Summit County stretches along the I-70 corridor as you head west through the mountains. It includes five world-class ski resorts within miles of each other, including Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain and Loveland. From shopping the outlets in Silverthorne to checking out the expansive Dillon Reservoir to eating and drinking at some of the award-winning craft breweries and restaurants in town, there’s no debate – you’ll find that there are endless opportunities in Summit County for your winter (or summer) adventures.

Note that traffic along I-70 toward this part of the Rockies can be rough. Weekend-warriors should leave the city before 7am and get back on the road before 4pm (or simply until after dinnertime) to avoid some serious stop and go.

Where to Ski or Snowboard

  • Breckenridge

    Breckenridge
    Breckenridge
    Breckenridge
    Breckenridge

    This 2,908 acre resort is one of the larger ones in the area, complete with 5 massive peaks offering 187 trails, four terrain parks and 2 half-pipes. Families, beginners and those who love groomers will enjoy Peak 8 and lower Peak 9/10, while Peak 6, 7 and 9 offer all intermediate terrain. For those who push themselves and love finding less crowded bowls, head toward Peak 6, 7 or 8 above the tree line or skiers right toward Peak 10 for expert terrain, complete with steep runs and mogul fields.

    Paid parking is available closer to the Gondola along North Park Ave or choose to take the shuttle bus from the free satellite parking lot off of Airport Road. Be sure to get there early on the weekends to make sure snag a spot.

  • Keystone

    Keystone
    Keystone (Photo Credit)
    Keystone
    Keystone (Photo Credit)

    Keystone is the largest ski resort in Summit County, boasting over 3,148 skiable acres, 131 trails, 20 lifts and two gondolas. Although over 50% of the trails are for more advanced skiers (like on North Peak and the Outback), visitors will also find great beginner and intermediate terrain on Dercum Mountain. For those who like throwing 360’s all day, be sure to check out A51 Terrain Park, known as one of the best parks in North America. Don’t forget Keystone’s well-known cat ski tours that will take you to untouched areas of the mountain, as well as their popular night skiing.

    There are two villages at the bottom and are located conveniently next to numerous great restaurants, bars, a skating rink and Adventure Point (one of Colorado’s best snow tubing spots). The best part? Several free public parking lots, one of which is right next to the main village.

  • Arapahoe Basin

    Arapahoe Basin
    Arapahoe Basin
    Arapahoe Basin
    Arapahoe Basin

    A-Bay, as the locals say, is a resort located 68 miles from Denver and only five miles from Keystone Ski Resort. Although it’s one of the smaller mountains in the area, it’s known for its extended ski season, opening earlier than many of the state’s largest resorts, and closing in the late spring (or early summer, if you’re lucky). Don’t forget to pack a lunch and a few beers, then grab a picnic table at the base of the mountain where tailgating skiers will often be having a good time at the well-known “beach parties.”

    The mountain itself offers 109 trails on 960 skiable acres, as well as 4 lodges. It’s known for some of the highest skiable terrain in North America, with half of the mountain over the tree line. Although there are beginner and intermediate options, around 60% of the terrain is marked advanced or expert.

    You can get to A-Bay through Silverthorne (passing Keystone along the way) or via Loveland Pass, which will take you on windy switchbacks through the Continental Divide. Take a pit stop at the top (almost 12,000ft above sea level) to take in the views. Once you get to the mountain, parking is free.

  • Copper Mountain

    Copper Mountain
    Copper Mountain (Photo Credit)
    Copper Mountain
    Copper Mountain (Photo Credit)

    Copper is located 75 miles from Denver and is one of the largest ski resorts in Colorado offering over 2,465 acres of skiable terrain with 140 trails and 23 lifts. Around 46% of the trails are marked beginner or intermediate, 36% advanced and 18% expert.

    The large village at the base of the mountain is split into East Village, Center village and West Village. All three areas offer multiple lodging options, great restaurants, après ski entertainment. Don’t forget Woodward Copper, a ski and snowboard training facility featuring foam pits and trampolines to improve your skills on the mountain.

    Copper is right off of I-70, 11 miles past Silverthorne. As with the other ski resorts in Summit County, be sure to get there early and head home well before 4pm or around dinnertime to miss the majority of day-skier traffic.

  • Loveland Ski Area

    Loveland Ski Area
    Loveland Ski Area (Photo Credit)
    Loveland Ski Area
    Loveland Ski Area (Photo Credit)

    Loveland Resort can be found right off of the highway (I-70), about 56 miles from Denver and about 7 and 12 miles before Keystone and Arapahoe Basin ski resorts, respectively. Located at the Continental Divide, this resort features 1,800 acres of skiable terrain, 94 trails and nine lifts. Beginners will appreciate Loveland Valley, which is an area dedicated for those who are still honing their skills. On the other hand, those who are looking for more challenging terrain will have a blast at Loveland Basin. Specifically speaking, check out The Ridge, which is located at 12,700’ and offers 480 skiable acres and 100 hikeable acres off the lift and free snow cat rides.

    There are several dining options at the base of the Valley and Basin, including cafés, restaurants and cafeterias. Don’t forget the multiple on-mountain cabins sprinkled around the mountain to give your legs a much need break throughout the day.

    Loveland is the closest ski resort you’ll hit in Summit County, which is convenient if you’re hoping to miss traffic jams to and from the mountains. As always, leave early and be careful with your timing going home.

Where to Buy Marijuana

Breckenridge

Although Breckenridge has always been in the forefront regarding support for overall marijuana laws (both recreational and medical), all four shops have been pushed slightly north of the resort/downtown on Airport Road.

  • Alpenglow Botanicals (Breckenridge, CO)

    Summit County locals, who also happen to own the only grow operation left in Breckenridge, started Alpenglow Botanicals. Their comfortable shop offers more than 30 strains that are grown in smaller batches, ensuring that their customers get premium cannabis each and every time.

  • Breckenridge Organic Therapy (Breckenridge, CO)

    Breckenridge Organic Therapy is another locally owned dispensary that prides itself on quality bud and great customer service. Although on the smaller size, this shop is known in town for providing great prices for many pain management solutions.

  • Organix (Breckenridge, CO)

    Organix is the only Breckenridge location to provide both recreational and medical marijuana to its customers. The shop is very open with beautiful wood floors, which paves the way for a continued positive experience with high-end bud and helpful budtenders. Check out one of their 20 available shelf strains.

  • Backcountry Cannabis (Breckenridge, CO)

    Although this dispensary is still open, expect a name change (amongst other things) in the near future as it was recently purchased by Green Dragon.

Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain & Loveland Ski Resort

There are no dispensaries in close proximity to these resorts, however a quick drive to Silverthorne/Dillon or Frisco (toward Breckenridge) will let you choose between five great options.

  • High Country Healing (Silverthorne, CO)

    With 3 other mountain locations, this recreational and medical dispensary knows what they’re doing. Often praised for their passionate and kind staff, you’ll find over 50 quality strains and store hours that consistently stay open from 9am – 10pm.

  • Alpenglow (Dillon, CO)

    This is Alpenglow’s second location in Summit County. As with their other location, this team prides themselves on a one of a kind “Farm to Flame” experience, meaning everything is locally grown at 9,600 feet above sea level and is exclusive to their two shops.

  • Native Roots (Dillon, CO)

    This is one of Native Roots’ smaller locations, but it’s clean and gives customers a very comfortable, personal feel. Their bud is always of the highest quality and their team is full of nice and knowledgeable budtenders. Don’t forget to ask for the local discount!

  • Herbal Bliss (Frisco, CO)

    Owned and operated by Summit County locals since 1998, Herbal Bliss (formerly known as Bioenergetic Healing Center, grows all of their cannabis indoors in organic soil. As a result, their flower is on par with the best of them.

  • Native Roots (Frisco, CO)

    Only a stone throw away from one of their 14 locations in Dillon, this particular dispensary maintains a clean and modern space. With a great selection of bud that goes hand in hand with its brand, Native Roots in Frisco is a great place to check out.

Where to Stay

As with many ski towns, you’ll find a variety of lodging accommodations – many of which are on-mountain and may carry a higher price tag. Having said that, there are less expensive options for travelers, including a few 420-friendly lodging options to choose from in Dillon, Silverthorne and Breckenridge. A word to the wise: Always book ahead and be sure to confirm their marijuana policies to make sure you’re abiding by the rules.

Additional Lodging Options:

Where to Find Après Ski

Breckenridge

  • The T-Bar

    (American, Price $10-$25) – Located at the base of Peak 8, this spot offers great drinks, small plates and an awesome patio.
  • Breckenridge Brewery

    (Brewery, Price $10-$20) – Try one of their popular brews like Agave Wheat, Lucky U IPA or Avalanche.
  • Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant

    (Mexican, Price $10-$20) – Well-known spot for their beer/margarita happy hours with over 100 tequilas to choose from.
Breckenridge Brewery Breckenridge Brewery
Breckenridge Brewery Breckenridge Brewery

Keystone

  • Kickapoo Tavern

    (American, Price $10-$25) – Located at the bottom of the gondola, offering a great beer selection, food and atmosphere.
  • 9280’ Tap House

    (American, Price $5-$15) – Located in River Run Village, try one of their handcrafted cocktails or on-tap brews.

Arapahoe Basin

Grab a drink at their base lodge or head to Silverthorne/Dillon for a larger selection of food and beverage options.

Copper

  • JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern

    (American, $5-$20) – Live music and great beer, all located in the East Village.
  • Jill’s Umbrella Bar

    (Soup and Sandwiches, $5-$15) – Grab a signature drink, hot soup and one of their delicious grilled sandwiches!

Loveland

Similar to Arapahoe Basin and Keystone, check out their on-mountain restaurant options or head toward Silverthorne/Dillon for a wider selection.

Where to Eat

Breckenridge

  • Empire Burger

    (American, Price: $10-$25) – The best burgers and milkshakes in town. Don’t forget to try their special sauces.
  • Stella’s Hungry Horse

    (American/Foodcart, Price $10-$15) – Go for the breakfast burrito or be adventurous and order an exotic game burger.

Keystone/Arapahoe Basin

This mountain is somewhat removed from any town, so pack a lunch or eat at one of their on-mountain restaurants during the day. After skiing, head toward Keystone or Silverthorne for the closest restaurant or bar options, including Blue Moon Bakery, a popular stop to grab a breakfast sandwich or bagel before hitting the slopes.

Loveland

The same goes for Loveland! Because the mountain is not near a town, bring your own lunch, take advantage of their food options on-mountain or head to Beau Jo’s (amazing pizza) or Smoking Yards (finger-licking BBQ) in Idaho Springs on the way back to Denver.

Copper

  • Incline Bar Grill

    (American, Price: $10-$25) – Great for lunch or dinner, Incline offers a great selection of beer. Don’t forget to try the bison stew!
  • Endo’s Adrenaline Café

    (American, Price: $10-$20) – Fun, sports bar atmosphere with an awesome selection of food like flatbread, burgers and more.

What to Do

Breckenridge

  • Walk around downtown

    Breckenridge offers a very cute downtown area with a busy main street full of wonderful restaurants, great shops and much more.
  • Gold Runner Alpine Coaster

    Open in the summer and winter, this 2,500ft coaster offers single or double cars with the ability to control your speed through turns and twists through the trees.
  • Dog Sledding/Sleigh Rides

    Check out one of the more unique ways to explore the area, by jumping on a dog sled tour or checking out downtown on a horse-drawn carriage – both are family friendly.
  • Nordic Skiing or Snowshoeing

    Take a lesson or rent your own equipment and go on a self-guided tour on the 30 miles of beautifully manicured cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails.

Keystone

  • Ice Skating and Hockey

    Enjoy Keystone’s 5-acre lake in Lakeside Village, which is the “largest Zamboni-maintained outdoor skating rink in North America.”
  • Night Skiing

    Keystone is one of the few resorts that offer night skiing, allowing guests to enjoy the mountain long after normal hours.
  • Keystone Spa

    For those who want a more relaxing activity, make an appointment for a relaxing body massage or cleansing facial.

Arapahoe Basin

  • Loveland Pass

    Take the drive through the mountains and above the tree lines to the Continental Pass, approximately 11,990ft above sea level. Although you’ll drive along many narrow switchbacks to get to the top, the views are well worth it.

Loveland Ski Resort

  • The Ridge Cat

    Take advantage of some free snow cat skiing along the Continental Divide with 360-degree views. Must be able to ski difficult or expert terrain.

Copper Mountain

  • Explore the village

    Take a few hours and walk around the village, checking out the various restaurants, bars and shops it has to offer! Everything is located close to each other, so getting around is not a problem.
  • Tubing

    Step up your tubing game at Copper Tubing Hill which features four lanes with curves and jumps, double tubes and free parking.
  • Woodward Copper

    This action sports facility is a cool opportunity for all ages to hone their ski and snowboard skills in a seriously fun atmosphere. Complete with fly-bed trampolines, jumps into foam pits, skate bowls and more, you’ll be a pro in no time (with group or private sessions).
Village at Copper Village at Copper   (Photo Credit)
Village at Copper Village at Copper  (Photo Credit)

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