Kick Off Summer with the GoPro Mountain Games

GoPro MG_slackline_Zach Mahone cc
Photo credit: Zach Mahone, courtesy of Vail Valley Foundation

The country’s best adventure athletes converge on Vail each year in early June for the GoPro Mountain Games. Whether you fancy yourself a weekend warrior and want to compete yourself, or you prefer soaking in the energy as a spectator from the sidelines, this is an event you don’t want to miss.

Want to compete?

By my count, there are no less than 30 competitive events throughout the Mountain Games. Comps range from elite, like the IFSC Climbing World Cup and kayaking’s Steep Creek Championship, to amateur for everyman. I’m talkin’ to you, fun mud runners. Adventure comp categories include bike, dogs, raft, slackline, climb, fish, run, SUP, disc and kayak. There really is something for everyone!

Rather spectate?

So would we, and frankly it is the best part about the GoPro Mountain Games. All of the aforementioned competitions are spectator-friendly and super fun to watch. The dog comps are a Lodge at Lionshead guest perennial favorite. Who doesn’t want to cheer on dogs going for the biggest air or longest jump into a giant tank of water? Slackline is another event you’ll want to check out. The acrobatics alone are amazing, but even more spectacular when done on a highline over kayakers on Gore Creek. The IFSC Climbing World Cup draws the world’s most elite climbers, along with a huge crowd, so we would advise getting there early to secure a good viewing spot. Our favorite water event is the 8-Ball Kayak Sprint. Watching the chaos ensue as human “obstacles” try to stop this down river sprinters never gets old.

Other things to check out

Head to Gear Town to check out all of the outdoor gear sponsors, get free SWAG, and enjoy a frosty beverage in the beer garden. Listen to free live music each night under the stars at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Past headliners have included Moon Taxi, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, and Nahko and Medicine for the People. Learn a new skill, like kayaking, SUPing or climbing with the family in Lionshead’s Adventure Village. Get your “om” on at any number of yoga classes in the Zen Zone.

Don’t miss the Vail’s official kick off to summer. This event is so much fun, you’ll want to come back for it every year!