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Summer in Summit County

Summer in Summit County, Colorado

Welcome to Summer in Summit County and one of  ‘Colorado’s Favorite Playgrounds!’ Blessed with a central location in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Summit County encompasses the inviting towns of Keystone, Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne, Copper Mountain, Heeney, and Breckenridge.

Summit County Summertime

Our historic towns have much to offer for all ages during the summer months. Celebrate the history of these National Historic Districts and stroll down our Main Streets while enjoying the one-of-a-kind architecture, unique shopping, and dining options.

Summer in Summit County Standouts

Find many unique lodging opportunities for romantic getaways, family vacations, and weekend adventures with friends. Summit County has many options to suit any family, group, couple, or individual.

summer in summmit county

Sandstone Creek Club

Family oriented property with fantastic pool and spa, game room, exercise room, recquetball court and library.  Full front desk and concierge service.  Ride our courtesy shuttle to and from the slopes.  All Village and Lionshead restaurants accessible via the club’s shuttle (winter only) or the Town ov Vail free bus.

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All Aboard!

All Aboard!

All Aboard – it’s that time

Welcome to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad! We’re glad you’ve chosen to visit. Whether you are new to experiencing this legendary railroad or have been a returning guest for years, we look forward to offering you the best in year-round historic train adventures presented today as they were in 1882! We invite you to hop aboard and relive the “Golden Age” on our railroad, which was voted “#1 Best Scenic Train in North America “ by USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice 2021 & 2022, “Best Historic Railroad of the West” 2021-23 by TrueWest Magazine Readers, and “Best Train Experience in the West” in 2016 by Sunset Magazine. Order a FREE All-Aboard Guide.

About D&SNGRR

Our family has dedicated decades to preserving the history surrounding this national treasure, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This railroad is designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service and an American Society of Civil Engineering Landmark.

When is the best time to visit the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad? Any time of the year!

During the winter, we offer exclusive round-trip train adventures deep into the heart of the San Juan National Forest to Cascade Canyon as well as the premier holiday family event train, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train ride.

If you’re visiting in the springtime, your train excursion may feature incredible waterfalls during the spring thaw season as you journey to Cascade Canyon.

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All Aboard in the Summer

Summer is high season at the D&S with daily full day Durango to Silverton excursions May through October departing from Durango. We also offer daily 5-hour excursions on the Cascade Canyon Express seven days a week during the high season. These rail journeys also depart from the Durango Depot and travel to Cascade Canyon and are a perfect highlight reel of spectacular Rocky Mountain vistas for those with limited time.

Autumn offers you a unique way to experience peak leaf season from the comfort of the D&S train. Connect with family and friends as you explore the Rocky Mountains by historic railway. Sit back and allow yourself to be transported through a riot of blazing fall colors featuring the spectacular golden glow of aspens.

However you choose to relax and connect on the D&S train, and whatever adventure awaits you, we hope you have an inspiring journey where you create wonderful life-long memories!

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Cañon City royal gorge bridge

Cañon City

Travel to Cañon City, Colorado

Tucked into the folds and bluffs of the Arkansas Valley in south central Colorado, Cañon City boasts the nickname of “The Climate Capital of Colorado” due to the mild climate. The relaxed pace of the region’s quaint small towns, spectacular scenery, year-round outdoor activities, The Royal Gorge Park & Bridge, and The Arkansas River, which flows through the region, make this the perfect vacation destination. Request a FREE Vacation Guide.

Favorite Things to Do in the Royal Gorge Region

  • Royal Gorge Bridge and Park – a must-see and do experience. Cross America’s highest suspension bridge and participate in the other features offered at the park.
  • Whitewater rafting through the Royal Gorge Canyon – a very popular way to see and experience all the wonders of the Royal Gorge Canyon and the Arkansas River.
  • Jeep Tours – The Royal Gorge Region is an amazing place to travel through. Featuring a high alpine desert landscape and a plethora of off-road routes.
  • Royal Gorge Scenic Train – climb onboard the original transcontinental passenger train from the early 1900s.
  • The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – voted “Best Front Range Tasting Room” by Colorado Vine. The wine-tasting room is open daily.
  • Mountain Biking & Hiking – are understated activities but many exceptional miles of trails await.

Cañon City Downtown Canon City

About Canon City and Regional Attractions

Family fun starts with a memorable ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, one of the most scenic train rides in the world. The historic tracks follow the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge Canyon, with views of the bridge from below. The whole family will enjoy exploring the unique rock formations and historic dinosaur sites. Leisure seekers will delight in the one-of-a-kind galleries, renowned antiquing, wine tasting, golfing, and fishing.

Cañon City is home to The Royal Gorge, which has a width of 50 feet at the base of the gorge and a few hundred feet at its top, with a depth of 1,200 feet; the 10-mile-long canyon is a stunning natural wonder. 1929, one of the world’s highest suspension bridges was built over the Grand Gorge. The Royal Gorge Bridge has a quarter-mile long span and hangs 1,053 feet above the gorge. The bridge is one of Colorado’s most popular attractions.

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Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain, Co. – More Than a World-Class Ski Resort

Copper Mountain Logo

Copper Mnt  |  866-841-2481  |  866-841-2481
209 Ten Mile Circle, Copper Mountain, CO 80443

While Copper is best known as a world-class ski area and snowboard park, guests also enjoy the resort’s intimate, pedestrian-only villages, which offer restaurants, family-friendly activities, shopping, and comfortable lodging, all within walking distance to the lifts.  Copper Mountain is conveniently located just 75 miles west of Denver in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and offers nearby access to snowmobile tours, dog-sledding, and shopping just six miles away in Frisco.  Copper’s naturally-divided terrain provides the perfect place to learn or hone your skiing or riding skills.  With over 140 trails, 23 lifts, 2,465 acres of skiable terrain, and a mountain peak height of 12,313, Copper Mountain is a local’s favorite on a powder day or any day.

Request more information about Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain

Summer Time at the Ski Area

Nestled in the White River National Forest, Copper Mountain ski resort transforms into a summer vacation playground for the whole family. Popular attractions include:

The Rocky Mountain Coaster – Cruise through the forest on a tracked coaster. 5,800 feet long in fact and maxes out at 25 miles per hour. The longest North American alpine coaster. Something you don’t want to miss.

Copper Creek Golf – Experience golfing with the stunning Ten Mile Range backdrop. Outstanding service and prices that will keep you coming back. Season passes are available.

Mountain Biking at the Resort – A mountain biking paradise. From long rides into the Rockies to some of the best lift-service single track in Colorado. A Bike Haul is offered for those seeking more of a downhill adventure. Check out the cross country trails near Copper Mountain Resort. These trails provide access to spectacular trails throughout Summit County.

Popular Cross-Country Mountain Bike Trails:

  • Wheeler Trail – 10.3-mile point to point
    A classic alpine single track with several miles over 12,000 feet. It’s popular to start from the McCullough Road trailhead and end at Copper Mountain. Enjoy amazing views of Quandary Peak and Gorge Range along the way.
  • Colorado Trail – Copper Mountain to Searle Pass – 19.3 miles round trip
    Start right at the base of Copper Mountain and top out at 12,044 feet. Best during late summer when all the high-elevation snow has melted. Climb through alpine meadows with expansive views.
  • Friso 20 Loop – 19.9-mile loop
    A classic ride that connects Copper with Frisco on a mix of roads and trails. The loop combines sections of the Wheeler Trail, the Colorado Trail, and the Peaks Trail. Giving you a little bit of everything, including 3,000 feet of climbing.

There’s more at Copper Mountain Resort

They have scheduled year-round events such as music, art, or yoga retreats. Fun parks for kids and young adults. An assortment of spas, shopping, and dining. You can surely find a mountain vacation experience to satisfy the whole group.

 

 

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Castle Rock Colorado

Castle Rock

Things To Do in Castle Rock

It’s easy to see how Castle Rock got its name when one spies the castle-shaped butte towering high above the town center. The town’s history is also easily visible in the original, well-preserved homes, cafés, and churches throughout the area. Many of these were built using the unusual rhyolite stone that originally attracted the settlers who founded the town in the mid-to-late 18th century. Prior to their arrival, the area was occupied by Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indian tribes. Today, nearly 60,0000 people call Castle Rock home.

With roots in mining and railroads, this affluent town offers an updated taste of the Old West. It boasts a historic downtown area, 265 acres of parks, and 44 miles of trails.  Castle Rock, easily accessible by Interstate 25, is home to the Outlets at Castle Rock (the largest open-air outlet center in the State) and is the seat of Douglas County.  The town encompasses 33 square miles and sits in the East Plum Creek Valley at the base of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 6,202 feet.

With over 300 days of sunshine each year, Castle Rock is a safe and welcoming place to enjoy the brisk Colorado air year round.

Castle Rock neighborhood

 

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Colorado Winter Activities

Colorado Winter Activities

So you’re looking for what to do in Colorado in the winter. Well, the good news is that Colorado is just as action-packed during the winter as it is during the summer. As one of the premier destinations in the world for winter sports, the Centennial State—especially the more mountainous regions—comes alive when the temperature drops and the snow falls. When it comes to skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports, Colorado has covered you with 25 world-class resorts attracting athletes and vacationers from around the world. Still, if the slopes don’t appeal to you, or you’re looking to try something new, there’s also plenty of other winter activities and events just waiting to be discovered. Couples, solo adventurers, groups of friends, and families will all find a winter wonderland at their fingertips. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you’ll fall in love with Colorado during the winter.

Sign up to learn more about Winter Activities in Colorado.

Colorado’s World-Class Ski Resorts

Colorado Ski Resorts Guide

If you’re looking for action or an adrenaline rush, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you missed out on Colorado’s ski resorts. With over 40,000 acres of skiable terrain throughout the state, Colorado’s world-renowned resorts draw skiers and snowboarders from all over the world, and it won’t take long for you to see just why. There’s the big-name resorts like Aspen and Vail, of course, but other, smaller resorts in Colorado also have a lot to offer, like Powderhorn, Silverton Mountain, and Wolf Creek. Many of these resorts have access to other great activities and resources, like terrain parks, tubing hills, Nordic trails, and other activities and events throughout the season. And if the main slopes don’t appeal to you, or you’re looking for a greater challenge, check out the snowcat skiing opportunities offered at some resorts, which give you the chance to get out into the backcountry from some truly epic terrain.

Both on and off the resorts, there’s plenty of opportunity in Colorado for some heart-pumping and exhilarating fun. Snowmobile tours offer a great look at the Continental Divide or other scenic parts of the mountains that are difficult to access on foot. For a slower ride, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing—you can bring your own or rent a pair from one of the many outdoors supply companies in Colorado—to see the sights and get your workout along the more scenic route. If you’re looking to escape the crowds and want to tour the backcountry, there are many huts available for rent where you stay a night or a week to recharge and get some of the best tracks in the state. Climbing enthusiasts don’t need to wait for the snow to melt to try out some of Colorado’s amazing technical climbing areas; they can try their hand at ice climbing instead for a whole new facet of the sport. Popular destinations for ice climbing include Ouray (and the internationally famous Ouray Ice Park), Vail, Lake City, and Silverton, but options can be found all over the state.

For a more family-friendly winter itinerary, Colorado has plenty of hills for sledding and tubing, varying from gentle slopes to more exhilarating runs because, if you haven’t noticed, we’ve got some great terrain for downhill sports out here in the Rockies. You can find designated hills just for sledding and tubing at most major ski resorts, but there are many other great hills all over Colorado.

Families and groups looking for a less physically demanding experience, or couples looking for romance, might enjoy seeing the sights from beneath a soft blanket on a horse-drawn sleigh ride, many of which are accompanied by a delicious dinner and hot drinks. Another really fun and unique way to explore Colorado is on a dog sled, pulled by a dozen huskies through the mountainous paths of the Rockies.

During the winter, towns, cities, and ski resorts around Colorado set up ice skating rinks, often in the center of town, so you can lace up and enjoy a few laps around the rink, hold hands with a loved one as you teach them how to move on the ice, or show off your wannabe Olympian skills. Many rinks are open late, especially at ski resorts, so you can enjoy them as an aprés ski activity. There are also many natural ice skating rinks around Colorado, like at Evergreen Lake, where you can skate surrounded by nature. Many other lakes in Colorado serve during the winter as excellent destinations for ice fishing, where you can sit back and tempt some fish out of the water. At the same time, you enjoy a beer or a hot beverage with friends or in the solitary tranquility of your own company. Note that fishing in Colorado does require a license.

And speaking of that tranquility, winter is the perfect time of year to take advantage of some of the amazing stargazing opportunities that Colorado provides. Some of the best locations for this will be in the southern or eastern regions of the state, far from the big cities and their light pollution. Winter is traditionally best for stargazing, and at places like the UFO Watchtower in Hooper, CO, or Last Chance, CO, out in the northeastern region of the state, you’ll see a mindblowing number of stars. Just remember to bundle up and bring a thermos of hot cocoa.

Colorado Activities to Keep You Warm

But perhaps the cold doesn’t appeal to you, and you’re looking to warm up, relax, or have fun without needing to bundle up in a million layers. If that’s the case, you’re still in luck because one of the benefits of Colorado’s diverse geological terrain is the abundance of natural hot springs. From the intimate rock pools of Strawberry Hot Springs near Steamboat to the Olympic-sized swimming pool of hot, mineral spring-fed water in Glenwood Springs, you’ve got loads of choices when it comes to where you want to soak. Many of these springs are accompanied by an on-site spa, where you can indulge in a relaxing massage or other treatment to help rejuvenate you and make you feel your best. Other popular destinations for hot springs include Pagosa Hot Springs, Hot Sulphur Springs, Idaho Springs, Dunton Hot Springs, and Cottonwood Hot Springs.

You may also find a fun (and warmer!) experience waiting for you at some of the museums and art galleries across Colorado, which can be found virtually anywhere in the state. From the US Mint and the Denver Art Museum in the state’s capital to the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame in Vail, you’ll have no trouble finding indoor fun to keep you busy. Or suppose museum culture’s not your thing. In that case, you’ll still get a good taste of Colorado by visiting its many breweries, distilleries, and restaurants, which offer a fun and casual way to spend blustery winter days that are too cold to be spent outside.

Colorado Winter Events

No matter where you end up this winter, there are bound to be some great local events happening in the area. December brings the lead-up to the holiday season: Christmas markets, tree lightings, meet and greets with the big man in red himself, and tons of fun festivals featuring food, drinks, and live music. At several big ski resorts in Colorado, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve mean torchlight parades, in which hundreds of skiers and snowboarders race down the mountain with blazing torches in hand for a fun and beautiful show.

Cultural events also abound during the winter, like Breckenridge’s annual Ullr Fest to celebrate the Norse god of snow or Nederland’s charming Frozen Dead Guy Days, which celebrates a unique story in their local history with events like coffin racing and frozen turkey bowling.

There are also plenty of events that celebrate winter itself, like the International Snow Sculpture Championship, which is held each year in Breckenridge and features competitors from all over the world who build massive and beautiful sculptures out of 25-ton blocks of snow. On a similar scale of beauty, there’s Dillon Ice Castles, an incredible yearly art installation that lets you explore icy tunnels and corridors and climb through rooms bordered by the frozen towers of a man-made castle built entirely out of ice. At night, the castle is lit up in bright colors.

If you’re staying at a ski resort or you’re close by, keep an eye out for their annual calendar of events. There’s always something fun happening in Colorado ski resort towns, especially on weekends, from beer festivals to live music. Goofy competitions, like fat tire bike racing in the snow or pond skimming toward the end of the season offer a fun and exciting activity for both curious spectators and the daredevils who want to participate.

Colorado Winter Sporting Events

As one of the premier winter sport destinations in the country, Colorado is naturally home to some of the biggest events and competitions in winter sports, and if you’re around during the colder months, chances are you might run into a few.

First, there’s the X Games, one of the biggest events in the world that happens right in Aspen every January. Some of the top athletes in the world flock to Colorado for the X Games, and every event is free and open to the public, so if you’re in the area you can bundle up and watch some truly legendary skiers, snowboarders, and winter athletes show off their skills. Similarly, the Dew Tour happens every year in Breckenridge during December, and it’s also free to attend. Both events also feature live music performances from some A-list acts.

On a more niche level is the Ouray Ice Festival, which takes place every year in January. The Ouray Ice Festival draws thousands of ice climbers from near and far, who test their mettle as they climb the Uncompahgre Gorge, a one-mile-long frozen winter ice park. Spectators can watch from the top of the gorge as climbers attempt this feat, and spend their evenings eating, drinking, and dancing at the following party.

If you’re looking for a whole different type of winter fun, try the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, a huge annual event in Denver that features over 15,000 animals. You can watch horse and cattle shows, shop for a new pair of cowboy boots at the markets, or watch brave rodeo riders try to stay seated on a bucking bronco or in bull riding events. The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo is the world’s largest stock show It takes place every year in January with events tailored for everyone.

Colorado National Parks in the Winter

The Rocky Mountains mean that Colorado has a front-row seat to some of the most incredible nature in the country, and it is home to four beautiful National Parks: Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison. While some of these parks are more trafficked than others (Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States, while Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of the least-visited), visiting them during the winter brings with it a few benefits, namely much smaller crowds.

A winter visit to Great Sand Dunes means climbing immense dunes topped with snow, and a lot of great sledding, and while a lot of popular attractions like Trail Ridge Road are closed during the winter in Rocky Mountain National Park, you won’t have to deal with the tour buses and caravans of cars that pull up to popular trailheads, and your chances of spotting wildlife like moose, elk, or bighorn sheep, are high. This time of year provides many photo-opportunities, and your hikes will be serene and tranquil. Just remember to do your research before you visit to check trail conditions, depending on where you go, bring your snowshoes or cross country skis.

Colorado Winter

Whether you’re spending your winter in the mountains, along the Front Range, or on the Western Slope, you’ll have your pick of accommodations, from luxury resorts in world-class ski towns to a rugged cabin in the backwoods of the mountains, with a roaring fire. Still, wherever you end up, you’ll find no shortage of fun activities to keep you busy during your stay.

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South Park

South Park, Colorado

Perched high in the Colorado Rockies, South Park Colorado is a microcosm of Western history.  From deep canyons to vast grasslands to snowy peaks and alpine meadows, this compelling basin is home to the nation’s highest incorporated town, gold mines, cattle ranches, and mountain passes.  As one of only 49 National Heritage Areas in the United States, South Park offers a rare glimpse of pioneer life at high altitudes during the settlement of the American West.

This region is a landscape rich with heritage and attracts individuals who value Western authenticity.  Some ranches have been operated for five generations by the same family.  As they have for centuries, residents still depend on the land for their livelihood, recreation, and quality of life.  As other places lose their inherent charm, South Park becomes a more engaging destination.

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South Park Heritage

South Park boasts an array of nationally significant artifacts that reflect different aspects of this country’s heritage.  The basin’s high peaks, clear streams, and copious wildlife embody the resources that sustained the native people and attracted settlers west.  Hundreds of historic sites and structures still remain 150 years after the development of early mining, railroading, and ranching at 10,000 feet.  Local events celebrate the lives of early pioneers in this area.  Together, these resources and traditions evoke images of the struggle for prosperity that played out within the ring of mountains that define Colorado’s largest mountain park.

Park County Courthouse

Seven years after Fairplay became the county seat in 1867, the old Park County Courthouse was built of native sandstone in the Italianate style.  Along with the adjacent stone jail, this building witnessed a parade of the famous, the notorious, and the ordinary.  Known as the “hanging court,” decisions made here had a profound impact on Colorado case law.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it now serves as a public library and is one of 12 properties showcased in the Fairplay Historic Walking Tour brochure.

Boreas Pass Section House

Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the Boreas Pass Section House was built in 1882 to house railroad workers on the Denver, SP & Pacific Railroad Highline Route between Como and Breckenridge.  Next to the Section House, the 1860s Wagon Cabin was built when this route was a mere wagon trail over the Continental Divide.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, these structures now serve as a visitor center and museum during summer and a backcountry ski hut during winter.

More About South Park Colorado

Perhaps you’re curious about the more modern attraction, the cartoon South Park. What does this area of Colorado have to do with the cartoon anyway? One can really only speculate on the subject. Perhaps these two places (one real, the other fictional) have nothing to do with one another. It’s just a mere coincidence that they bear similar names. However, it’s also possible that there’s more to it than mere coincidence. One similarity that stands out is that the historical South Park was outlandish, full of ironies and scandal. This is also true about the cartoon. Learn more about South Park, Fairplay, and Conifer, Colorado. Some interesting connections between them might satisfy your curiosity.

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Highway US 24 Corridor

Transcontinental Highway of 1926 – US 24

U.S. Hwy 24 or Route 24 is one of the original transcontinental highways of 1926. Initially, it started at Pontiac, Michigan in the east and headed west, and terminated at Kansas City, Missouri. Today US 24 runs from Independence Township, Michigan at an intersection with I-75, and terminates at Minturn, Colorado at an intersection with I-70.

When the US highway system was started in 1926, US Route 24 in Colorado was called US 40S. This highway started in Grand Junction and proceeded west along the current I-70 route to Minturn. Then proceeded to the current route to Limon. From Limon, it proceeded to the Kansas border and was called US 40N. The US 40S and US 40N, west and east of Limon respectively received US 24 designation in 1936; however, in 1975 when US 24 was extended west from Kansas City, Missouri. The stretch between Grand Junction and Minturn was decommissioned.

Looking back on the naming and development of US Route 24 and how this transitioned into other major highways is confusing, to say the least; however, it does let us know that US 24 was an important highway in terms of western migration and the development of west/central United States.

Telegraph Road

Dixie Highway in Pontiac, Michigan, and Laskey Road in Toledo, Ohio, denote a section of highway that was known as Telegraph Road. This telling name came about before the highway even existed after the telegraph wires which ultimately ran parallel to the route. US Route 24 was the western edge of Telegraph Road that ran through Detroit. Mark Knopfler of the Dire Straits even wrote the song “Telegraph Road”, which is the story of the development and decay of this highway.

 

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