa.

What Food Is Colorado Known For?

Colorado offers hearty dishes and fresh agricultural products for you to try. When you visit Colorado, consider sampling the state's iconic foods, such as: 

  • Rocky Mountain oysters
  • Olathe sweet corn
  • Rocky Ford cantaloupe
  • Denver steak
  • Bison
  • Green chili
  • Palisade peaches
  • Trout
  • The Denver omelet

Tips for Planning a Mountain Vacation

Whether you wish to vacation in Colorado or another mountainous state, the following tips can help you plan:

  • Book activities in advance: In general, summer is the peak travel season, so activities can book up fast. If you're planning a guided tour, river rafting adventure or dinner at a popular restaurant, make sure to book as far in advance as possible.
  • Pack layers: During the summer, mountain days can be warm, but the evenings and mornings might be chilly. The air also gets cooler with higher altitudes. To ensure you're comfortable throughout your trip, pack a light jacket and long pants in addition to your warm-weather clothing. 
  • Plan to stay hydrated: If you'll be hiking, biking or doing other activities at a high altitude, plan to have plenty of water with you. Staying hydrated will keep you energized and help prevent altitude sickness at heights greater than 8,000 feet.
  • Book lodging arrangements early: Since summer is the busiest season for traveling, it's essential to book your accommodations in advance, so you can get the room you want. You may also enjoy greater savings if you book your room at the right time. The general rule is to reserve your space about three weeks before your departure date, though you may need more time depending on the location. 

Are you eager to plan a private jet charter to Colorado, Montana, Utah or other mountainous states? Contact us at GrandView Aviation to learn more about chartering a comfortable private jet for your mountain getaway.