Summer Resorts 2002-Southern Rockies: Crested Butte, Colo.

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Crested Butte, Colo.

During winter, Mount Crested Butte's massive circumference and steep pitch attracts adrenaline-seeking skiers from around the world. Come summer, the mountain is equally thrilling, with the valley providing added amusement.

Surrounded by jagged 12,000- to 14,000-foot peaks, Crested Butte is a mountain biker's nirvana. Hundreds of miles of singletrack travel through cattle herds, across creeks and between colorful fields of wildflowers that blend like a Monet as you speed by. And just 30 minutes away, Taylor Canyon provides whitewater rafting, kayaking, flyfishing and rock climbing.

But just as there's more to a Crested Butte winter than extreme skiing, so is there a tamer side to summer here. Ride the Silver Queen lift and hike to the 12,162-foot summit for views of the West Elks and Ruby Range. Tee off on the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf course, located at a drive-boosting 9,000 feet. Then head into town and stroll down the main street lined with Victorian facades full of shops, galleries, brew pubs and more than 40 eateries. If mountain festivals are your thing, schedule your trip around the annual Fat Tire Bike Week in late June (the oldest mountain bike festival in the country), the Wildflower Festival in early July or the Festival of Arts in August. With all the activities that Crested Butte has to offer during the warm-weather season, you'll understand why the locals secretly pray for summer. ¿Krista Crabtree

DON'T MISS Mountain bike or drive to the tiny hamlet of Gothic for stunning views and a cold drink at the quaint country store.

best deal Two nights at the Sheraton Crested Butte Resort and a ride on the Silver Queen lift for $114 per person, double occupancy (June 27 to Aug. 10). 800-544-8448; www.crestedbutteresort.com.