Beaver Creek, Colorado is located west of Vail and accessible through Avon, Colorado. The Gondola or open chair lift lifts you to the ski restaurant at 10,200 feet altitude. Reservations are suggested and it is open with weather permitting from Memorial Day in May to Labor Day in September during the week.
You cannot take your dog up the mountain in the gondola, but they can share the trip down with you after you hike up 1,500 feet! There are many trails that start at this point on the mountain of varying levels of difficulty and distance. There are games for adults and kids (i.e. cornhole), chairs, bathrooms and of course, the restaurant.
How do you select your hikes? Distance? Who is with you? How much time you have? What shoes you wore? How long it will be? What is the destination?
Since my beats per minute were already in “Fat Burning” mode at 110 BPM, I elected to take the shorter Discovery Trail. We tried to find the end of the trail and work backwards, but ended up on game trails through the woods.
Because of the smoke from the wildfires in California hundreds of miles away, the distant Gore Range was obscured. We did not have smell, just a grayish yellow haze.
“May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—He who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” Psalms 104:31-33 NIV
Walking two miles at 10,200 feet with a 450-foot elevation climb worked up an appetite. We discovered the Wedding Deck where you can rent the venue and bring your guests up the Gondola and have the food catered and there is a reception area in the ski lodge. There was a lovely umbrella set up with two bar chairs under it which made it perfect for our picnic.
After three hours at this altitude I was a bit breathless and tired, so we rode down the gondola, walked through Beaver Creek Resort and descended to a more manageable elevation in Avon, Colorado along I 70. Napping took all afternoon.