Here’s our list of some cool happs in the mountain towns you love; where to go, when, and why. This is not an end-all, be-all list (there’s a lot happening this summer). But these are pretty dang cool.
Mount Marathon — Seward, AK — July 4
This party is centered around what may be the most insane race in North America, Mount Marathon. Each year on July 4th, several hundred runners sprint (slog) from picturesque downtown Seward to the top of Mount Marathon, rising 3,022 feet in just over a mile and a half, and then back down.
The town and region will be abuzz with a hotbed of activity in near 24-hour daylight. Just don’t forget to sleep.
Mountain Film – Telluride, CO – May 26-29
Get inspired with films about adventure, sustainability, the environmental crisis, and the calling that pulls us to the mountains.
GoPro Mountain Games — Vail, CO — June 8-11
River, bike, and trail-running races, concerts, and outdoor markets bring thousands of people into Vail, Colo., for this free annual event. Best of all, it’s very participation-oriented, so sign up and get involved!
FIBArk – Salida, CO – June 15-18
America’s oldest and boldest whitewater fest. Live music, great food, parades, and river contests.
Greeley Stampede – Greeley, CO – June 23-July 4
Giddyup, cowboy! One of Colorado’s biggest rodeos.
The Ride Festival – Telluride, CO – July 8-9
Everybody knows about ‘Tride’s Bluegrass and Blues & Brews fests. This is when rock-n-roll descends on the mountains. Beck is headlining, ’nuff said.
Mountain Fair – Carbondale, CO – July 28-30
Live kickin’ music and 145 vendors showcasing homemade wares. Plus, super tasty vittles abound.
National Parks Free Entrance Days – All Colorado – August 25
Not a fest, just an awesome day. Free entrance at Black Canyon, Dinosaur, Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain, and all other Colorado parks.
Moab Arts Festival – Moab, UT – May 27-28
Jewelry, pottery, sculptures, clothing, photography, and more — all outdoors-inspired artwork. Plus, you can catch a float on the river or a ride in them-there hills.
The Dirty Dash – Midway, UT – June 10
5K mud run obstacle course. Think Ninja Warrior meets Full Metal Jacket, but less shooting.
Utah Adventure and Gear Fest – Snowbird, UT – June 23-24
Gear giveaways, bike races, trail runs, clinics… pretty much everything a gearhead and outdoor fanatic could ever want.
Red, White, & Fly – Park City, UT – July 4
Utah’s Olympic Park turns into the coolest slip-n-slide party of all time. Plus grub and live music… and a flippin’ gigantic slip-n-slide that launches you 40 feet into the air.
REI Outessa Retreat – Mt. Hood Skibowl, OR – August 18-20
Mountain biking, SUPing, trail running, hiking, yoga, climbing, all for women. Build your outside lady tribe during stellar adventures.
Under Armour Mountain Running Series – Mt Bachelor, WA – July 22
A 7.22-mile race, part of the UA trail-running series. Enthusiasts and pros welcome.
Flaming Gorge Days – Green River, WY – June 22-24
All you need to know is that Night Ranger is headlining. Night Ranger, baby!
Targhee Fest Musical Festival – Alta, WY – July 14-16
Big names and big tunes at Grand Targhee Ski Resort: North Mississippi Allstars, Galactic, Karl Denson, and more.
Cheyenne Frontier Days – Cheyenne, WY – July 21-30
A rip-roarin’ Wild West get down. Music, food, rodeo, old-timey knickknacks, and much, much more.
Rendezvous Mountain Hillclimb – Jackson Hole, WY – August 5
Test your mettle on this grueling 4,100 vertical, 6.1-mile, thigh-crushing run at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Eclipse Party – Jackson Hole, WY – August 21
Jackson Hole falls smack dab in the center of the “path of totality” for the total solar eclipse and there’s gonna be a shindig on the resort. Science!
Wanderlust Squaw Valley – Squaw Valley, CA – July 20-23
Find your true north during yoga sessions, guided adventures, live music, and sustainable meals. Namaste.
Beartooth Pass Opening – Red Lodge, MT – May 27-29 (weather permitting)
Not an official fest, just a big party. Great skiing and campfires once the pass opens.
Yellowstone Half Marathon – Big Sky, MT – June 10
HQ in Big Sky for this run through one of America’s most beloved national parks.
The Rut – Big Sky, MT – September 1-3
Run super far in super challenging conditions, 50k, 28K, and 11k races.
Ride Sun Valley Bike Fest – Sun Valley, ID – June 29-July 2
Live music, clinics, demos, and the Scott Enduro Cup. Participate in races or go for fun rides.
Ride Idaho – Ketchum, ID – August 5-10
A seven-day, fully supported 399-mile cycling tour through some of the most beautiful areas of the state.
Taos Pueblo Pow Wow – Taos, NM – July 7-9
Tribes from around the country compete in traditional dance comps, plus craft booths, live music, and food vendors.
Up and Over Trail Run – Toas Ski Valley, NM – August 5
A challenging 10k up and down the ski resort. Climb Kachina and Wheeler peaks.
And there she is… thoughts? Did we miss anything cool? Tell us in the comments!