E-bike, stargaze, rock climb and hike at ski resorts in the West this summer

People walk on a narrow suspended plank with handholds at Mammoth Mountain's Adventure Center.
The via ferrata rock climbing experience at Mammoth Mountain’s Adventure Center.
(Miles Weaver / Mammoth Mountain Ski Area)

Chelsea Clapham and her family began snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain four years ago. They enjoyed it so much that they return to the resort year-round. “We like summer and fall up there almost as much as winter,” said Clapham, who lives in Santa Clarita with her husband, Shaun, and two kids. “We have family friends who let us use their condo, so we’re hooked.”

Elsewhere in the West, travelers like the Claphams are heading to ski resorts that offer summer activities, including e-mountain bike outings, stargazing programs and kids camps, and, in some cases, deals on lodging. Cooler weather is a plus too, thanks to their higher-elevation settings.

A woman climbs a rockface at Mammoth Mountain's Adventure Center.
The via ferrata rock climbing experience at Mammoth Mountain’s Adventure Center.
(Miles Weaver / Mammoth Mountain Ski Area)

Clapham said her 8-year-old daughter likes Mammoth’s Adventure Center at the Main Lodge, which offers zip lines, a climbing wall and mountain biking. There’s also a via ferrata, which means “iron path” in Italian, for climbers to clip onto steel cables and suspended bridges fixed to the rock. The hiking and rock climbing experience opens June 26.

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Also at Mammoth, the Canyon Express (Chair 16) will operate Fridays to Sundays beginning July 2. The chair provides direct access to an extensive network of mountain bike trails, including Bullet DH, Follow Me and Boomerang. Ricochet, also accessed from 16, has been updated this year with new features, drops and some berm work. (The resort has 80-plus miles of mountain bike trails, one of which descends from the 11,053-foot summit.)

For the groms, a new pump track, designed with younger riders in mind, has been added at the Main Lodge. Rentals are $19 to $26. Fans say the diminutive e-bikes are a great way to get youngsters comfortable on two wheels and give them a little boost to power themselves around the track.

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Mammoth also has a new Fasthouse Rider Room, which features the lifestyle brand’s products and a mountain bike repair shop. A new Container Village at Main Lodge has pods set up slopeside offering bike repair and rentals.

Here’s what’s going on at another dozen-plus ski resorts in the West:


Popping a wheelie on a mountain bike.
The Summit Bike Park at Big Bear Mountain Resort.
(Big Bear Mountain Resort)

Big Bear Mountain Resort in the San Bernardino Mountains, 100 miles from downtown L.A., debuts a biking dual slalom course this summer. The resort also is opening a kids zone for pint-sized pedalers featuring small electric-powered push bikes, with 12-inch or 17-inch wheels, for rent.


Class One (pedal-assist) e-mountain bikes for older riders are now permitted on some trails at Summit Bike Park, with a limited number of e-bikes for rent. To guarantee availability, book in advance or stop by the Big Bear Mountain Resort Visitors Center Station at 40824 Big Bear Blvd.

Big Bear also has a 30-foot climbing wall, a bungee trampoline, Quick Jump free fall and a zip line in the Snow Summit Basecamp area.

Mt. Baldy Resort, just 55 miles from downtown L.A., will offer full-moon hikes on July 23 and 24, Aug. 20 and 21, Sept. 17 and 18 and Oct. 15 and 16. Participants can hike from the base or ride the chairlift as the moon comes into view. Ticket options include dinner only, dinner and a one-way ticket or dinner and a round-trip ticket ($22 to $40 per person).

Visitors also can book a tent cabin on Mt. Baldy and spend the night Fridays through Sundays. A double-occupancy tent costs $199 a night, which includes a round-trip lift ticket, dinner on arrival night, breakfast, discs for the disc golf course and a zip line ride.

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Mountain High‘s Sky High course is one of the state’s top disc golf courses. It runs 2 ½ miles through the Angeles National Forest and players often see hawks, deer, coyotes and other critters. The resort, near Wrightwood, also has a corn hole contest nightly at 5 p.m. and live music from 6 to 8 p.m. at the North Lodge Grille & Pub. Mountain High doesn’t offer mountain biking, but go to for information on e-bike rentals and tours in Wrightwood.

At Snow Valley, 85 miles east of L.A. in Running Springs, visitors can pedal mountain bikes on miles of lift-serviced trails, including the new Quick Draw, an expert trail with five small drops, two large rock drops and two small rollers on steep terrain.


They also can take a six-person chairlift ride, which covers nearly a mile and offers views of 11,503-foot San Gorgonio Mountain, the highest peak in Southern California. Once on top, they can hike on their own or go on a guided, 1½-mile round-trip walk with a naturalist to the Children’s Forest.

The resort will offer movie nights at 8 p.m. on some Fridays in July and August (dates to be determined).

In the Lake Tahoe area, Kirkwood, 32 miles south of the lake off California 88, offers disc golf, hiking and mountain biking. Fishing and boating are nearby.

Heavenly, in South Lake Tahoe, lures summer visitors with a climbing wall, scenic gondola rides, the Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster, summer tubing, gemstone panning and lift-serviced hiking off the Tamarack Express.

Northstar, a few miles north of Lake Tahoe, has golf, hiking, dining, mountain biking and scenic chairlift rides. Visitors can learn about the constellations in the Cosmoarium with star guide and poet Tony Berendsen. The gathering, at 8:15 p.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays, will give you an in-depth look at our solar system and beyond with powerful Celestron telescopes. Tickets from $22.50 per person. New this year, visitors can receive instruction on and use of Celestron binoculars, but they must book in advance.

Squaw Valley, near Tahoe City on the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe, has a new via ferrata course where participants can scramble over routes led by Alpenglow Expedition guides.


The resort also has bike rentals, a ropes course, golfing and a gondola ride that climbs 2,000 feet from the resort’s base at 6,200 feet to High Camp. Once there, you can take an e-mountain bike tour, hike, search for treasure on a geocaching hunt or even roller skate.


Mt. Bachelor, outside Bend in central Oregon, has a new summer adventure camp (June 28-July 2) with multisport activities. The resort also offers visitors zip-line tours, chairlift rides, hiking, whitewater rafting, disc golf, Forest Service-led interpretive walks and the Woodward Wrecktangle — an outdoor ninja challenge course for both kids and adults — in Bend’s Old Mill District.


Park City Mountain Resort, in Utah’s Wasatch Range, offers outdoor concerts on most Thursdays and Saturdays, July 8-Aug. 28, at Canyon Village, as well as chairlift rides, an alpine slide, mountain coaster, golf, mountain biking, panning for gems, miniature golf, a zip line and more.

Sundance Mountain Resort, near Heber, Utah, will present “Footloose: The Musical” on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays (July 22-Aug.14). The resort also offers mountain biking, art classes, fly fishing, zip-line tours, chairlift rides, yoga and horseback riding.

Solitude, in Big Cottonwood Canyon, presents live music outdoors every Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. on the Village Green as well as a Summer Fest on Aug. 8. It also hosts a new trail-running series and the Starvation Extreme Triathlon on Sept. 11. Other activities include chairlift rides, geology hikes, yoga, disc golf, constellation viewing and outdoor movies.

Snowbird, in Little Cottonwood Canyon, offers scenic tram rides, a mountain coaster, alpine slide, summer tubing, chairlift rides, climbing wall, tree climb, bungee course, ropes course, guided hikes and more.



Vail has 40 miles of mountain bike trails, a climbing wall, tubing, miniature golf, gondola rides (kids 12 and younger are free), a Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster, fly fishing and access to the 5-acre Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, at 8,200 feet the highest botanical garden in the United States .

Copper Mountain, 78 miles west of Denver, will host the Acoustic Glow live music series at the Fire Globe in the Center Village at 7 p.m. on Saturdays. Other warm-weather activities include mountainside movies on Jack’s Lawn in Center Village, bumper boats and go-karts, golf, a Rocky Mountain Coaster, a Wrecktangle course, chairlift rides, hiking, mountain biking and disc golf.

On select evenings (July 23, Aug. 13 and Sept. 3), stargazers can gather at the base of Copper Mountain for Ales & Astronomy, presented by 10 Barrel Brewing Company. Guests will meet under the night sky for a guided stargazing experience with a local astronomer while sipping cold brews.

The program has been planned to coincide with the conjunction of the moon and Saturn at the end of July and the peak of the Perseid meteor shower in mid-August. Registration is $30. Details to register will be available soon.