13 Sep 2017
Summit County’s 619 square miles are incredible: home to 75 ski lifts, three fourteeners, four ski and snowboard resorts (all with year-round activities) and a range of events for everyone – you will be hard pressed to not find anything to do! After all, it’s locally dubbed “Colorado’s playground” for a reason.
As one of North America’s most visited ski resorts, Breckenridge continues to offer world-class skiing, dining, and entertainment for all ages. Ski trails were first cut in 1961 at Breckenridge Ski Resort. With 3,400 vertical feet, 370 inches of annual snowfall, and nearly 3,000 skiable acres, Breckenridge continuously attracts a record number of visitors every year to their 155 total runs (with a high percentage specifically for the expert skier) and 32 lifts. Great for families and groups with varied experience levels and interests, the area offers year round fun with hiking and mountain biking trails, fly-fishing on the nearby Blue River, or enjoying the restaurants, shops, galleries and events in the charming historic Main Street. The historic district features BreckCreate, a gallery and creative space offering exhibits, performances, classes and events. Spend the day wandering the town and visiting one of the many annual events – beer, wine, and spirits tastings, film festivals, sidewalk sales, art walks, gallery openings, bike weeks, 5ks, snow sculpture championships… just to name a few! Wrap up the evening at Hearthstone Restaurant, Breckenridge’s continuously voted #1 restaurant. Housed in a cozy Victorian home on Main Street, Hearthstone features naturally raised beef and game, sustainably caught seafood and seasonal Colorado produces plus a robust wine list.
75 miles west of Denver lies Copper Mountain, the largest ski resort in Summit County with nearly 2,500 acres naturally divided to cater to all skill levels. Since 1972, Copper has been playing host to skiers and riders of all abilities. Four distinct levels of on-mountain experience separate the mountain: a beginner-friendly west side, a challenging blue middle peak, the steep and fast eastern side, and expert peaks that will entice even the boldest of powder seekers. 126 in-bounds trails, 2,600 vertical feet, 15 chairlifts, and free cat skiing is graced with 310 inches of annual snowfall – making any skier or rider’s dreams come true. The naturally divided terrain lends itself to a world-class ski school for skiers and riders of all ages and abilities. If apres ski sounds more appealing, head to CB Grille – Angus steaks, fresh seafood, creative burgers, artisan pizzas, full bar and extensive wine list. Be sure to save room for a handmade dessert. Copper Mountain also features an 18-hole golf course with views of the 10 Mile Range as well as annual festivals and events – the New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade, Copper Uncorked, and the newest WitchCraft Festival are not to be missed.
For the crowd that is all about the experiences, head to the action-packed Keystone. In the summer, rent a paddle boat to explore the lake, play a round of golf at Keystone Ranch Golf Course or The River Course at Keystone, test your limits at the Keystone Bike Park, or embrace the Old West feel and take a trail ride at the Keystone Stables. Missing a little winter in the heat of the summer? Hit the tubing hill at the top of Dercum Mountain. Colorado’s only summer tubing operation on real snow is a can’t-miss experience. With three peaks and five bowls, Keystone offers exciting and challenging terrain for all skiers and riders with over 12,400 feet of elevation. 230 inches of powder on average blanket the resort’s 135 runs and 3,148 acres. The resort has become the largest operation in Colorado to offer the thrill and solitude of night skiing – 15 trails of varying skill levels are lit by floodlights and lifts operate well after sunset. Spend a day skiing the Continental Divide at nearby Arapahoe Basin – a local favorite nestled in the White River National Forest known for its extended season, incomparable views, and the East Wall (expert only terrain that is technically out of bounds.) Finish a day on the slopes at Keystone Ranch – an authentic steakhouse experience featuring the finest quality meats and locally sourced produce. Established as a homestead in the 1930s, the original stone fireplaces and sweeping views of the mountains pay homages to the ranchers who settled the area. Looking for an on-mountain experience without lift lines? Make a reservation for lunch, dinner or brunch at the highest AAA Four-Diamond dining experience in North America – Alpenglow Stube. Experience the breathtaking views from two gondola rides to Keystone’s North Peak where award-winning chefs deliver delicious contemporary cuisine with a Bavarian accent to complement the unique setting.
We, of course, recommend visiting all of the areas of Summit County – each offering unique experiences for all ages and interests, working hard to make the title of ‘Colorado’s Playground’ ring true!