Places to Visit: Summit County Colorado

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Summit County Colorado

Summit County, Colorado is a bustling area with four world-class ski areas, not far from Rocky Mountain National Park, where visitors come to enjoy the abundant recreational opportunities.

  • Visit Summit County, Colorado for great views and year-round recreation
  • Only 1-½ hours from Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Find plenty of accommodation and eatery choices
  • Ski at any one of four ski resorts all within 20 minutes of each other
  • Drive the Top of the Rockies Byway for incredible scenery

Overview

Summit County has four different, world famous ski resorts within a 20-minute drive of each other. Where else can you find that? It provides some of the best terrain and winter amenities, as well as plenty of summer recreation. Some of the cities and towns within the county include Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne and Dillon.

Location

Summit County is 70 miles east of Denver off of Interstate 70.

Services/Amenities

All the towns within Summit County will provide you with a wide range of choices of places to eat. You’ll find American, French, Italian and even Irish cuisine, seafood, steaks, pizza and barbeque. Whatever your heart desires!

From economy lodging to luxurious accommodations, you will have no problem locating just the right place to stay on your visit. Choose a standard motel or hotel, a mountain resort or quaint lodge. No matter where you stay, you’ll have the Rockies surrounding you in all their glory.

Activities

  • Skiing and Winter Sports
    Winter sports take on new meaning in Summit County, Colorado. Take on the challenging slopes of Arapaho Basin Ski Area or enjoy the towering peaks of Breckenridge. Ski Keystone or Copper Mountain in Summit County. Any of these ski areas offer great skiing, snowboarding and the very best powder.
  • Hiking
    Miles and miles of trails in Summit County provide hiking that you have to experience to believe. Anyone can come here and find trails that fit their level of skill. Loveland Pass is a hike for the beginner, with minimal elevation gain and only three miles roundtrip. You’ll see spectacular views of the mountains and valley below you. A bit more difficult is the Mohawk Lake Trail. This is 7 miles of beautiful waterfalls, historic ruins and sweeping views. This intermediate hike has a 1,700-foot elevation gain. Tougher yet is Quandary Peak, a staggering 14,265 feet in elevation. This advanced hike is 6 miles in length and even though relentless in its ascent, the 360-degree views from the top are worth it.
  • Rafting
    There are a number of rivers in and around Summit County where you can find some great whitewater rafting. Within the county, the Blue River has two miles of continuous whitewater, and spectacular scenery to boot. One of the most popular rivers for rafting is the Arkansas. It’s 80 miles of Class I to Class V water. Only about 45 minutes from Summit County is Clear Creek, which has some fast moving rapids. And of course, don’t forget the great Colorado River, flowing through the Lower Gore Canyon.
  • Biking
    When you think of Summit County biking, you have to think of memorable beauty! Find a large amount of trails to choose from. You can bike from Frisco to Breckenridge on a paved road, with lots of scenery to admire as you go. The Lake Loop around Lake Dillon has some climbs to it, but all for the better – you get some good exercise. For the extreme climb at high altitudes, true athletes can do the Keystone to Loveland Pass ride.
  • Scenic Driving
    The Top of the Rockies Byway offers 75 miles of incredible scenery, nearby recreational activities and plenty of history. You seldom are below 9,000 feet in elevation on your trip, and you’ll have the pleasure of seeing two of the highest mountains in Colorado – Mount Elbert and Mount Massive. Stop by the Camp Hale Memorial to pay tribute to the soldiers who trained here during WW II.

Attractions

Probably the most famous attraction of Summit County is the spectacular views that the Rocky Mountains provide all visitors to this area. Of course, Summit County’s mountain towns each have their own unique qualities and are a thrill to explore. Wonderful shops, galleries and more await you in Summit County.

Getting Here

Getting to Rocky Mountain National Park from Summit County is simple, and scenic. From Silverthorne, Colorado, take Colorado Highway 9 north 33.6 miles to County Road 396 and jog over to US Highway 40. From US 40, when you reach US Highway 34, go left and this will take you to Grand Lake, the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. This drive is only about 1-½ hours.

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