11 Jun 2019
Miles of hiking trails dominate the Rocky Mountain region, offering experiences for everyone from beginners looking for a leisurely stroll among the aspens to those looking to summit their first fourteener. Mountain views, glacial lakes, summit sunrises, and plenty of wildlife await those ready to explore the over 200 miles of hiking trails in Summit County.
The 2018/2019 winter brought so much snow that some resorts are still operating as of June with no sign of slowing down. Although Colorado has celebrated plenty of snow into late spring, this year is particularly welcome as the state has suffered drought and fire conditions over the last several years. Deep snowpack and late season conditions help to keep the risk of widespread fire down during the warmer months. The downside of it? A long and muddy spring. Typically dry and snow-free by now, many trails are still impassable or only so with proper gear and a willingness to get muddy. In order to keep trails in working condition and hikers happy, the Town of Breckenridge has created a guide to direct hikers to better conditions. Be sure to check in before hiking and report back on where you went.
If it’s views you're after without too much work, Sapphire Point Overlook Trail is located between Keystone and Breckenridge and offers panoramic views of Lake Dillon, the Gore and the Ten Mile mountain ranges from 9,500 feet while being just over half a mile.
Just outside of Silverthorne is Lily Pad Lake, a 3.2-mile out-and-back trail with only a few hundred feet elevation gain. Bring a picnic lunch and a fishing pole (Colorado fishing license required) and relax by the lake while keeping an eye out for moose, deer, and elk!
With fantastic scenery and gorgeous views, Mohawk Lakes hike is a photographer’s dream. Ascending 1,700 feet past a waterfall and several mining structures, reach Lower Mohawk lake in under three miles.
Spruce Lakes Trail to Mohawk Lakes Trail is the quintessential Rocky Mountain hike – rivers, lakes, waterfalls, mountain vistas, wildlife, and old mining cabins. Out-and-back at 8.6 miles, this trail can be difficult with 1,700-foot elevation gain - but the second set of lakes is worth it.
Colorado is home to 58 ‘fourteeners’; a word to describe any peak rising about 14,000 feet. Grays, Torreys and Quandary Peak all lie within the boundaries of Summit County but are for experienced hikers only. More about Colorado’s fourteeners can be found here.
Remember never to hike without plenty of water, sunscreen, and the appropriate attire. And when you’re done for the day, relax in front of a roaring fire or soak sore muscles in the hot tub, happy you booked luxury accommodations at River Ridge Rentals.
Photo credit to GoBreck.