Colorado is often associated with its powdery ski slopes in the winter. However, as the seasons change, so does the magnificent landscape. Summers and falls, particularly, highlight the state’s rich tapestry of colors, offering awe-inspiring vistas from various gondolas and ski lifts. These scenic rides offer views of fields splashed with wildflowers and mountains blanketed with autumn leaves. Read about six of the most breathtaking gondola-accessed spots in Colorado.
Silver Queen Gondola, Aspen Mountain
Aspen, a name synonymous with winter festivities, also offers summertime splendors. The Silver Queen Gondola carries visitors atop the verdant Aspen Mountain, presenting panoramic views of the iconic town and adjacent 14,000-foot peaks.
Highlights: At this altitude, enjoy activities like hiking, disc golf, and live weekend music. If you’re feeling peckish, indulge in gourmet offerings at the Sundeck restaurant while basking in the sublime backdrop.
Mountain Village Gondola, Telluride
Deemed by locals as the country’s best commute, this gondola connects the historic Telluride with the higher-altitude Mountain Village. This 13-minute ride showcases the town’s box canyon draped in summer flowers and golden autumnal aspens. Wildlife enthusiasts, keep an eye out for elk, deer, and marmots!
Highlights: Upon arrival at Station St. Sophia, dine at the renowned Allred’s or head to Mountain Village Core to sample other local favorites like Tomboy Tavern and Black Iron Kitchen & Bar.
American Flyer Lift, Copper Mountain
Nestled in Summit County, Copper Mountain offers some of the state’s most expansive vistas. The American Flyer, living up to its name, gives you a bird’s-eye view of the mountains, especially breathtaking in the fall.
Highlights: For thrill-seekers, embark on the Rocky Mountain Coaster, a heart-pounding ride down the mountainside.
Eagle Bahn Gondola, Vail Mountain
Vail is renowned for its enchanting views, particularly during the autumn season. The Eagle Bahn Gondola ushers you to impressive landscapes, with a wide array of wildflowers in the summer.
Highlights: Once you reach Eagle’s Nest, explore Epic Discovery, featuring summer tubing, ziplines, hiking, and mini-golf. For a delightful meal, Bistro Fourteen offers an array of dishes, accompanied by captivating wilderness vistas.
River Run Gondola, Keystone Resort
Experience the Continental Divide like never before on Keystone’s River Run Gondola. From the summit of Dercum Mountain, take in nature’s dazzling spectacle, with alpine lakes and sunlit ridges painting the landscape.
Highlights: Grab a meal at the Overlook Grill at Summit House or embark on a hike along the Schoolmarm Trail for an immersive nature experience.
Twilight Lift (#4), Purgatory
Purgatory in Durango provides an unparalleled visual treat during the warmer months. The Twilight Lift may be one of the shorter rides, but the views of the vibrant tree canopy are unmatched.
Highlights: Explore several hiking trails and discover diverse wildflowers, or for adrenaline junkies, experience the excitement of Purgatory’s alpine slide.
Accessibility for All
Colorado’s gondolas are more than just scenic rides. They provide an accessible means for everyone to experience the state’s unparalleled beauty. Many of these gondolas have facilities that cater to individuals with accessible needs, ensuring that the mesmerizing sights of Colorado are available to all.
Colorado’s gondola-accessed views are a testament to nature’s timeless beauty and its ever-changing canvas. These lifts transport you to realms of serenity, offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether you’re gazing at summer wildflowers or being captivated by the golden hues of fall, Colorado’s gondolas promise a journey of enchantment.