The 10 Best Summer Events in Colorado

Telluride Blues & Brews - ©Telluride Blues & Brews

One of the best concert backdrops in the whole world.

Copyright: Telluride Blues & Brews

Right now, Colorado seems torn between summer and winter, and its natives are equally polarized—having either packed away the skis and dusted off hiking boots and camping gear or made their way to A-Basin at every chance for a taste of some legit spring powder. 

But no amount of near-summer snow removal would be enough to stop Colorado's mountain town destinations from ramping up for the warmer months. Check out our roundup of can't-miss events for all of those whose mountain adventures don't stop when the snow does. See you up there!

1. Telluride Blues & Brews Festival: September 15-17

Boasting three days of continuous live music and microbrew tastings against a backdrop of spectacular peaks, the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival has remained one of Colorado’s most-popular events for more than 20 years running. Highlights include a Grand Tasting with 56 breweries pouring more than 170 different beers. Music lineup TBA.

2. Hot Air Balloon Rodeo Weekend: July 8-9

Steamboat Hot Air Balloon Rodeo - ©Steamboat

Steamboat Hot Air Balloon Rodeo

Copyright: Steamboat

The 36th Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and 43rd Art in the Park offer artistry and color both on canvases and in the air making them a staple of Steamboat Springs in the summertime. Events include the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo Saturday and Sunday mornings, Art in the Park and the Balloon Glow at the Steamboat base area.

3. Audi Power of Four Trail Race: August 5-6

Aspen Snowmass Audi Freeride. - ©Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass Audi Freeride.

Copyright: Aspen Snowmass

The Audi Power of Four Trail event’s signature race is a challenging 50K Ultra. The race covers the four Aspen Snowmass mountains (Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain) utilizing a mix of singletrack and dirt road. The event also offers a 25K race along the famed Government Trail that covers the mountains of Buttermilk and Snowmass as well as a new Vertical K race up Aspen Mountain.

4. Colorado Freeride Festival: July 27-30

Colorado Freeride Festival, Winter Park. - ©Winter Park

Colorado Freeride Festival, Winter Park.

Copyright: Winter Park

The largest freeride festival in the United States is back at Winter Park with more fun for the entire family. In addition to seeing some of the best professional and amateur mountain bike riders in the world compete in Slopestyle, Air Downhill, Super Downhill and Cross-Country, check out a special kid’s race on Trestle’s beginner’s trail, Green Horn-It! The festival includes a number of free family activities, product demos, athlete meet-and-greets and much more.

5. A Taste of Colorado: September 1-4

Foodies rejoice! Colorado's celebration of food and culture converges in downtown Denver this coming Labor Day weekend, bringing 50 food booths and over 275 artisan vendors together for three tasty days. Aside from the delicious food, visitors will find live music, entertainment for the kids and unique arts and crafts booths. Admission is free.

6. Purgatory Muck & Mire "Muddy Muck" 5k & "Mini Muck" Run: August 5

Purgatory’s signature summer event is the 1st National Bank of Durango Muck & Mire 5k and Mini Muck 1-mile run on August 5. The annual event features up to 20 different obstacles across the mountain for all ages and abilities from serious to recreational racers. Live music, a Steamworks Beer Garden and the Coca Cola Corner for Kids will round out the festivities. 

7. National Parks Free Entrance Days: August 25

Come celebrate Colorado's National Parks 100th birthday and visit one of the state's many beautiful natural areas. From the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to Rocky Mountain National Park, visitors will find hiking, fishing and site-seeing without having to open their wallets. 

8. GoPro Mountain Games: June 8-11

The GoPro Mountain Games takes over Vail Village in June.  - ©Preston Utley

The GoPro Mountain Games takes over Vail Village in June.

Copyright: Preston Utley

The 2017 GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado, will host some of the country's best professional and amateur athletes as they compete in nine different sports for prize money. Events include rafting, mountain biking, climbing, fly fishing, running, disc golf and more. Aside from the adventure sports, visitors will find art and music throughout the grounds.

9. 45th RockyGrass Music Festival: July 28-30

Just outisde of Boulder, CO, sits the sleepy mountain town of Lyons. Now in its 45th year, RockyGrass music festival has become a bluegrass meca. This year's headliners include Sam Bush, Infamous Stringdusters, Peter Rowan and more. Camping at three different sites is available. Festival goers will find a variety of local beers and food options once inside the festival grounds. 

10. Crested Butte Gravity Slave: August 26

This downhill mountain biking competition, in conjunction with Crested Butte Bike Week, is sure to be a weekend of gravity-fed fun!

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