So you're thinking about buying a home in Summit County (or maybe you already have one), and you're trying to figure out how you can spend as much time there as possible. The mountains are the best place to be, after all.
Too many families with homes in the Rockies limit themselves to only visiting in the winter when ski season is in full tilt. But they're missing all the thrilling things to do in Summit County during the rest of the year.
Here are some of our favorite things to do in Summit County to keep you busy all year round!
When the snow melts away in the spring, Summit County's ski lodges transform into mountain biking parks. These mountain trails offer spectacular views of Colorado's wildlife, fauna, and jagged ridgelines.
What's unique about Summit County is that 80% of its lands are managed by the federal government, so there's no shortage of bike paths to explore. It takes locals years to discover each winding path throughout the county.
Whether you are a gritty, experienced mountain biking pro or have little ones with you, it's easy to find a suitable trail for every experience level. These are some of our favorite trails.
ATV touring has grown in popularity over the past few years. There's something about flying down those old mining trails that really gets your heart pumping.
There's just as much variety in ATV trails as there are bike trails, making ATVing a perfect activity for adults and children. You'll find trails with hairpin switchbacks and ones that take you to the top of several summits to enjoy the views.
Many tour operators offer both ATVs and side-by-sides, and some even include guided tours and overnight trips.
Climbing is a bit like meditation, just more physical. Each move you make when climbing is deliberate and slow, adding to the intensity.
Climbing is a year-round sport in Summit County. In the winter, try your hand at ice climbing. Once the snow melts, you'll find plenty of opportunities to try sports climbing, mountaineering, and traditional climbing.
Mountaineering is also popular in the area with plenty of "14ers" (mountains with an elevation of 14,000 feet above sea level) to tackle.
For families eager to get their kids to fall in love with climbing, there are plenty of climbing gyms to get their feet wet.
Hunting and Fishing
Many are surprised to learn the number of species you can hunt and fish for in Summit County. Both activities provide an outlet to be one with nature and appreciate our place in this world.
Whether you prefer archery, muzzleloaders or rifles, you won't find your hunting options to be limited. All through the fall, you can hunt deer, elk, moose, black bears, birds, bobcats, coyotes, and more. You can learn more about hunting dates and fees here.
Fishing season is always open in Summit County. The rivers and streams are teeming with trout, bass, walleye, perch, and pike.
Snow kiting is the awesome snow sport you've never heard of. Similar to kite surfing, you are towed along on your snowboard or skis by a kite. Because snow has so little friction, many people have an easy time learning snow kiting.
You'll mostly stick to flat surfaces for snow kiting, but don't let that bore you! Snow kiting is easy to pick up, and you'll find yourself doing tricks in the air in no time.
More snow kiting operators are popping up as the sport climbs to the top of everyone's list of things to do in Summit County. Just come with your ski equipment and the operator will provide you with a kite and a lesson before sending you on your way.
Not many people know dog sledding is one of the most fun things to do in Summit County. There are a handful of resorts in Keystone and Breckenridge that offer this family-friendly activity.
When you go dog sledding, you'll experience firsthand the incredible bond a driver has with their team of dogs. Many of the operators will teach you how to lead a team of dogs, and then take you out on the trails.
If you love seeing the mountains from a different perspective or just love dogs, definitely give this one a try!
It's the worst kept secret that the state parks out west have the best camping you can imagine.
In Summit County, you'll find plenty of camping sites to meet any camping experience. Just south of Frisco, you'll find campsites with RV parking and tent sites, plus a disc golf course and skate park.
For a more rugged experience, head out to Upper Slate Lake in White River National Forest, the most visited forest in the U.S. Dispersed camping is the game here, so you'll need to pitch camp 100 feet away from any lakes or rivers and keep an eye out for "No Camping" signs. Also, if you pack it in, pack it out. As the old by scout adage states "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."
While you may be in the mountains, there are still plenty of opportunities for water sports in Summit County.
Canoeing, kayaking, and sailing allow you to slow down and appreciate the beautiful peaks around you. On a clear day, you'll get to see the snow-capped mountains perfectly mirrored in the smooth-as-glass water.
For a bit more speed, head out to Green Mountain Reservoir and rent a boat, skis, and a tube. Your kids will love the fast-paced action and the chance to enjoy the cool, fresh water.
So Many Things to Do in Summit County!
We don't know about you, but we've already planned out all these activities in our calendars.
There are so many more things to do in Summit County like horseback riding, snowmobiling, and hiking. Not to mention, Summit County has an awesome food scene, including five food festivals each summer.
By Coldwell Banker