Why the Off Season Is the Time to Visit a Ski Resort

Jackson Hole, Whistler, Vail and Megève are quintessential winter destinations celebrated for their world-class ski slopes. But locals know that when the snow melts, these mountain towns are just as enchanting – and don’t have peak season crowds. Hike, fish or golf with a backdrop of emerald pine forests and snow-capped peaks. Get that black-diamond ski run rush while navigating single-track mountain bike trails or Class IV whitewater rapids. Discover the surrounding wilderness on a wildlife safari in search of bears, bison and even wolves. With longer days, you’ll have twice as much time to explore. Here are some of the adventures Four Seasons can arrange for your next summer mountain escape.

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Fly fishing, national park safaris and star gazing

The focus is on the ski resort in the winter, but in summer, Jackson Hole’s radius for exploration expands twofold. With Grand Teton National Park at its doorstep and the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park just 75 minutes away, newly renovated Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole is the perfect base for geothermal icons and wildlife safaris into the parks.

The concierge team can arrange full-day trips that draw near to features such as Old Faithful and the Fountain Paint Pots. A photographic safari in Grand Teton promises the perfect shots of the park’s bears and bison. And through a recently launched partnership with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris and Yellowstone Safari Company, guests have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage with the elusive Yellowstone grey wolf population.

Jackson Hole is also a magnet for fly fishers. The Resort’s expert in-house guides offer casting lessons for novices and float trips on the Snake River for experts. The Handle Bar, the Resort’s al fresco patio bar, is a great place to toast the sunset. Or the team can arrange a trip by luxury SUV to Grand Teton, where you can sip wine as the sun goes down, then use a state-of-the-art telescope to spot comets, double stars and planets in the night sky.

Explore the wilderness in Jackson Hole

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Bears, ice cave explorations and world-class golf

Whistler’s dramatic mountain backdrop and Canadian wilderness make even low-key activities like golf feel wild. Golf fanatics can play five internationally known courses through the Sea to Sky Highway. Three championship courses, surrounded by towering mountains, giant pines and sparkling glacier lakes, are just 10 minutes from Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler. Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains are also home to approximately 60 black bears and cubs. April to May and September to October are prime months for bear viewing. The concierge team can set up a guided 4×4 excursion led by naturalists and researchers to observe black bears and their cubs in Whistler Olympic Park.

There are countless options for hiking and mountain biking, but for some real bragging rights, have the Concierge arrange an exploration of ice caves by helicopter. The chopper will fly you to 10,000-year-old ice caves where a guide will lead you through a glowing blue world of natural ice chambers, sculptures and slides.

Experience mountain majesty in Whistler

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Ziplines, horseback riding and fly fishing

Vail’s Bavarian-inspired mountain village comes to life in the summer with a free concert series on Tuesday nights and music and dance festivals throughout the season. From Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail you can walk to the gondola and ride to the top of Vail Mountain to experience the new summer adventure park, Epic Discovery at Adventure Ridge. Activities such as zip lines, ropes courses and an alpine coaster rival the thrills of Vail’s famed Back Bowls.

Parents looking to blend education with adventure can head to Game Creek, where a guided aerial tour via zip lines and suspended bridges doubles as a lesson about the surrounding mountain ecosystem. Or take in views of the Sawatch Range and Castle Peak by horseback with the team at 4 Eagle Ranch, a working ranch on the valley floor. The concierge team can also put together an angler’s dream day, be it a wade or a float excursion casting for brookies and browns on trophy-class, Gold Medal–designated rivers.

Answer the call of adventure in Vail

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Mountain biking, paragliding and canyoning

Europeans escape to the French Riviera in the summer months, which means their stunning mountain playgrounds in the Alps are crowd-free. A paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, the mountains around Four Seasons Hotel Megève are laced with scenic hiking trails. The concierge team can customize leisurely guided hikes that include a gourmet picnic enjoyed lakeside with views of Mont Blanc, or more strenuous treks that entail an overnight in a mountain hut.

In the summer months, the best way to explore the region’s charming villages is by bike. A network of mountain bike trails connects to nearby towns such as Sallanches, Combloux and Flumet. Golfers have priority access to one of the world’s oldest golf courses, the 18-hole Golf du Mont d’Arbois. If you’re more of a thrill seeker, try the unique sport of canyoning, which involves traversing canyons by rappelling, sliding and jumping into natural pools, or tandem paragliding, a favourite pastime of the region that promises unrivalled Alpine views.

Ride high in Megève


The mountains are calling.