Elevated Living: Autumn hikes just out your door | SummitDaily.com

Elevated Living: Autumn hikes just out your door

Laurie Williams
Special to the Daily
Special to the DailyThe changing colors of fall can be seen throughout Summit County and the High Country. This five-bedroom, seven-bath home in the gated area of Acorn Creek Ranch Estates allows easy access to some of the area's best views.

To me, autumn in Summit County is magical. It is a short season but one of particular beauty when you catch it just right with a dusting of white snow on the peaks, the valley is still green and the aspen dress in their fiery glory of gold, reds, oranges and browns. Mornings bring clear blue skies and a crystal frost on the forest floor but it quickly warms up to tease you with the gentle caress of the warming sun. This is my favorite time to hike and there are some exceptional trails from which to take in autumn’s splendor. Acorn Creek is an area I keep coming back to in the fall. At this writing, the gold colors have come a little late so there is still time to leaf peep before the snow blankets our area and brings a different kind of beauty and recreation.

To get to the Acorn Creek trail, drive Colorado 9 north 10.7 miles from Silverthorne to County Road 2400, turn right and climb one mile straight up the hill, passing road forks and homes to the Arapaho National Forest Acorn Creek trailhead. Walk to the parking lot’s south end beyond the raised berm, to the path. This trail is for hearty hikers but is well worth the spectacular Gore Range Views. One starts out through aspen and oaks and across a little network of steams. Then the ascent begins, first gradually and later steeply up to the ridge. One of our local historians and author of “The Summit Hiker,” Mary Ellen Gilliland, tell us, “The historic Acorn Creek Ranch once spread across 1,324 acres and began with 160 acres homesteaded in 1885 by Thomas Marshall, a stagecoach driver on the Como-Leadville route. Marriage united the Marshalls to another pioneer family, the Mumfords. George Mumford placer mined near Breckenridge in the 1860s before homesteading a ranch on the Cataract Creek. Angus steers and hay provided the main stay of the near century-old Acorn Creek Ranch. Family descendents still work the property today. Across the valley lies another homestead, the Slate Creek Ranch, developed by a Danish immigrant family, the Lunds. The Lund Ranch grew along with Slate Creek, which had its own school and the Slate Creek Hall, scene of many lower Blue Valley box supper socials, parties and dances (and a few Hatfield-McCoy-type feud brawls as well).”

If you don’t have the trail guide and entertaining book, “The Summit Hiker,” from which the description above was excerpted, you should pick one up at any of the sporting goods stores in the county.

If you wanted to walk out your door to access the Acorn Creek trailhead, you could. Bret Amon of Ten Peaks Sotheby’s has a beautiful ranch property listed in the gated area of Acorn Creek Ranch Estates. This 10,000-square-foot ranch home is nestled on 40 acres with some of the most glorious Gore Range mountain views anywhere. Its five bedrooms and seven baths, not to mention soaring cathedral ceilings and windows that bring the outdoors inside, is a lovely spot for big family gatherings and hospitality of all types. Don’t worry about where to park cars since there are seven garage stalls. What about having your own indoor swimming pool, hot tub and sauna … yes this home provides that. Large decks and patios are perfect for watching the elk graze on the land. The property is offered at $1,750,000.

The Acorn Creek area feels like a throw-back to times when the dinner bell called the ranch hands to supper, of hard work yielding great results and of times when stimulating conversation beat television any day. However, the location is just a few minutes from Silverthorne and several major ski areas … best of both worlds! Enjoy an autumn hike in Summit County. There are many to explore.

Laurie Williams is a managing broker for RE/MAX Properties of the Summit. She grew up in the county and has seen much of it develop through the years. For any real estate questions or to see property in the area, contact Laurie at (970) 485-3994 or online at http://www.SummitCountySkiProperty.com.

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