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When the snow melts and the skiers leave, the resort towns of Colorado's Northern Rockies calm down and start to offer superb deals for food and lodging. The High Rockies are filled with breathtaking forests and parks, such as the White River National Forest in Aspen and the Medicine Bow/Routt National Forest area that stretches from Steamboat Sprints to southern Wyoming. Hot-air ballooning is huge in the Vail Valley; white-water rafting is big in the Breckenridge-Keystone area; horse-riding is great near Winter Park and Steamboat Springs; sailing and other water sports are common in Grand County; and, of course, hiking, camping and cycling ...

When the snow melts and the skiers leave, the resort towns of Colorado's Northern Rockies calm down and start to offer superb deals for food and lodging. The High Rockies are filled with breathtaking forests and parks, such as the White River National Forest in Aspen and the Medicine Bow/Routt National Forest area that stretches from Steamboat Sprints to southern Wyoming. Hot-air ballooning is huge in the Vail Valley; white-water rafting is big in the Breckenridge-Keystone area; horse-riding is great near Winter Park and Steamboat Springs; sailing and other water sports are common in Grand County; and, of course, hiking, camping and cycling are pretty much everywhere. Vail in particular is filled with hiking and biking trails, beginning with Vail Mountain (more famous for skiing, of course), but also Mount Holy Cross, one of the most dramatic and popular fourteeners due to a mysterious cross pattern etched into its rocks. Consider planning your trip around the many music festivals, mountain-bike races and wine-tastings.

Steve Knopper
About the Expert

Steve Knopper is the Denver-based author of Moon Handbooks Colorado as well as a contributor to numerous Fodor's city guides.

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Steve Knopper for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Rocky Mountains, often called the Rockies, are a broad mountain range in western North America.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer (more laid-back than winter); spring and fall for deals