Great with kids, delicious eats, 360° views of scenic vistas, a plethora of activities, Summit County is far more than just a pretty face. With the ski season coming to close in a mere 12 days, I thought a compilation of my “Summit County to-dos” was in order. Enjoy and feel free to chime in!
- Keystone: Ditch the crowds an hit first chair at the Peru Lift (8:30am); avoid “Mozart” and ski “Diamond Back” to get down to the Santiago Lift; enjoy first tracks on “Prospector” and “Last Alamo”; shred “Ida Belle” for a quick and satisfying dip into the trees–only enter through the gate or you risk being chased by a “Yellow Jacket”; Independence/Bergman Bowls are my go-tos for day hikes featuring big pow and spectacular views–bring h2o and snacks; for a QUICK hike above and beyond, trek up to “The Windows”; finish off the morning at La Bonte’s Cabin (between Santiago and Ruby Lifts) for bbq, beers, and front row seats to the “Starfire Slide”.
- Arapahoe Basin (aka the Legend or Abay or A-Basin…): Arrive by 8:45am for prime parking on “the beach”; if it’s clear, start the day at the top of the Lenawee Lift and take a warm-up lap down the “Half-Moon Glades”; hit Montezuma Bowl next (if only to say you’ve been there…)–specifically skiing a run along the “Zuma Cornice”…do that a few times to get the blood flowing; for a break in the action, stop at the top of “Zuma Cornice” to take a mental/physical (i prefer real photos…) pic of the incredible views of the Gore and Tenmile Ranges, Keystone, Breck, and Dillon–UNREAL; finally take Pallavicini Lift for some steep glade skiing.
- Breckenridge: Call me snobby, but I generally only ski Breck if I am hanging with E. BUT if I am over in that vicinity, you’ll find me off the “Falcon Superchair”, “C Chair”, or hiking to the top of Peak 7.
- A-Cafe: Burger Night on Wednesday Nights–1/2LB Angus Burger Basket for $6
- Snake River Saloon–I love their ribs, my dad loves their Filet Oscar, Aunt Sharon gets the trout…frankly I think you can’t go wrong.
- Ski Tip Lodge–Snowflakes and Wine on Fridays at 4pm, just $25/person for a sampling of three wines. Stick around after the tasting and grab an app by the fire. It’s all about the ambience.
- Modis: Big city dining with a small town feel.
- Kenosha: BBQ sauce. That’s all you need to know. Oh that and that they don’t take reservations, so plan on waiting at the bar–no biggie. get yourself a sampling of local brews and embrace the mouth-watering smell of BBQ that enshrouds you.
- Kickapoo Tavern: Key for a little outdoor apres’ ski action; great for a meal with kids. I think they have live music on weekends, but don’t quote me…
- Haywood Cafe: Breakfast of champions. The “Sexy Mexy Bennie” is my go-to post ski brunch item; but I’ve heard the pancakes are pretty hard to beat.
- Hiking/snowshoeing: Sts. John, Peru Creek, Mayflower Gulch, Loveland Pass, “Nightmare on Baldy Mine”, Sally Barber Mine, Webster Pass, Aqueduct Trail, Dillon Peninsula, Keystone Nordic Center. Rent equipment over at Wildernest Sports–love those guys.
- Running: Montezuma Road, HWY 6 to Landfill Road, bike path that begins in Keystone, HWY 6 up to A-Basin (watch for trucks/cars, can be busy). As long as your shoes have good treads and you’ve got the cold weather gear you’re good to go!
- Tubing/Go-Carts: Keystone Adventure Point, Gold Runner Alpine Coaster (Erik will hate me for recommending this, but it’s fun 🙂 )
- Savour the Slopes: a week of food, booze, and app tastings at Keystone’s top restaurants. $20/person for an hour tasting.
- Find an outdoor hot tub and watch the fireworks at the base of Keystone’s River Run Village
- On a Thursday evening, any Thursday evening, go ice skating on the 5 acre outdoor lake in Keystone’s Lakeside Village. Once you’ve had your fill of the great outdoors, pop into the Tenderfoot Lounge to cozy up by the fire and listen to the soulful Keith Synnestvedt his renditions of the classics…the Eagles, America, the Beatles, Gordon Lightfoot, etc.