BY EILEEN OGINTZ
SNOWMASS VILLAGE, CO — After an arduous 16 mile hike yesterday, I’m at The Spa at Viceroy Snowmass while an experienced massage therapist ministers to my aching legs and shoulders.
My two daughters are enjoying massages at the same time—a little mom-daughters time. The Viceroy Spa is the largest in Snowmass and second only to the St. Regis in neighboring Aspen. I’m disappointed there is no steam or sauna but there is a wonderful soaking tub where we relax before our treatments. There are more than a dozen “massage journeys” to choose from—a Path to Tranquility, Herbal Compress Therapy where muscular tension is released through the application of steaming herbal compresses, hot stone massage, anti-cellulite, traditional Thai massage… We have the spa’s popular “healer” with a combination of sports and deep tissue massage complimented by our personal choice of scent.
This spa, like a growing number of others, have teen treatments–special facials that teach the importance of good skin care. The three of us feel great when we return to the Timberline Condos where we’ve left my husband and my daughter’s boyfriend doing laundry. (They could have gone to the spa too!)
What I love about ski country in summer and in particular Snowmass and Aspen, is there is so much to do, regardless of your fitness level or skill. This afternoon, my husband has joined “the kids,” mountain biking –Snowmass is famous for miles of mountain biking trails.
There is also a spa at the Westin Resort Snowmass (where parents get two free hours for two kids with a 60 minute spa session), a weekly Wednesday night Rodeo, free concerts and a “Very Important Kid,” program—every week from June through September, kids of all ages have the option to try different activities. There is family golf on Mondays, paintball and fishing on Wednesdays, horseback riding and arts and crafts on Thursdays and a sing a long with S’mores on Friday nights.
Kids love the Snowmass Village Rec Center with climbing walls, basketball and volleyball, skate park, playground and tennis courts.
There’s the chance to go up in a hot air balloon, paragliding, white water rafting or back-country jeep tours . Take an arts workshop at Anderson Ranch Arts Center or go on a bike ride (we’ve ridden along the wonderful Rail Trail that starts in Aspen and goes to Glenwood Springs, arranged by Four Mountain Sports. Attend a free mountain top concert or play golf at the Snowmass Golf Club with its mountain views in every direction.
Make sure to take the kids to the free Snowmass Ice Age Center on the Snowmass Mall. Ready to Touch mammoth and mastodon teeth? Nearly six years ago, a bulldozer operator working in Snowmass Village uncovered the tusk of a young female mammoth. Over the next 10 months, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science conducted the largest-ever fossil excavation, eventually uncovering more than 5,000 bones of ten large mammals and over 26,000 small bone from 40 smaller animals—the finest alpine Ice Age fossil trove in the world. The bones are estimated to be between 50,000 and 140,000 years old.
I love that you can take your pick of hikes—Snowmass boasts 26 miles of trails and eight miles of paved paths, especially helpful for the stroller brigade and those in wheel chairs but they are also a good bet for those first becoming introduced to the mountain environment, says Andy Worline, director of parks, recreation and trails.
There are mountain trails that are mostly level and those that require a lot of vertical. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies offers guided hikes daily at the top of Aspen and Snowmass mountains and other guided hikes as well.
The hardest part—deciding how to spend your day. See you on the trail!