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Four Exciting Day Trips from Summit County

day trips from summit county co kss

So you’ve explored everything Summit County has to offer? Really? Well, luckily we’re surrounded by so many cool places within a short drive. Whether you’re looking for historical towns, a place to relax, or more mountain time, this list will get your wheels turning.

  • Leadville - Drive about an hour out of Frisco and reach Leadville, one of the most charming mountain mining towns in the Rockies. Its main street includes some great thrift stores, coffee shops, and the famous Melanzana Clothing Company (get there early - there’s often a line!)
  • Glenwood Hot Springs - Glenwood Hot Springs is about 2 hours west of Summit County and has the best hot springs in the state. The town of Glenwood itself also has great shopping, restaurants, and adventures - including an amusement park at the top of a canyon, cave tours, and rafting!
  • Browns Canyon Rafting - About 2 hours south from Keystone, you’ll reach Buena Vista - home to Browns Canyon! Here, down the Arkansas River, you’ll find some of the best rafting in the state. It’s also KSS’s favorite rafting destination - so don’t be surprised if you run into the Hot Pink Gorilla along the way!
  • Rocky Mountain National Park - If you drive two hours north of Keystone, you can get to Rocky Mountain National Park. There are beautiful scenic views, easy to advanced hiking, lots of Colorado wildlife, and other great outdoor activities. Only a little bit of time? Try some of the park’s scenic drives instead!

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Summer Activities for Teens in Summit County

summer acitivities teens summit co 1

There is so much adventure to be had for teens in Summit County in the Summer months. The Rocky Mountains offer up trails for biking and hiking, cliffs for climbing, and rivers to run. When you've had enough vitamin D and forest bathing, there are lots of fun things to do indoors as well.  Use this list to take on the day as a family or give teens their space to explore on their own. There's something for everyone here at 9,000ft! 

  • Biking - Summit County has some of the most beautiful and challenging biking in the state. There are hundreds of mountain biking trails and recreational paths so both beginners and experts can find the perfect summer bike ride. 
  • Green Mountain Reservoir - About 20 miles north of Silverthorne, is Green Mountain Reservoir, the best spot for lake swimming, water sports, and beach days in Summit!
  • Breckenridge Epic Discovery Park - At the base of Peak 8, there is an adventure park for kids, teens, and adults alike. The park includes a zipline, alpine slide, rock climbing, and more!
  • Rock Climbing - There are tons of great spots throughout Summit County to go rock climbing. Check out Haus Rock in Montezuma, Windy Point on Swan Mountain, or Frisco Bouldering. If your teen is a beginner there are also great climbing gyms in Silverthorne and Breckenridge!
  • Movie Theaters (Dillon or Breckenridge) - Rainy day? Skyline Cinema is centrally located in Dillon and is Summit County’s largest movie theater. There is always a collection of the newest movies. If you’re in Breckenridge you can check out the Speakeasy Movie Theater which shows both blockbuster movies and small independent movies.
  • Escape Rooms - Breckenridge and Frisco each have Escape Rooms and is a great way to engage any teen. Schedule your time and see if they are up to the challenge!
  • Community Events - Summit County is full of community events all summer long whether it’s outdoor concerts, food festivals, and public art. Check out the events calendar in the Summit Daily (local newspaper) and see what’s happening in Summit County during your stay.

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Help your camper get the most out of the Summer of Connection 2021

get ready for camp

Whether this is your child’s first time coming to camp or their sixth summer, here are a couple of tips when planning for the Summer of Connection. The steps presented here can help your child get ready for an amazing summer without homesickness, and be able to fully immerse themselves in the Keystone Science School summer camp experience. 

Before They Go

Include your child in the decision process: When selecting a summer camp program, let your kid(s) get involved so they can find their perfect summer camp experience. When they have questions parents are welcome to call or email the KSS Customer Experience team with your camper. 

Paperwork: Completing all the necessary paperwork is cumbersome and time-consuming but the forms really help the KSS Camp staff understand how to best take care of your child. The more detail you can provide in paperwork is appreciated!                                             

Independent Packing: You can review the packing lists on the Getting Ready for Camp webpage for each program. Engage your child in the packing process. Lay out all items and allow your camper to physically pack the items in the bag. If they have questions about items and why they’re important, be available to answer any questions.

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Best Overlooks & Photo Spots in Summit County

overlook photospots summit co 1

Summit County is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Country and you don’t have to trek for miles to get the most amazing views. In fact, some of the most picturesque landscapes are just a short walk or drive away! Take your camera, pack a picnic, and pick one or all of these locations to check off your bucket list. These places will take your breath away, and it won’t just be the altitude. 😉

Photo Pro Tip: Golden hour is around an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. It’s the photographer’s best friend and will give you that #nofilter, professional landscape lighting. Bonus points if you can get a shot right after an afternoon shower has passed. More volatile weather means more drama which gives you a more interesting picture.

  • Old Dillon Reservoir - Drive towards Frisco on the Dillon Dam Road until you reach a trailhead to your right. Hike about a mile up to Old Dillon Reservoir. This spot is perfect for views of both the Gore Range over Silverthorne and Lake Dillon. Very fun for a full moon/moonrise hike!
  • Ptarmigan Bench - If you make a short drive from Silverthorne to the Ptarmigan Mountain Trailhead and hike up about 2 miles, you’ll get to a bench on the side of the mountain that’s also a beautiful scenic outlook of Silverthorne, Buffalo and Red Mountains, and Lake Dillon. 
  • Loveland Pass - Drive past Keystone on Highway 9 until you reach Loveland Pass -- also the home of the Continental Divide! There are epic views of Arapahoe Basin ski area along with Grizzly, Cupid, and Lenawee mountains. Feeling adventurous? The hike to the top of Cupid Peak is steep, but short (only about 1.75 miles to the top) and will offer even more incredible views of Grays, Torreys, and Sniktau peaks. 
  • Windy Point - Swan Mountain Road is one of the most beautiful drives in Summit County. If you head from Keystone to Breckenridge, there is a trailhead about halfway with some beautiful outlook opportunities. If you hike up the hill from the parking lot, you’ll reach windy point - a popular rock climbing destination and one of the best views of the Gore Range - specifically Buffalo and Red Mountain. Local Tip: if fire restrictions allow for fireworks in Dillon/Frisco on the 4th of July, this is an amazing spot to watch them!
  • Sapphire Point - If you pass the Windy Point trailhead and keep driving on Swan Mountain Road, you’ll reach Sapphire Point. This point has a gorgeous view of Peak One and there’s a nice short hike that gives you views of Lake Dillon and the Gore Range as well. This is also a good spot for wildlife - it’s been nicknamed Chipmunk Point!
  • Keystone Mountain - A popular activity for both locals and tourists alike is taking a summer gondola ride to the top of Keystone Mountain. Up there you’ll get breathtaking 360° views of Summit County, and (depending on the time of summer) beautiful wildflowers. The gondola ride isn’t free, but tickets can be purchased on the Keystone Resort website
  • Dillon Amphitheater - A short drive off of Highway 9 is the Dillon Amphitheater. It’s a picture-perfect view of Lake Dillon and there’s a nice walk you can take on the bike path on the edge of the lake.

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Six Summer Events in Summit County You Can’t Miss

summit county summer events

There’s always something fun going on in Summit County during the summer months as the different towns compete for your attention and showcase what makes this place so special. We’ve put together a shortlist of family-friendly events you should definitely check out. Consider mixing in some of these summer events with your outdoor adventures. For a full list of summer events and happenings in Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne, see the calendar of events

  • Dillon Amphitheater Concerts - Every week of the summer, the Town of Dillon throws a variety of free and ticketed concerts. Past concerts include String Cheese Incident, the B-52s, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Lake Street Dive, DeVotchKa, and more! If music’s not your thing, they also show free movies all summer long. 
  • Dillon Farmers Market - The Dillon Farmers Market runs every Friday from 9am-2pm all summer long. You can find fresh produce, yummy hot food (empanadas, pierogies, and more!), bakery items, clothing, art pieces, and more! The Farmers Market is located near the Dillon Amphitheater and also features beautiful views of Lake Dillon, Peak 1, and more!
  • Frisco BBQ Challenge - The Annual Frisco BBQ Challenge packs delicious barbeque from all over the country, free concerts, pig races, a 6k with a bacon aid station, chef demos, street performers, a firefighter cook-off, a whiskey tour, and more! It’s located on Frisco Main Street and typically runs sometime around the end of June. 
  • Keystone Festivals - Throughout the summer, the Keystone Neighborhood Company throws a variety of fun food and music festivals. Typically, the festivals include Beer & Bluegrass, Bacon & Bourbon, and Wine & Jazz. The festivals take place in River Run with a host of other great shops and restaurants to explore. 
  • WAVE Festival - Breck Create holds a variety of art festivals and special events throughout the summer. One of their most popular festivals is WAVE (Light + Water + Sound). This multimedia festival features different interactive art installations in and around the Blue River Plaza in Breckenridge and typically takes place around the end of May or early June. Check out the rest of the Breck Create website for more exhibitions and summer events!
  • Silverthorne First Fridays - On the first Friday of every month, the town of Silverthorne puts on a free event for the community. It could be music in Rainbow Park or an Art Stroll by the Blue River, and it’s always a great time. First Fridays have a relaxed local vibe. You’ll always see kids running around, families catching up, and everyone enjoying the awesome place we’re in!

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