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

Claire Walter

No activity better defines winter than ice-skating. Some ofthe Rockies' best ski resorts offer skating under the sun--orstars--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 BlackFamily Ice Rink, in the heart of elegant Beaver Creek Village, isresurfaced to a glossy smoothness every three hours. On someevenings the resort's mascots--Pinecone the Bear, Reggie thePenguin, and Melvin the Moose--skate with youngsters. $2, $7 rentals. (970) 845-9090 or]

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

Snowbird, Utah. Until recently, this ski resort known forthe steep and deep had few off-slope diversions besides a tubinghill and snowshoeing. Now, an 11,250-square-foot rink is locatednext to the heated outdoor swimming pool. Skate or watch an iceshow on Fridays at 5 and 7. $5, rentals included. (801) 933-2417 or

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

Vail, Colorado. North America's highest skating rink is apopular feature of Adventure Ridge, a multisport fun park locatedat 10,350 feet at Vail Mountain ski resort. By day, you'll be awedby views across the valley to the spectacular Gore Range. Skatersreach the rink via the Eagle Bahn gondola, free after 2 p.m. forfoot passengers. Free, $8 rentals. (970) 476-9090 or

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