High-mountain ice rinks

Strap on your blades and glide across the ice at these slick resorts
Claire Walter

No activity better defines winter than ice-skating. Some of the Rockies' best ski resorts offer skating under the sun--or stars--as a genteel alternative to blasting down the ski slopes. These are some of our favorites.

Beaver Creek, Colorado. The lovely 9,750-square-foot Black Family Ice Rink, in the heart of elegant Beaver Creek Village, is resurfaced to a glossy smoothness every three hours. On some evenings the resort's mascots--Pinecone the Bear, Reggie the Penguin, and Melvin the Moose--skate with youngsters. $2, $7 rentals. (970) 845-9090 or www.beavercreek.com.CP]

Keystone, Colorado. This 5-acre frozen lake is as immaculately maintained as a king-size skating rink. The resort puts on special activities such as hockey clinics, "glow bug skating" for kids, and ice shows. $6, $4 rentals. (800) 468-5004, (970) 496-4386, or www.keystoneresort.com.

Snowbird, Utah. Until recently, this ski resort known for the steep and deep had few off-slope diversions besides a tubing hill and snowshoeing. Now, an 11,250-square-foot rink is located next to the heated outdoor swimming pool. Skate or watch an ice show on Fridays at 5 and 7. $5, rentals included. (801) 933-2417 or www.snowbird.com.

Sun Valley, Idaho. Brian Boitano skated on the ice rink behind the historic Sun Valley Lodge. So did Katarina Witt. You too can twirl across the legendary 16,200-square-foot ice sheet. $8.25, $3.50 rentals. (208) 622-2194 or www.sunvalley.com.

Vail, Colorado. North America's highest skating rink is a popular feature of Adventure Ridge, a multisport fun park located at 10,350 feet at Vail Mountain ski resort. By day, you'll be awed by views across the valley to the spectacular Gore Range. Skaters reach the rink via the Eagle Bahn gondola, free after 2 p.m. for foot passengers. Free, $8 rentals. (970) 476-9090 or www.vail.com.