ML Staff’s Favorite Summer Destinations

Check out Mountain Living staff’s favorite summer vacation destinations across the Mountain West
Glacier Np 2 Scout Petersen

Photo courtesy Scout Petersen

Mountain Living’s staff shares their favorite summer travel locales across the Mountain West. Having worked and vacationed in the Rockies, we consider ourselves experts on the best cities and towns to spend a summer vacation in.

Crested Butte, Colorado

Img 1948 Kendall Buckley

Photo courtesy Kendall Buckley

The Crested Butte Food and Wine Festival in July is a great time of year to be in the mountains when all other states are hot. The average weather during the month is the 60s, plus there are great hikes up on Mount Crested Butte and fabulous shopping in town. There are also three great ghost towns nearby to explore. – Kendall Buckley, account executive

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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Photo courtesy Amy Watkins

The beauty surrounding Jackson Hole is like no other. It’s good for the soul. The Grand Tetons welcome you as you fly in, just a short drive from town. Not to mention Yellowstone National Park is merely an hour’s drive to the south entrance. There’s something special about the people in Jackson, everyone is humble and kind. The town is so charming, with many great restaurants and shops. I’m grateful my work takes me there each year! -Amy Watkins, account executive

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Steamboat Photo Tara Wolfe

Photo courtesy Tara Wolfe

It is a beautiful town with great Western history. You can spend time on the mountain or in town, exploring trails or shops. Don’t miss a drink on the deck at Aurum or dinner at Besame. Plus, the Steamboat Wine festival is always a fun summer getaway. – Tara Wolfe, account executive

Barn Darla Worden

Photo courtesy Darla Worden

I love the numerous water options in Steamboat Springs: floating down the river, fly fishing, or visiting Strawberry Hot Springs. Also, there’s a great four miles round-trip hike to Mad Creek Barn, just a few miles from town. – Darla Worden, editor in chief

Grand Lake, Colorado

Img 0246 Anne Hebert

Photo courtesy Anne Hebert

I love visiting Grand Lake in the summertime. There is always something fun going on in town or nearby in Winter Park. In the daytime, I enjoy hanging around the lake and paddle boarding— just soaking up the sun. Come night, there’s live music and great restaurants. – Anne Hebert, digital writer

Lake Tahoe, California

Img 0297 Loneta Vigliotti

Photo courtesy Loneta Vigliotti

I could spend days lounging on the beach at Emerald Bay on South Lake Tahoe. The lake is so beautiful, with a stunning mountain view. There is a historic castle and a hillside trail you have to walk to get there, so you have built-in exercise! It is such a peaceful place to spend the day, that is, after you battle to snag one of the few parking spots. – Loneta Vigliotti, creative director

Carbondale, Colorado

Img 9817 Elizabeth Hamilton

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Hamilton

Carbondale is one of my favorite places to visit in the summer. I bring my horses up when I can and spend time riding most of the day. Downtown Carbondale is charming for a stroll down Main street, and dinner at the Brass Anvil or Phat Thai is a must. If you hit it right, make an afternoon of it at the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo every Thursday from June – August. – Elizabeth Hamilton, Vice President and Publisher

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier Np Scout Petersen

Photo courtesy Scout Petersen

With miles of pristine hiking, blue lakes and grand glaciers, this National Park is a show-stopping summer vacation destination. If you’re up for a 10-mile day trek, Grinnell Glacier is a must-do. After the hike, enjoy a scoop of well-deserved ice cream at the West Glacier Cafe. Bonus points for trying the local huckleberry flavor! – Scout Petersen, digital editor

Pine, Colorado

20220910 175243 Josie Cisneros

Photo courtesy Josie Cisneros

Camping near Pine is such a relaxing experience. From stunning hikes minutes behind your campsite to stargazing under the full moon, this place has it all. Neighboring campers are miles away, enough for it to be a quiet and secluded location, and the sites themselves have enough space to fit 4-6 people. Wellington Lake is only a short drive up the mountain, where you can enjoy boating, swimming or paddle boarding. – Josie Cisneros, marketing coordinator

Telluride and Crested Butte, Colorado

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Photo courtesy Liz Mulvahill

There is so much to see and do between Telluride and Crested Butte, from mountain biking the trails and fly fishing on the San Miguel to exploring the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. In addition to the natural beauty and friendly locals, both towns have amazing bars and restaurants. I like casual joints like Steamie’s Burger Bar in Telluride for lunch and McGill’s in Crested Butte for breakfast. – Liz Mulvahill, sponsored content writer

Categories: Mountain Travel