“We came to Colorado for the winter, but stayed because of the summer,” is a popular saying with people who’ve moved to the state. And summer in the mountains is truly spectacular. That’s one of the reasons it is our busiest time of year. The other reason, of course, is because that’s when kids are out of school. Here are some tips to help you plan and make the most out of your summertime visit.
- Mid-June to mid-August is our busiest time, so plan to stay at the park a little longer than you might at other times of the year because there will be lines for our most popular attractions.
- Insider’s tip: Arrive at the base by 8:45 a.m. When you get to the top, go straight to the Alpine Coaster or Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, since they tend to have the longest lines. Then you can head to the other attractions.
- Insider’s tip: Visit in the evenings after 5 p.m. when the temperatures are cooler and the lines are shorter, and enjoy beautiful mountain sunsets from our decks.
- It can get hot up here in the summer. Arrive early, we open at 9 a.m., and enjoy the outdoor attractions during the morning when it’s cooler outside. Even though it can be hot outside, it’s always 52 degrees inside the caves! A light jacket or sweatshirt is a good idea. There’s air conditioning inside the General Store gift shop and a giant fan right outside the door. Both feel pretty good on a hot afternoon!
- Insider’s tip: Schedule a mid-afternoon Cave Tour, then try out the 4D Motion Theater and Laser Tag Arena afterwards.
- Weather in the Rocky Mountains is unpredictable, and it affects the availability of our attractions. Our highest priority is the safety of our guests and employees. We use state-of-the-art technology to track storms and when lightning or high winds are in our vicinity, we take immediate steps to protect you. This can include temporarily shutting down the Iron Mountain Tramway and switching over to use buses to carry guests up and down the mountain, as well as closing down our outdoor attractions until the storm has passed.
- Insider’s tip: July and August are considered monsoon season in the mountains. More often than not, this includes an afternoon thunderstorm. The storms are usually brief. Head indoors for a cold drink or snack, or to try out the Laser Tag Arena or 4D Motion Theater. The line for the bus can be long if you head down right when the storm hits, but often the weather is beautiful after the storm and you can enjoy the cooler temperatures and shorter lines.
- The summer sun is strong. Wear sunscreen, reapply it often and don’t forget your ears, lips and the tops of your feet if you’re wearing sandals. Wear a hat and light-colored clothing made of natural fabrics.
- Insider’s tip: Forget your sunscreen? Head to the Guest Services Shack right outside the General Store gift shop and use ours!
- The dry air and the elevation can cause dehydration. Make sure you drink lots of fluids throughout the day. You can buy a refillable souvenir cup at the Lookout Grille, and bring it back anytime – even during another visit – for a free refill. If you feel lightheaded, find a shady spot to sit down and have a cold drink, preferably one that does not contain caffeine or alcohol.
- Insider’s tip: you can get free ice water inside the Lookout Grille anytime.
- Set expectations with your kids. We’re parents, and we know how exciting it is to spend a long-awaited day at a favorite destination. We also know that emotions can run high and can impact your visit. To make your day fun for the whole family, involve your kids in the planning process. Compare our pricing options before you arrive; that will get you on the tram and up to the park quicker. Many of our attractions have age, height or weight restrictions; check these on the website before you arrive so that there are no surprises. Explain that there are often summer thunderstorms, and talk about what you’ll do if the weather impacts your visit.
- Insider’s tip: Ask which rides and attractions your kids are most excited about, and let everyone pick two or three must-do activities for the day. Try to hit each person’s top choice early in the day.
Our website has a lot of information to help you plan and make the most out of your visit. You can also send us an email or give us a call at 1-800-530-1635, ext. 0, if you have any questions.