Summit County, Colorado

Everything about the lifestyle in Summit County, Colorado, celebrates the outdoors. Your first peek at the Tenmile and Gore mountain ranges begins as you exit from the west side of the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70. From that vantage point, it’s non-stop visual bliss. Summit County, Colorado, attractions center on four internationally recognized ski resorts within a 30-minute drive of one another (Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain and Arapahoe Basin) that offer winter snow sports like snowboarding and skiing and summer activities such as hiking, mountain biking and fun parks. Renting a boat or standup paddleboard on Lake Dillon can be followed by a brewery tour to sample craft beers at many different Summit County restaurants dedicated to hometown suds. Summit County shopping can lead you to sports outfitters, art galleries, souvenir shops and boutiques along Main Streets in Frisco and Breckenridge or the Outlets at Silverthorne. There’s simply no limit to Summit County things to do, and your best bet for current information is to check out Summit County This Week for the latest information to jump start your central Rockies visit.

Summit County, Colorado winter activities once dominated the region with skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides and dog mushing as highlights. Through the mid-1980s, warm weather was more of a siesta season with fishing, hiking and boating among the more popular Summit County summer activities. The ski resorts soon realized that national forests could also host sports such as mountain biking, while other pursuits including off-road ATV tours continued to grow in popularity. The elevations of this high alpine setting range from 7,974 to 14,270 feet above sea level (or 2,430 to 4,349 meters). At this height and amidst so much beauty, the area will literally take your breath away.

Summit County, Colorado, History

Like much of the west, Summit County’s busiest settlement dates to the mid-1800s, developed around the expansion of the railroad and mining industries. Until 1840, high-country trappers kept secret the riches of the nearby mountains, but in 1859 prospectors found gold and minerals in the hills and along the Blue River Valley in quantities sufficient to create a boom. The population waxed and waned with the quantities of valuable metals and minerals. Locals survived some tough periods, but most areas avoided full-on ghost town status.

Many years later, Arapahoe Basin opened as the county’s first ski resort in 1946 with others following suit in the decades to come: Breckenridge (1961), Keystone (1970) and Copper Mountain (1972). If you're interested in learning more about western U.S. history, take advantage of the many Summit County attractions that describe the triumphs and tribulations of this central Rockies region.

Life in Summit County, Colorado

After visiting, many guests relocate to make Summit County, Colorado, their home. As of the last census, the county’s population was 27,994 lucky, determined people. Where do luck and determination intersect for these intrepid outdoor enthusiasts? Like any resort community, the combined challenges of sound employment and affordable housing can give anyone a run for their money. But Summit County residents work hard and play hard to offer an unparalleled level of customer service for vacationers. It’s quite typical to see locals ride the first chair up the slopes in the morning. And, who knows? As most of us who live here year round can attest, you come for a vacation, but then you return and stay for a lifetime. You may be staying at a Summit County, Colorado hotel today but soon enough you could be calling the area home.

Preliminary site plan approved for Fourth Street North, an extension of Fourth Street Crossing

A rendering shows an aerial view of the central plaza proposed as part of the Fourth Street North development.Rendering from Milender White presentation to Silverthorne Town Council A preliminary site plan for Fourth Street North, an extension of Silverthorne’s Fourth Street Crossing development, was approved unanimously by Silverthorne Town Council at last week’s meeting. Plans for Fourth Street North are taking place as construction continues at Fourth Street... Read More

National Repertory Orchestra hires new music...

After 42 years as the conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra, Carl Topilow has stepped down. He will... Read More

10 Mile Music Hall launches event business in...

Holly Erlichman gives a tour of 10 Mile Music Hall on Sunday, Jan. 10, to a couple considering the... Read More

Breck Film’s outgoing executive director look...

Photo by Elaine Collins Janice Kurbjun started her time in Summit County as a “ski bum” in... Read More

Know your snow: More than a few terms fly aro...

It’s a bit odd to think about how important snow has been for much of my career. As a teacher at Detroit... Read More

Frisco author ready for the release of his se...

For Frisco-based author Richard Brock, 2020 started off with a lot of promise. Coming off a... Read More
Top Picks
Top Picks: Nightlife
Breckenridge Recreation Center
Saturday, January 23, 2021 - 10:30 am
Breckenridge Recreation Center, All Levels Tennis Clinic
Father Dyer Church
Sunday, January 24, 2021 - 6:00 pm
Father Dyer Church, Community Dinner
Breckenridge Recreation Center
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 10:30 am
Breckenridge Recreation Center, All Levels Tennis Clinic
Top Picks: Daytime Entertainment & Special Events

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