Posted on 21 Jul 2023

Everything to Know About Pickleball in the Rocky Mountains

Pickleball courts are popping up everywhere, and the latest paddle sports craze has made its way to the Colorado Rockies where it’s starting to rival mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding as a popular summer activity. In fact, you’ll find one of the newest and most state-of-the-art pickleball centers right down the road from one of the best rodeos in the West, in Steamboat Springs.

So, if you already participate in the fastest-growing sport in the United States (pickleball that is, not bull riding), you can keep up your game while on vacation. Or if you’ve never picked up a paddle, you can add that to one of the many activities to experience for the first time while enjoying a summer trip to the mountains.

New to the Game? Here’s a Rundown of the Rules...

Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court with a slightly modified tennis net. The game is played with a paddle and a perforated plastic ball.

The object of the game is to hit the ball over the net so that your opponent cannot return it. Players can only hit the ball once before it bounces. If the ball bounces twice in your court, you lose the point.

Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles. In singles, each player serves from the right side of the court and then moves to the left side to serve the next point. In doubles, two players on each team serve from opposite sides of the court.

Points are scored when the opponent:

  • Fails to return the ball before it bounces twice.
  • Hits the ball out of bounds.
  • Double faults.
A player or team wins the game when they score 11 points and are ahead by at least 2 points.

Here are a few tips for beginners who are just starting to play pickleball:

  • Start by practicing your groundstrokes. This means hitting the ball back and forth with your paddle.
  • Once you feel comfortable with your groundstrokes, you can start practicing your volleys. This means hitting the ball in the air before it bounces. 
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with different shots. There are many different ways to hit the ball in pickleball, so find what works best for you. 
  • The most important thing is to have fun! Pickleball is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors. And, it’s a sport for all ages!

Where to Play Pickleball in Colorado’s Mountain Towns:

Steamboat Springs

It’s hard to find someone in Steamboat who doesn’t play pickleball...when they’re not skiing, biking or hiking! Even the Moving Mountains office has a weekly standing reservation for employees who want to drop in. The town is fortunate to have a state-of-the-art pickleball center where you can play year-round. The Steamboat Tennis & Pickleball Center boasts eight cushioned indoor pickleball courts and eight brand-new outdoor hard courts. Learn more.


Breckenridge and its surrounding communities come through with several outdoor courts available, including the Breckenridge Recreation Center and Carter Park and Pavilion. Learn more.

Vail Valley

You’ll have a hard time keeping your eye on the ball while playing at the Golden Peak Pickleball Center in Vail! It’s one of the best pickleball facilities in the Colorado Rockies and its six dedicated cushioned outdoor courts are surrounded by natural beauty. Learn more about Golden Peak Pickleball Center in Vail.

Down the Valley in Avon (at the base of Beaver Creek) is Harry A. Nottingham Park with six dedicated pickleball courts. The park is also the venue for summer concerts, so you can stay for some musical entertainment after your match. Learn more about Harry A. Nottingham Park in Beaver Creek.

Pickleball is a great way to get some exercise and have fun in the Colorado Rockies. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, there's a pickleball court for you in one of these mountain towns. So pack your paddles and head to the courts for a game of pickleball!



Previous Fireplaces and Mountains: A Match Made in Heaven Everything to Know About Pickleball in Steamboat Springs Next