What works for Snowbird in the winter works for Snowbird in the summer: accessibility. With the resort located only 29 miles from the Salt Lake International Airport, you can be delivered into the heart of the Wasatch wilderness minutes after your wheels touch down. Then the fun begins. The magnetic center of Snowbird is the tram. In the winter, it's just a fast means to the summit. But in the summer, the tram ($14 to ride all day) slows and the scenic journey becomes an end in itself. While you're passing over thousands of acres of wildflowers and mountainsides of green, plan out your biking and hiking strategy. The two-hour hike down from the 11,000-foot summit is a smart choice. If you enjoy two-wheel free-fall, mountain bike down Chip's, a steep and technical run.
Once you're back at the base, test your skill on a surprisingly tough ropes course and a soaring climbing wall on the "west face" of the Cliff Lodge. After oxygen deficit sets in, recharge at the Cliff Lodge Spa. The day's adventures always seem easier when viewed through the steam of the Cliff's rooftop pool.
Snowbird is working hard to develop a full summer calendar and has rightfully earned national praise for its Jazz and Blues Festival (July 28-29), while entertainment of a different nature can be found at the Kismet Belly Dance Festival, Aug. 11-13. At the end of your stay, you can relax: Your trip home will be quick-as will your Snowbird return.
DON'T MISS Mountain Bike "Coaster" Rides. A van takes a group to Alta's Albion Basin for a two-hour guided downhill back to Snowbird. Cost: $20-$30 per person. Call the resort, 800-453-3000.
BEST DEAL A night in the slopeside Cliff Lodge, including breakfast and an all-day tram pass, costs $108. Call 800-453-3000, or visit www.snowbird.com.