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Big events in Colorado Ski Country USA to look for this summer

July 12-13 is hot air balloon time at Steamboat Springs.
July 12-13 is hot air balloon time at Steamboat Springs.
Steamboat Springs

Once again Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) has come up with a handy list of summertime events to check out, starting with A-Basin’s Festival of the Brewpubs this Sunday…

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area: The 13th annual Festival of the Brewpubs at A-Basin on Sunday, May 25 features live music and beer from 12 breweries around Summit County and Colorado, including: Pug Ryan’s, Dillon Dam, AC Golden, Avery, O'Dells, Oskar Blues, Wynkoop, Tivoli, Twisted Pine, Breckenridge Brewery, Left Hand and Elevation. For $25 you get beer samplings from noon to 4 p.m. and a commemorative mug. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/1o2pTNr. To stay up to date on additional summer events at Arapahoe Basin, visitwww.arapahoebasin.com/events.

Aspen/Snowmass: Also this weekend, Aspen Mountain will be open for skiing. Snowmass will open for evening activities with Valhalla Nights, an extension of the popular Ullr Nights that takes place in the winter at Elk Camp, on July 11 and 18 and 25, August 1, 8, 15 and 29. New this summer, Ullr Nights will also take place on August 5, 12 and 19 which are all Tuesday evenings. The Elk Camp Gondola will run until 7 p.m. or dusk for biking, hiking, dinner and drinks, a bonfire, live music, movies, a Stryder Park and a kid's playground. The last ride down on the gondola is at 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.

Copper Mountain Resort: From Friday, July 4 through Sunday, July 6, Copper Mountain is hosting the 3-Ring Weekend, a free family event featuring music, fireworks, conscious carnival, kid-powered parade, a Primp my Ride kid-powered parade, stilt walkers, jugglers, hula hoopers, fire dancers and fireworks. Headlining on the 3 Ring Weekend Stage is Nickelodeon’s Max Schneider, who stars on NBC’s Crisis, and whose hit song Mug Shot just debuted in this spring's movie release of Veronica Mars. For more information about Copper Mountain’s 2014 event calendar, visit http://bit.ly/1gLVKzS.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort: The Big Mountain Enduro Series Presented by Yeti Cycles is an authentic multi-stage, multi-day Enduro bike series throughout the most picturesque vacation destinations in Colorado and Utah. The much anticipated Crested Butte Ultra Enduro is the first five-day Backcountry Enduro in North America. This mountain biking competition offers some of the biggest and most challenging terrain in and around these mountainous landscapes, and the popular international format of racing encourages spectators to catch the high-speed, adrenaline-fueled action of cross country and downhill mountain biking combined. It's not about who the first to the climb is, or who can drop the sickest line, but rather the best all-around trail rider that can tackle any type of terrain the fastest. Enduro racing turns an epic all day ride into the ultimate test of fitness and technical skills. The competition takes place in the backcountry Sept. 3-6 and then culminates at Evolution Bike Park in Mt. Crested Butte for the final day on Sept. 7. For more information visit www.bigmountainenduro.com and for lodging discounts call Crested Butte Vacations at 888-879-7317.

Monarch Mountain: On Wednesday, August 20, Stage Three of the 2014 USA Pro Cycling Challenge will pass Monarch twice and finish at the resort’s 10,820 foot base. The stage will begin in Gunnison and wind its way east on US Highway 50, summiting the 11,312 foot Monarch Pass before descending into Salida and returning west for a memorable finish at this unique Colorado ski area. For more information, visit www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com/city/monarch-mountain.

Powderhorn Mountain Resort: Powderhorn kicks off its summer events with the Powderhorn Mud Dash on June 28 where participants will climb under, over, around and through special obstacles to accomplish this 4-mile race. Obstacles include a mud pit, cargo net, log wall, log jump, rope traverse, culvert, balance logs, and a rope wall. Throughout the day there will be live music and food. Registration for the Mud Dash is $40. For more information about the Mud Dash and Powderhorn’s full slate of summer events, visit www.powderhorn.com/summer-events-calendar.

Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort: Durango Mountain Resort kicks off its summer season May 24 by hosting two events of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic along with live music at the finish of the Quarter Horse citizen’s tour. Newly added this summer at the resort is the Base Camp Loop mountain bike trail, which brings the trail system up to 11 at the resort, including the first-ever World MTB Championship trail, hosted in 1990. Durango Mountain Resort will host events all summer, including live music, a canine 5K & fun run benefiting the local humane society, Muck & Mire Mud Adventure Race, Mushroom Festival, Music in the Mountains, trail races and more. Durango Mountain Resort’s family-friendly summer activities include the Total Adventure Ticket, which provides access to the Alpine Slide, Purgatory Plunge Zipline, obstacle course, bungee tramp, climbing wall, miniature golf and more. For details on summer activities, events and lodging deals, visit www.DurangoMountainResort.com.

Ski Granby Ranch: Bike Granby Ranch is hosting the Gears and Beers Enduro Race Series. Dates are June 14, July 26, August 16, and September 13. Each race features a three-stage series featuring uphill climbs, downhill trails, a short cross-country race, and lift-accessed downhill race. The racer with the lowest combined time for the three stages in each of the seven classifications wins the event. Lowest combined time for all race dates wins the series. Race routes will be announced two weeks prior to each event and are subject to change based on conditions. All racers are required to have a smart phone and Strava Cycling App (www.strava.com). Registration includes entry fee, lift ticket for the day of the event, a burger and a beer. Registration is $39 per race or $149 for all four. Call 888-850-4615 to register.

Steamboat Mountain Resort: On July 12 and 13, Steamboat goes all in for hot air balloons. Saturday and Sunday both feature the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo early in the morning where balloonists take to the sky and attempt rodeo style obstacles like dipping down into the lake, landing bean bags on targets and more. Watch balloons take off from the launch site or watch them fill the sky from afar. Saturday evening continues with the Balloon Glow at the ski resort base area where balloons line the Promenade and light up the night sky while staying grounded so you can take photos and watch up close. Finish the evening with a special free showing of Disney’s UP under the stars in Gondola Square (http://bit.ly/1k2DT7q). This is only one of many signature events taking place in Steamboat this summer season. For a full list of events and activities in Steamboat this summer, from bike races to rodeos, visit www.steamboat.com/events.

Sunlight Mountain Resort: Over the Labor Day weekend (Aug. 29 through Sept. 1) Sunlight will host a disc golf tournament with a cash purse at stake. The tournament will begin Saturday and go through Monday and will feature live music, great food and an option to stay at the Sunlight Mountain Inn or camp in the parking lot. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.

Telluride Ski Resort: From June 19-22, the 41st Telluride Bluegrass Festival kicks off eight consecutive weeks of festivals. The Festival is built around the many artists that have defined the Telluride Bluegrass sound, as the weekend is sprinkled with inspired sets from Peter Rowan, Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Chris Thile, Tim O'Brien, and the "King of Telluride" Sam Bush. These artists come together for the festival's epic set from the Telluride House Band. Since its beginning, the festival has embraced a wide swath of roots music to create the unique genre of Telluride Bluegrass. Recent lineups have welcomed Robert Plant, Mumford & Sons, The Decemberists, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, David Byrne, Ani DiFranco, Lyle Lovett, Ryan Adams, Counting Crows, Bonnie Raitt, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and so many more. For more information, visit www.bluegrass.com/telluride/.

Winter Park Resort: From July 24-27, the best mountain bike riders from across the globe will come to Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park Resort to compete in the largest freeride festival in the United States. Over the four-day festival, athletes compete in four disciplines: Cross Country, Air Downhill, Slopestyle, and the fast-growing Enduro World Series. There’s also plenty to do for spectators in the Festivillage, which includes family activities, lessons, product demos, as well as opportunities to meet the athletes. For more information, visit www.coloradofreeridefestival.com.