The Teva Mountain Games are billed as "the country’s largest celebration of adventure sports, art and music". They evolved from a series of kayak and raft races in Minturn (I volunteered my first summer here in '96) to something MUCH bigger and truly better. This June, athletes may compete in 8 different sports (bike, run, paddle, dog, climb, fish...) and 24 disciplines. TMG also has a softer side that includes photo comps, film comps, expo villages and amateur-friendly races like the 5K Teva Mud Run. There are many reasons why you should attend the festivities this year, but here are the cream of the crop – our top 10:

  1. It's the official start of summer in the Vail Valley.
  2. Best spectator event all year
  3. Tons of family-friendly activities like the Eddie Bauer Zip Line, Bear Naked Adventure Village kid’s kayak tank & climbing wall, Cool Dogs (coolest performance dogs in the entertainment industry!), any of the Eukanuba DockDogs comps and most of the athletic competitions
  4. Spot world-class athletes you've only read about in publications like Outside. Last year, these included kayaker Brad Ludden, climber Daniel Woods, stand up paddler Steve Nyman (better known as a US Ski Team member on World Cup circuit) and celebrity-athlete of Bachelorette fame, Ryan Sutter.
  5. Events like the Bouldering World Cup, kayak Deep Creek, kayak 8 Ball, mountain bike Slopestyle, Raft Cross, SUP (stand up paddle) Surf Sprint, Mud Run and any of the dog comps - Speed Retrieve, Big Air Wave or Extreme Vertical
  6. FREE CONCERTS on Thursday and Saturday
  7. Parties like the Teva Blackout Party (or Teva Mountain Ball) and Ultimate Aloha SUP and Suds Party
  8. Scope out the coolest new adventure gear and clothing at Gear Town
  9. Tons of free things to do like Eddie Bauer adventure clinics, Thule Stash and Dash, Outdoor Reels Film Series, Adventure Dogs Clinic, Casting Clinics, SUP Clinic and did we mention the free concerts?
  10. Great discounts on lodging right here at Lodge at Lionshead!