Home to Four Major Ski Resorts And So Much More!
Summit County, Colorado is home to four major ski areas: Keystone, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin. In addition, the White River National Forest is located in northwest Colorado. It is named after the White River that passes through the Forest. It also contains the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. The Aspen and Vail ski resorts are located inside the Forest, as are the Maroon Bells, a famous collection of Paleozoic sandstone and mudstone peaks near Aspen.
The Eagles Nest Wilderness is a U.S. Wilderness Area located in the Gore Range between Vail, Copper Mountain, Frisco and Silverthorne. It is a 132,906-acre (537.85 km2) wilderness with 180 miles (290 km) of trails.
It is also close to many of the resorts, including Copper Mountain, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, and Breckenridge.
In the winter, ice fishing and snowmobiling are common activities on the reservoir. And in the summer, the Dillon Lake marina is open and there are many sailboats enjoying the Lake.
Dillon Reservoir’s marina also holds many weekend racing regattas, with sailboats available for rental.
For fishermen, Dillon Reservoir is stocked every year with 50,000 rainbow trout by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Also, due to Dillon Reservoir’s proximity to the towns of Dillon and Frisco, the Lake has many lodging, camping and RV sites available.
Green Mountain Reservoir is located on the Western Slope of Colorado and can be found 13 miles southeast of Kremmling, Colorado on the Blue River, a tributary of the Colorado.
Recreational choices include several campgrounds and two boat-launch facilities, along with a good swimming beach. Fishing, power boating and camping are available in the summer at this reservoir. But, campgrounds are closed in the winter because there is just too much snow and ice in the area.
There are several world-class hiking and backpacking trails located in Summit County:
The American Discovery Trail is a hiking trail that stretches across the United States from the Atlantic coast of Maryland to the northern California coast. Altogether, it is over 6,800 miles (10,900 km) long.
This trail offers both challenges and spectacular scenery along the way. It crosses the eastern plains of Colorado along the paths made by early explorers and pioneers. Then, west of Denver, the trail begins to climb the Colorado Rocky Mountains with its magnificent and breathtaking scenery. In Colorado, this trail passes through six national forests, sometimes going above the timberline.
In addition, the trail crosses 15 mountain passes that are over 9,000 feet high, including four that are above 12,000 feet. The route crosses the Divide twice and uses portions of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and the Colorado Trail.
The Colorado Trail is 483 miles (777 km) long and runs from the mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango in southwestern Colorado. One of the best things about this trail is that most of it is above 10,000 feet (3,000 m). It does, however, often drop below the alpine timberline, which provides shelter from the storms at the higher elevations.
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail runs 3,100 miles (5,000 km) between Mexico and Canada. It follows the Continental Divide along the Rocky Mountains through Colorado. The trail passes through many of the highest and untamed mountain regions of Colorado, such as the San Juan Mountains and the Sawatch Range.
The Continental Divide in Colorado runs for about 650 miles and there are many parts of it that have no distinct marked or named trail. It is still a real wilderness.
Relatively shorter trails are the Vail Pass National Recreation Trail and the Ten Mile National Recreation Trail. They can both be found in the Vail area and are relatively gentle trails compared to the other trails I have mentioned. The favorite activities for these trails is hiking, biking and rollerblading.
If you’ve interested in bicycle touring, the Great Parks Bicycle Route is a 2455 mile (3951 km) route that begins in Alberta, Canada and ends in Durango, Colorado. Along the way in Colorado, you will go through Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Mesa Verde National Park before arriving in Durango.
All in all, Summit County is one of the busiest hubs of outdoor activity in the Colorado mountains.
In addition to the recreation that I have described, there is a great deal of lodging in Summit County and, of course, many good places to eat. Often, people stay there and use it as a base for exploring the whole area of the Central Colorado Mountains.
I have included a map below so you can get a better idea of what the area has to offer. If you’d like to zoom in closer for a more detailed look, use the “+” button and if you’d like a broader view of the area, use the “-.” This will give you a good idea of how Summit County fits into the state of Colorado, the United States and the world.