What’s new for the 2017 GoPro Mountain Games
Vail, Colorado hosts the 2017 GoPro Mountain Games, a celebration of adventure sports, music, and mountain lifestyle.
The GoPro Mountain Games returns to Colorado’s Vail Valley as the country’s largest gathering of adventure sports, music, and the mountain culture that surrounds the lifestyle. Professional and amateur athletes from around the world will converge upon the mountains and rivers of Vail where they can compete in any of ten adventure sports for prize money – including: x-country and road cycling, freestyle, 8-Ball, sprint and extreme kayaking, raft cross, World Cup Bouldering, stand up paddle sprint and surf cross; as well as trail, mud and road running, fly-fishing, dog competitions and the Ultimate Mountain Challenge.
While the GoPro Mountain Games are all about the fun, laid back lifestyle of outdoor sports, it’s not all about hanging out in the sun with your friends, watching adventure athletes compete and drinking in Colorado’s craft beer cultural benefits… Nope, some of these adventure sports athletes are professionals and have come to win prizes and advance their competitive rankings. The Games are expected to bring more than 60,000 spectators to the Valley.
What you need to know
The games run Thursday through Sunday June 8-11, with the most of the big events happening over the weekend. If you’re looking for a party, Friday and Saturday nights in the Vail Village come with late-night DJs and reggae shows.
What to See
The Mountain Games’ hosts their first Enduro mountain bike race on Friday, June 9 in Vail’s neighbor community of Eagle – 30 minutes west of Vail. In Vail Village, the best spectating will be from the International Bridge, the epicenter of the Mountain Games. From there you will be able to see the kayak freestyle final, the SUP-cross and other carnage-inducing paddle sports. Don’t miss the DockDogs events at Golden Peak, where well-trained dogs leap into pools of water for the crowd’s pleasure and for treats… oh and competitive prizes!
What’s New in 2017
For the Dogs:
This year, for the first time ever, the Games will bring a second dog tank to the ever-popular Blue Buffalo DockDogs competition zone (appropriately located in Dog Town at the base of Golden Peak). That means the DockDogs jumping competitions will be going on, side-by-side, with the new “dueling dogs” competition, where two dogs race head-to-head, dog v dog, on a retrieve.
BTW, if you haven’t seen this great doggie slow-mo video from 2015, definitely give yourself two minutes to check it out:
For Music Lovers:
The GoPro Mountain Games ow going to do three nights of free concerts at the Amphitheater with an amazing lineup of artists locked and loaded for 2017:
Thursday June 8 @ Ford Amphitheater
- 6-6:40 p.m. Bonfire Dub & Kids
- 7:15-8:30 p.m. White Denim
- 9:00-close Moon Taxi
Friday June 9 @ Ford Amphitheater
- 6-6:40 p.m. Brother’s Keeper
- 7:15-8:30 p.m. The Marcus King Band
- 9 p.m.-close Keller Williams Grateful Grass
Saturday June 10 @ Ford Amphitheater
- 6-6:40 p.m. Town Calvary
- 7:15-8:30 p.m. Trevor Hall
- 9 p.m.-close Nahko & Medicine for the People
New Athletic Competitions
The 1/2 Marathon event is being replaced by Pepi’s Face-Off – a Hill Climb to challenge the Trail Runners looking for some vertical set to take place in the Village, where thousands of spectators can experience schadenfreude at the competitor’s expense.
The new TriggerPoint Ultimate Mountain Challenge
Every year, the toughest of the tough have taken on the challenge of the TriggerPoint Ultimate Mountain Challenge at the GoPro Mountain Games. Kayak/SUP, run, mountain bike and road bike: four races in two days. After 10 years, the Games is set to to take this event to the next level. Check the Vail Valley’s GoPro Mountain Games’ website for all the details.
While the GoPro Mountain Games are a professionally competitive event – there are also several events geared towards every day weekend warriors too. Mountain bikers of all levels can try out the Everbank Cross Country Mountain Bike race up Vail Mountain. Adventurous trail runners can try out the trail 10K, or a new 5K depending on your skill level. Or do it all in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge — a four-part race with pro and amateur divisions that combines mountain biking, trail running, road biking, and downriver paddling. You can sign up solo or as a team.
What Else to Do While You’re There
In addition to all the outdoor sports, the Mountain Games will also host several live concerts, photo contests, and film screenings to keep even the spectators going all weekend long. But if you’re only planning on attending some of the main events, then ditch the crowds and enjoy the rest of what the Eagle County has to offer. The mountain trails and whitewater rivers away from the village can feel downright empty in Colorado’s late Spring season. You can get some serious river running action in the class V drops in Gore Canyon on the Colorado River, or take a leisurely float through red rock desert landscape on the class II rapids further downstream. If you’re into dry land then head out on the seven-mile roundtrip hike to Deluge Lake for a 2,500-vertical-foot climb through boulder fields and panoramic views of the 14,005-foot Mount of the Holy Cross.