A meandering stroll? An invigorating jaunt? Or perhaps a high intensity climb is more along the lines of what you’re looking for. Either way, you want it, we got it. Here are a few of my favorite hikes in the SumCO area. Each of which offers something different and each of which will take you to a different corner of Summit (well…I suppose one is almost in Lake County). Enjoy and feel free to share YOUR fav spots!
- Lily Pad Lakes, the meandering stroll
A 3.2 mile roundtrip hike that takes you deep into the Eagles Nest woods and up to a gorgeous lily pad filled lake. Great for hikers of all ages, the gently sloping, 1.6 mile trail leads you through a spectacular wildflower filled valley before entering a stately Lodgepole Pine and Aspen forest. Expect to enjoy wildlife sightings of beavers, birds, and small rodents. Moose are known to relax along the shores of Upper Lily Pad Lake, so keep your eyes peeled!
- Mayflower Gulch, fabulously intermediate, though some call it easy
A very quick, though somewhat steep, mile long hike leads you up an old jeep road and places you in the valley that houses the Old Boston Mine. Though it’s a little bit of a hike from the Keystone/Breck area (about 6 miles past Copper Mt), Mayflower Gulch features incredible views of Crystal, Pacific, and Fletcher mountains and an invigorating walk along Mayflower Creek.
- Grays and Torreys, high intensity climb up two of Summit’s 14ers
Though Grays and Torreys are considered to be some of the “easier” 14ers to climb, it’s important to note that summiting is no easy feat. It’s recommended that climbers start their ascent early, 6:30am early, not only will that aid you in missing some of the crowds, but will allot you time to avoid the storms that roll in most afternoons. Snacks, water, and Gatorade are important things to consider, as the elevation gain makes the climb fairly strenuous. Layers; also very important, as 6:30am, not to mention the summit, often feature temps in the 40s, while the lower altitudes warm up as day wears on.