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This list is an evolving work-in-progress - please feel free to PM additions/changes to me.
Summit County Towns: Heeney, Silverthorne, Dillon, Keystone, Montezuma, Frisco, Copper Mountain (although Frisco is Copper's town, but 10 minutes away) Breckenridge, and Blue River. For town websites visit www.Colorado.com
Many visitors to our area are looking for ideas of things to do when visiting. I tried to compile a comprehensive list here. Please feel free to let me know if I overlooked something, Thanks! Enjoy our area!
There is a local Free Summit Daily Newspaper with tons of up-to-date activities and happenings in and around Summit County towns. You can find the paper in one of the many Blue Newspaper Bins located around the county. Most businesses who offer activities in the area will pick you up if you do not have transportation.
The Arkansas River in the Buena Vista Area has several runs varying from easy to experienced. The Colorado River outside Kremmling has a couple runs varying form Easy to mild. The Blue River in the Silverthorne area has a mild run. Ten mile in Frisco has a very short season only serviced by Kodi and although it is considered a Class IV run, I would call it very mild. Clear Creek near Idaho Springs runs along I-70 and is a mild to experienced run depending on weather. There are many rafting companies who will pick you up at your lodging and shuttle you to their location. There are many outfitters in the area.
Also look at http://www.croa.org
Kayaking can be done on several rivers in and around the county. There is a Kayak play park on Ten Mile Creek in Frisco and on the Blue River in Breckenridge at Kingdom Park. Flows as well as put-ins/take-outs for private kayaking can be found at www.eddyflower.com
Many of the rafting outfitters also offer Kayaking runs. The local rec centers also offer classes in the pools to learn how to Kayak. www.Silverthorne.org and TownOfBreckenridge.com
Rentals can be found on Lake Dillon thru either the Dillon (www.dillonmarina.com) or Frisco Marina. There are also Kayak, Canoe, Skulls, and paddle boat rentals available at the Frisco Marina. Both Marinas have a fun Summer only bar/restaurant. Dillon Tiki Bar and Frisco's Island Grill. Both Dillon and Frisco have the option of renting a grill on the boat, and/or a captain. Fishing is allowed in Lake Dillon and Green Mountain. In Heeny you can rent boats at the Heeny Marina to go out on Green Mountain Reservoir. Both lakes are mountain lakes and are too cold to swim. Swimming/entering the water in Lake Dillon is prohibited. Many people enjoy water sports like water skiing and jet skiing at Green Mountain reservoir; however a wetsuit is advised.
Fly/Reel Fishing is common and many outfitters are available for lessons and/or private guided trips on the various area rivers. The guides are great for experienced outdoors-man as well as the girliest of girls. You will need a fishing license whether on your own or with a guide. You can find a permit at any outfitter in the area or grocery store. Fishing can be done in the lakes or rivers. A great spot to watch fly fisherman is on the bridge at the Silverthorne Outlet malls. See also... www.MountainAngler.com
You can ice fish on Lake Dillon too!
In Keystone Summit Fly Fishing is the only guide service permitted to take folks on the local waters that run through the resort - the Snake River & Keystone Pond. www.SummitFlyFish.com
Golfing can be really fun at our altitude! Watch your ball go farther than ever before in our thin air. We have several beautiful gold courses in the area. In Silverthorne there is the Raven Golf Course. www.intrawestgolf.com At Copper Mountain there is Copper Creek Golf Course. In Keystone there is Keystone Ranch Golf Course. www.keystone.snow.com In Breckenridge there is Breckenridge Golf Club. townofbreckenridge.com
Shooting Ranges can be found in two spots in our county. There is one just north of Silverthorne called Blue Valley Sportsman Club, considered private but the membership fee is so minimal it is worth a weekend splurge. There is a free outdoor facility located near the Keystone landfill. Once a year the local forest rangers offer a ‘Cast & Blast’ course for woman; which combines learning fly fishing skills and shot gun skills. www . bluevalleysportsmanclub . com
Hot Springs and Steam Caves abound in Colorado. There are several nice ones not too far from our county although none directly located here. Hot Sulphur Springs Resort in Hot Sulphur, Strawberry Park Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs, Mt Princeton Hot springs in Nathrop, Cottonwood Hot Springs in Buena Vista, Salida Rec Center in Salida, Indian Hot Springs (and caves) in Idaho Springs, Glenwood Hot Springs (and caves) in Glenwood, and Radium an informal tiny spring you hike to along the Colorado River.
Fun Parks/Alpine Slides are for kids and kids at heart! There is a great park in Breckenridge called the Peak 8 Fun Park. Here you can find Alpine slides, basically a track with a sled you sit on and ride down the mountain. There are slow and fast tracks, it is fun for all ages. They also have a climbing wall, zip line, mini golf, Trampoline + more. Copper Mountain has a fun park too. There are go karts, bumper boats, climbing wall, trampoline, etc. Copper has also added a Woodward facility - world-class training grounds for X-game types of activities, open to the public to try their hand!
Festivals/Shows seem to be happening every weekend in the county. All the towns have art, BBQ, Music, Heritage, fundraiser festivals, including Car Shows. Check the town websites to see what is happening during the time you are here. www.GoBreck.com www.KeystoneFestivals.com
Copper Mountain has a free night of fun called En Fuego. It occurs once a month and includes fun activities and fiery show! www.tinyurl.com/yktnonl
During the summer months the Dillon amphitheater offers free music concerts. You can bring your own blanket to sit on the grass or bring a folding chair to set on the amphitheater stairs. While you listen to the music you can look out over the lake and watch the sunset - a fantastic way to spend an evening. Check the local Summit Daily newspaper or www.TownOfDillon.com for more info.
Hiking Trails range from Easy to Extreme in our area. There are breathtaking views from almost any kind of trail you take. The website above breaks down the various trail difficulties pretty well. Some of the more popular hikes are Mohawk Lakes, you can see a rushing waterfall and it provides great views of the Continental Divide. Sapphire Point is more of a 15 minute flat walk but provides great views over Lake Dillon including some of the major Summit County towns. Lily Pad Lake can be accessed from the top of Wildernest neighborhood or the Frisco Roundabout. This hike is a hidden mountain lake with Beaver damns regulating its flow. Greys and Tory are two Colorado fourteeners that can be hiked in one day due to their proximity to each other, quite an accomplishment!
Also for a small fee you can take a resort Gondola/Lift (Breckenridge, Keystone, and Copper) to the top of the peaks in the summertime for walking, hiking, a picnic, or mountain biking. In the winter the Breck Gondola is free to ride to the top (non-skiers/boarders).
All three can be done on all the area mountains. Lessons are always given by mountain employees and should be booked directly with the resort. Loveland and Arapahoe Basin are on the east side of the county (although Loveland is not Summit County it literally backs up to the edge of the county) both these ski areas do not have lodging or resort like facilities; however they provide affordable and amazing terrain. www.skiloveland.com www.arapahoebasin.com Keystone and Breckenridge are mountain towns with the ski resort smack in the middle. Keystone is the only mountain to offer night skiing. www.Snow.com Copper Mountain tends to be the local's favorite and is more of a resort than a town. Frisco is considered Copper's town.
Digglers are an odd type bike scooter cross over. Copper Mountain rents digglers for people to ride up the chair lift and Diggler down the mountain in the summer. A different and fun adventure.
Mountain Biking trails and Terrain Parks are located in several of the towns, some are tucked away into the woods. Keystone is quickly making a name for itself in the mountain biking world. Serious downhillers will enjoy the challenges Keystone has created in there mountain side park. Quality equipment can be rented at the base of the mountain from several shops. Breckenridge also has a Terrain Park with various obstacles and ramps in the Carter Park area. There is a 'secret' terrain park in the Wildernest neighborhood that could be considered world class. It is just south down the dirt trail from Salt Lick Condos. As this is informal and not regulated, it can be wild, caution is advised!
Breck and Copper also allow you to pay to bring your bike to the top and ride down. Riding across the peaks in Breck can be a challenge but a lot of fun! The Summit Daily Newspaper puts out a Biking guide each summer. It has detailed terrain maps and some great information. You can find one all around town or visit the Summit Daily on 1st and Main in Frisco.
Biking trails can be found all around town for families and those who are not diehards. There are many shops in all Summit County towns who rent bikes. Dirt trails and paved paths can be found throughout the county. There is a well maintained path from Breckenridge to Frisco around Lake Dillon to Dillon and then Keystone. There is also a path from Vail adjacent to I-70 all the way into Frisco. Many locals get their morning road bike exercise on this paved path. There are companies in town who will drive folks to the top of Vail pass and drop them off with a bike; Then you can leisurely ride/glide down to Frisco. You can find a shop that can arrange this for you it seems on almost every corner.
Ghost towns are a big draw for some tourists. Some ghost towns can be easily seen via a leisurely drive. Others require a 4x4 journey plus some hiking. There are various tour operators in the area who offer excursions to local ghost towns, or you can rent a Jeep and go yourself.
Train Rides in the area consist of two options. One is the Georgetown Railroad Loop. You can choose to add to the train ride a mine tour. The train stops half way, where you get off and visit a historic mine. Then you catch the next train after your tour. IMO if you ride near the front you can get choked out by the steam. Leadville also has a short train ride available. www.leadville-train.com
Another option, not really in the area, is a lovely ride thru the mountains along the Colorado River on the Amtrak from Denver to Glenwood Springs.
Snowshoeing can be done all over the county on hiking trails of varying degrees. Rentals can be found at many shops; If the shop rents skis/boards, then you can probably find snowshoes. A set of poles can help beginners keep their balance, but is not necessary.
Cross Country Skiing can be done anywhere in the county; however there are two official nordic centers. One is located just south of Frisco at the Frisco and Breckenridge Nordic Center. Skis can be rented there and lessons are available. Keystone also has a Nordic center. keystone.snow.com /info/winter.nordic.asp The easy hiking trails are great for fun cross country excursions on your own. Skis can be rented basically anywhere that rents skis/boards.
Ice Skating can be found in several spots during winter and only one during the summer. The Stephen R Arena in Breckenridge has year round ice skating available. You can rent skates there as well. It is located at the south side of town.
In the winter there is the largest ice rink in north America located at Keystone, you can rent skates onsite. Copper Mountain also has an outdoor rink where they rent skates. There is Mary’s Pond and the Frisco Park that are maintained by the towns but no skate rentals are available. You can buy inexpensive skates at a couple of the area stores.
Horseback Riding/Cattle Round Ups are a quintessential cowboy/girl experience in Colorado IMO. There are many stables within the county as well as just outside. It is best to call around as there are many different options. Generally children below age 4 are not allowed, however Breck stables seems to be the only one that allows doubled riders for the younger ones. Where the stable is located also will affect your scenery. One hour rides can be had as well as overnight excursions into the wilderness. Some stables have head to tail trail rides, whereas other offer an open range; it is important to know what you want and to ask what the stable offers. There are too many stables to list, check the local yellow pages. There is one ranch, Rusty Spur Ranch www.rustyspurr.com just south of Kremmling that offers an exciting cattle roundup.
Sleigh and Wagon Dinner Rides are a fun Colorado activity in both winter and summer. Quick rides can be booked, or a dinner/cowboy show can be included in the experience. Also in the winter many offer a hot chocolate excursions. CopperMountainStables.com www.breckstables.com www.NordicSleighRides.com
Museums in the area are generally small historic town displays; however there is a childrens' museum in Breckenridge. www.mtntopmuseum.org www.summithistorical.org www.summithistorical.org www.breckheritage.com Frisco has a historic park right on Main Street consisting of several historical cabins. In Dillon there is the George Rowe Museum located on 9th and Main as well as the Dillon School House museum located on 4th and La Bonte. There is a self guided historic tour you can get for the town of Dillon form the town hall or the School house museum. Visit the summit County information center located at the Silverthorne Outlets next to Nike for maps and more detailed information. www.SummitChamber.org
Movie Theatres are limited, but can be found in a couple towns. In the summer Copper Mountain offers a free outdoor movie screen, usually on Friday nights. There is a large traditional movie theatre in Dillon with 8 screens. There is also a smaller theatre in Breckenridge with one screen called the Speak Easy. New releases can be found here but Indy’s and off the beaten path films are often on the roster as well. www.SpeakEasyMovies.com
Performance Theatre can be found in two towns in the county, Dillon and Breckenridge. Both arenas are small and quaint but offer talented performances. www.backstagetheatre.org
Bowling can be found in Dillon at the county’s only alley, Lakeside Bowl. It is a traditional 18 lanes bowling alley that offers the standard ‘bowling alley stuff’. Great for a rainy day activity. There is also a bar/lounge located in the alley with flat screen tvs – smoke free (all of Colorado is). (970) 468-6257
Hot Air Balloon Rides are not found directly within the county but not far. The only hot air balloon company who offers transportation from the county to its place of flight is Colorado Balloon Rides, which flies in the Hartsel area. Balloon rides occur very early in the morning and are weather dependent. You would need your own transportation for the following... camelotballoons.com grandadventureballoon.com wildwestballooning.com
Scenic Flights are only available at the Leadville airport. This airport is considered the highest airport in North America at almost 10,000 ft above sea level. Take an introductory flying lesson and get a certificate for landing at the Highest airport in North America! Fancy private jets can be seen landing here year round, bringing in jetsetters from around the world.
Paragliding is an exhilarating experience that I have not yet mustered up the gumption to try! A silent journey over majestic mountains, just you and your guide sounds exciting yet peaceful. There are a couple options in the area… AdventureParagliding.com VailValleyParagliding.com
You can snowshoe or cross country ski from hut to hut in the backcountry. I do not have any info on this activity at this time. Advance reservations are required for hut trips.
Summit County is surrounded by national forest. The closest National Park is Rocky Mountain National Park. A little over an hour drive will get you to the west entrance in Grand Lake. This direction is less crowded than entering the park via Estes Park. An all day excursion to sight see, view wildlife, hike and just enjoy mother nature’s bounty is highly recommended. RMNP offers guided snowshowign in the winter and hiking in the summer - see their website for more info. RMNP is a pet-free park. They can stay in the car, but that is not much fun.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument are also not too far south and can be combined with a day trip to the Pike’s Peak area. www.nps.gov/flfo/
River Tubing can be done on your own in several spots. From the Ranger station in Silverthorne to the rafting put in about 2 miles down the river. Also you can hike to the radium hot spring and float down the Colorado to the radium rafting pull out. Both spots are on your own and not recommended for young people. Steamboat also has an official spot where you can tube down the Yampa thru town. Local companies rent tubes and run shuttles.
Snow Tubing and Sledding are available at a couple local resorts, but can also be found for free. Copper Mountain, Keystone, and Frisco all have tubing. Keystone is located at the top of the Gondola and is considered longer and faster than Copper's course. Copper's is located at the southeast end of the resort. Frisco's is located at the Nordic Center - and is brand new as of winter 2010/11. Tubing is best early in the day, when it is not snowing. When it is snowing the courses will be slower. Early in the day can provide a slick track. Free spots to tube are located at the Keystone Nordic Center, Breckenridge's Carter Hill, the top of Wildernest on the ranger's road, and really, in any creative kid's mind!
Tubes, sleds, saucers, etc, can be found at local stores all over town including the grocery stores. Some lodgings places will offer free equipment or low cost rentals.
Mine Tours are available in various surrounding towns. There is one privately owned mine within the county in Breckenridge at Country Boy Mines. Country Boy has donkeys roaming the grounds and is a fun excursion for kids.
There are a couple mines you can visit on your own. www.summithistorical.org/ Washington.html www.summithistorical.org/ Lomax.html The Georgetown Railroad also offers a mine tour in conjunction with a train ride. www.GeorgetownLoopRR.com
Dog Sledding is a really fun and exhilarating winter sport; however I recently read Good Times offers a summertime version with wheels. Most places will allow you to actually mush the dogs. Some places have trails that wind thru trees while others have a field. There are age requirements so make sure to decide what you are interested in and ask the vendors. Many dog sledding places also offer snowmobiling, so a combo package is a great discount. www.MountainMusher.com www.AlpineSnowMobiles.com
Shopping is prevalent in the area, both outlets and boutiques. Breckenridge and Frisco offer lively Main streets with lots of shopping. Breck has a longer Main Street than Frisco. There is an outlet shopping area in Silverthorne. Dillon has a few shops in their downtown area. Keystone also has a few shops along the main road and within the ski village. Copper has shopping within the ski village.
Kite Boarding/Skiing is available thru Kite Force. They offer lessons and rentals for use on Lake Dillon.
The path around Lake Dillon is well maintained. You could go from Keystone all the way to Breckenridge via the path.
Dog Parks are surprisingly minimal for a county of so many dog lovers. It sometimes seems like a requirement if you own a store to have a dog sit at the entrance. Many people disobey the leash law here; however you do risk a fine if caught. IMO a blind eye is often turned by officials - a friendly mountain dog on the loose just seems like part of our culture. Oddly though, more and more festivals and community events are becoming dog-free events.
There is one official fenced in dog area and it is in Breckenridge at Carter Park. There seems to always be friendly dogs of all sizes running around the large enclosure. If you go hiking on one of the many trails in the area, you will surely cross paths with a dog on the loose - it is the way of Summit County! If you bring your pet it is important to remember to pick up after them, even when out on a hike in the woods. During spring melt trails around town can be a stinky place to walk. Not to mention the disease it can spread. Free 'mutt mitts' can be found in boxes all around the county for picking up doggy presents. Grab several and use 'em!
Playgrounds vary from a couple swings to some pretty elaborate kid's areas. Frisco has a large playground next to their elementary school; It is a local's favorite with a castle theme, sure to keep the kids busy for a while.
There are also playgrounds located at the elementary school in Breck, Walter Byron Park, on the peninsula in Dillon (near the amphitheater), and the Frisco Marina.
Art and Craft Activities are great for a rainy day. There is a paint your own pottery place on Main street in Breckenridge called “Ready, Paint, Fire”. In Frisco there is a glass blowing studio called The Gatherhouse, you can try your hand. www.gatherhouse.com There is also Luna's Beads & Glass shop in Frisco where you can create your own beads and custom jewelry. www.lunasbeads.com What’s Needling You, a knitting shop in Frisco has classes available and a free knitting night on Wednesdays. www.whatsneedlingu.com
One scenic drive is a circle from Breckenridge, over Boreas Pass to Como, then to Fairplay, and back north over Hossier pass to Breckenridge.
Another option is to go to Copper Mountain head south to Leadville, then take 24 from Beuna Vista to Fairplay and then over Hossier pass to Breckenridge.
Another option is to go north of 9 thru Silverthorne towards Kremmling, just before Kremmling go west on 11 to State Bridge (maintained dirt road - might be closed in the winter), then south on 131 to Wolcott and take I-70 east back to Summit County.
Water Slides/Pools can be found at both county recreation centers. Also rock climbing walls, running tracks, workout rooms, exercise classes, basketball courts, etc can be found at both Breckenridge and Silverthorne rec centers. townofbreckenridge.com /index.aspx?page=349
Mt. Princeton Hot Springs in Buena Vista also has a 300 ft water slide at their upper pool; It closes at 6pm and is only open in the summer. www.MtPrinceton.com
Gyms both private and community are easily accessible all over the county. The Silverthorne and Breckenridge Recreation centers have large gyms with children areas to keep the little ones busy while you sweat. The is a Snap Fitness located in Silverthorne, Equip Fitness in Breckenridge, Elevation Fitness located in Dillon, and Curves located in Frisco. There are always personal trainer available for hire at all gyms, as well as day passes available for visitors.
Tennis courts are located at several of the private condo complexes around the county. The Silverthorne Recreation center has a few well maintained outdoor courts as well. The only indoor tennis courts are located at the Breckenridge Recreation center.
Wine Tastings are free on Wednesday night at Foodies in Frisco. They also have wine dinners on Tuesday nights.
New Moon Cafe in Keystone hosts wine tastings most Sat afternoons in Ski Season. www.NewMoonKeystone.com
There is also D?Vine Wine in Silverthorne where you can make your own wine. You can create your own, or immediately bottle your own using one of their pre-made batches. Or simply sit at their tasting bar and try a few. wineryinsilverthorne.com
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides are available along Main Street in Breckenridge.
Rock Climbing walls for practice are found year round at the Breckenridge Recreation center. In the summer a couple portable ones can be found at the fun parks in Breckenridge and Copper Mountain. Serious Rock Climbers can find a spot just about anywhere. I do not know much about this activity.
There are a few companies in the Vail area who offers guided rock climbing in the summer and ice climbing in the winter. ApexMountainSchool.com www.VailRockAndIce.com
Ski Jorring is an unusual Nordic sport that many people have never heard of before. There is an annual horse ski jorring contest in Leadville, see the link to the YouTube Video. However you can ski jorr with dogs too! Alpine out of Leadville offers lessons with your dog, or an excursion with their sled dogs. www.AlpineSnowMobiles.com
GoodTimes is located in between Frisco and Breckenridge. About seven miles south of Copper Mountain is www. whitemountain snowmobiletours .com (no spaces)
I don't know a lot of about this activity. If you do, PM me!
How could an artist not be inspired by such surrounding beauty? There are just too many to list; A walk in heart of any of the towns will surely turn up a talented Summit County artist. There are all kinds of mediums out there; If you have a particular favorite look up 'art' or 'gallery' in the local yellow pages.
Keystone offers a Kid's day camp once a week. They usually have a nature theme.
The Frisco Disc Golf course is a wooded course in the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area that plays down cross country ski trails. There are eight holes less than 300ft, six holes between 300 and 400ft, and four holes greater than 400ft. 18 total DiscCatchers over a total distance of 6005ft. There are signs to lead you around the course.
The Water Taxi is a large pontoon boat that makes it way back and forth between the Dillon and Frisco Marinas. Take it one way or make a round trip. The fee is minimal and for a buck extra you can bring your bike or dog (free). The taxi driver has a cell phone and will tell you when and where he will be at any time - just call! (970) 486-0250
The Summit Stage is a free bus system that travels throughout the county (except Heeny and Blue River). Breckenridge also has a free bus system called FREE RIDE that travels thru the main part of town. In the summertime the stage will add bike racks to the front of the buses - they have limited space and it is best to pick up the bus at a transfer station to ensure space for your bike.
FREE RIDE Schedule: townofbreckenridge.com /index.aspx?page=136
Several PediCab drivers are available. They will tote you thru town to various popular drinking spots or take a PediCab to a lovely picnic area along the Blue River. A great way to check out the town of Breckenridge.