Still got energy?
SUMMIT COUNTY ” If you still have energy at the end of a long sunny (or sometimes blustery, snowy) day in the High Country, there’s plenty to keep your heart rate accelerated at night.
For those diehard skiers and riders, every Wednesday through Sunday Keystone Resort extends the usual day skiing well into the night ” 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends, to be exact. Your daytime lift ticket covers night skiing, or if you just want to ski while it’s dark, a night lift ticket is $31.
If you prefer taking runs on an inflated tube, both Keystone and Copper Mountain offer tubing runs at night.
Copper offers four lanes, with beginner through advanced runs east of Super Bee lift. Keystone updated its runs this year to include plenty of steep terrain.
The 5-acre lake located in Keystone Village is North America’s largest and highest Zamboni-maintained ice rink.
Though the rink opens at 10 a.m., perhaps the most beautiful time to skate occurs when the full moon’s light reflects off the glistening ice and snow-capped mountain peaks. However, each night is magical as 30-foot Christmas trees illuminate the lake with approximately 3,000 LED lights each.
The lake offers fun for everyone ” from toddlers on sleds to hockey players. Skate rentals begin at baby size 6 (though no double-bladed skates are available) and include figure and hockey skates. Parents may rent sleds and walkers for their young ones.
Hockey players can practice shots on a lighted hockey rink with boards and two nets.
Copper Mountain also offers skating on its West Lake, located adjacent to the Center Village.
A heated staging area allows skaters to lace up comfortably before stepping onto the 55,000 square-foot, frozen pond. A boardwalk and fire pit surrounds the rink, and the picnic area is the perfect place to snack. The 9600′ Retail Shop rents skates, and the rink stays open until 9 p.m.
The views of Breckenridge Ski Resort are breathtaking from Maggie Pond, located next to Main Street Station, at the base of the ski area. A Zamboni clears the rink, and a small fee is required to skate.
The outdoor rink at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena hosts drop-in hockey and public skating on certain nights.
“It’s probably one of the nicest outdoor rinks that you’ll find,” said Kevin Zygulski, former assistant manager of the rink. “It’s much cleaner ice than pond ice, and the artificial rink refrigeration system keeps conditions optimal. We can change the temperature to suit the environment, and sun shades keep the ice protected from afternoon sun. It has NHL-sized basher boards and glass, which gives somewhat of an indoor feel, but you do have fresh air and cooler temperatures.”
If you want to enjoy the outdoors but prefer being pulled rather than exerting energy on ice or snow, try a sleigh ride.
Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper and Frisco all offer dinner sleigh rides through the woods, and most include live entertainment. Frisco’s Two Below Zero Sleigh Rides also offer a hot cocoa ride if you don’t want a full dinner.
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