Stay + Play: Summer Overnight in Beaver Creek

There’s never a bad time to plan a getaway to Beaver Creek, yet late summer into early fall may be the sweet spot that offers great weather and fewer crowds. Even just an overnight or staycation can help create space for rejuvenation or celebration, tranquility or adventure.

To stay, The Osprey is a comfortable hotel at the base of Beaver Creek mountain. The location is ideal for access to on-mountain trails and the nearby alpine-inspired village. It’s easy to get around by foot once you’ve arrived or use the Village Connect app to request a complimentary area shuttle.

Depending on the dates of your visit, outside of ski season Beaver Creek has 50 miles of mountain bike and 62 miles of hiking trails, 4×4 tours, horseback riding, fly fishing, golf, tennis, live music, fine dining and culinary and family-friendly festivals.

Beaver Creek - horse back riding

Photos by Kim Fuller. Featured images courtesy of Beaver Creek.

A truly unique experience that combines Beaver Creek’s best access to fresh air and fine dining is a trail horseback ride and fine dining dinner hosted by Beaver Creek Stables and Beano’s Cabin during the summer season. Rides are about one hour with a few start time options beginning at 4:30 p.m. Saddle up to ride to Beano’s with a group through stunning aspen trees and alongside the creek that runs down from Beaver Lake.

Beano’s is nestled within a mountain meadow that was once a thriving lettuce patch and home of the pioneer farmer Frank “Beano” Bienkowski. His quaint original trapper’s cabin from the 1800s still stands modestly on the property, next to the more grandiose modern log building known for its nightly fine dining offerings. Guests arrive by horseback or shuttle in the summer months and snowcat-drawn sleigh during the winter season. Vaulted ceilings adorned with antler chandeliers illuminate the dining room while live acoustic guitar serenades guests upon arrival. A wall of windows frames the alpine meadow across from an open kitchen under the direction of executive chef Mackenzie Nicholson.

Nicholson infuses her creations with the essence of Colorado, crafting mouthwatering dishes that pay homage to the surroundings. The Beano’s five-course prix-fixe menu features local game and is a tribute to the natural bounty of the area. Nicholson’s expertise in whole animal butchery has been honed through years of hunting in the Rocky Mountains.

The cuisine changes seasonally, but expect creative and delicious renditions of menu choices that include cabin-made soup, local greens, bison tartare, duck confit, Maine scallops and Colorado elk. Let general manager and longtime Vail Valley local Ben Christie recommend craft cocktails or wine from Beano’s extensive libation lists.

“Beano’s Cabin is unique in every way,” shares Christie. “Our food is seasonal keeping food fresh and local with nuance of cabin fare — game specifically. In addition, to better accommodate all our guests we offer vegetarian options and can customize to our guests dietary needs. It is a privilege and an honor to be able to offer such great experiences of a lifetime and share them with our guests.”

Beaver Creek - Beano's

Guests who arrived on horseback will take the shuttle down after dinner. If you’re staying at The Osprey, slip in a visit to the outdoor pool or hot tub as a relaxing nightcap.

Beaver Creek mornings may be one of the most special times to be in the village and on the mountain. Crisp air and sunshine invite exploration by hike, bike or 4×4 tour. Start the day with a coffee and pastry at Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea, a locally owned cafe located in the village right next to the Summer Adventure Center.

So many hiking trails can make it hard to pick just one. A full map of Beaver Creek trails can be found here, and here are a few recommendations:

  • Beaver Lake Trail: A quintessential Beaver Creek hike, the jaunt up to Beaver Lake is 3 miles one way and has a fair amount of elevation gain. Please note you may encounter snow close to the lake.
  • Aspen Glade: This trail winds through signature Beaver Creek aspen groves, providing a relaxed amble through the woods. The trail is 1 mile one way and rated moderate.
  • Village to Village to Allie’s Way: Village to Village trail offers something for everyone, and by connecting to Allie’s Way you get great views of both Strawberry Park, the Birds of Prey Racecourse, Grouse Mountain, Beaver Creek Village and more.

Morning 4×4 tours are not as dusty or hot as afternoon tours can sometimes be, and they make exploring Beaver Creek’s mountainous terrain easy and exciting for all ages. Tours start at the Summer Adventure Center and wind all the way up to the top of the mountain, highlighting the area’s natural beauty with an emphasis on fauna, flora and history.

What we have highlighted here are some of the most memorable activities and experiences in Beaver Creek, and many locals and visitors come back to enjoy them annually. If something feels pretty much perfect, why change it?

Beaver Creek continues to create this feeling year after year. The staff of locals who make up the hotel concierge desks, horse wranglers, restaurant workers and trail guides are pleasant in ways not always common in high-traffic resort areas.

“There is just something about Beaver Creek,” they’ll say, and that’s what keeps us all returning to the magic that sometimes still feels like a secret.