Holiday weekend activities, from craft festival to rafting adventure
September 4, 2010
SUMMIT COUNTY – Summer’s last big holiday weekend is a fine opportunity to taste the High Country’s sweet non-winter offerings before the snowflakes arrive.
Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or authentic mountain-town events, you’re in the right place.
Local rafting companies offer trips on the upper Colorado River through Labor Day. There are mellow floats with some class I and II rapids that are fun for the whole family, and for advanced rafters there are the intense class V rapids of Gore Canyon.
Arkansas Valley Adventures offers both. The trips leave from Kremmling (about 45 minutes north of Silverthorne).
The company also continues to offer low-water trips on Brown’s Canyon, a class III to IV trip on the Arkansas River west of Summit County. For more information, call 1-800-370-0581.
Highside Adventure Tours offers the family-friendly float and light-rapids trip on the Colorado River. A shuttle takes people from Breckenridge north to the Colorado River, and the full round trip takes about six hours – with a possible dip in some local hot springs.
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There’s also a picnic lunch on the side of the river. For more information on Highside, call 1-800-997-3448.
Other local rafting companies continue to run trips along the Colorado River through the holiday as well.
Local hiking trails can take you to the top of a 14,265 foot mountain or deep into the rugged wilderness, often treating hikers to lakes at the end of the trail.
Quandary Peak is one of the most popular Fourteeners in Colorado. There are some great views, and it’s also considered one of the easiest Fourteeners in the state. But don’t be fooled: If you’re not acclimated to the elevation or are in poor shape, this can be very difficult.
It’s accessed by driving south on Colorado 9 past the Town of Blue River to Blue Lakes 850 Road, where you’ll turn west.
In a few hundred yards you’ll turn right on McCullough Gulch 851 Road and park near the trailhead. For more information, visit http://www.14ers.com.
As with any hike above treeline, you’ll want to start at the crack of dawn – or preferably earlier. Due to its popularity, parking too late can be difficult. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, snacks and a camera.
The Mohawk Lake trailhead is also accessible off Colorado 9, and it’s only about 2.4 miles south of Breckenridge. Take a right on Spruce Creek Road, and drive about 1.2 miles to the parking area and trailhead.
It’s an intermediate, family-friendly hike with historic mining ruins, forested areas and some beautiful lakes near the end. For more information, visit http://www.summitcounty
Plenty of guides and maps are available at local stores, and you don’t want to hike anywhere without a decent map and compass.
Cyclists are everywhere this time of year. It’s not too hot outside and the options – whether road, mountain or recumbent biking – are many.
The paved recreation path connecting most of the local towns may be picked up in a variety of locations. It parallels Colorado 9 between most of Frisco and Breckenridge, connects Frisco with Dillon along the Dillon Dam Road and offers a great way to tour the county on smooth pavement.
The Peaks Trail accessible at Peak 7 in Breckenridge is a challenging trek for many mountain bikers, and it runs parallel to the Tenmile Peaks, offering some good views.
Maps are as important for mountain bikers as they are for hikers, so be sure and pick one up before departing.