In Summit County for the holidays? Here’s a roundup of things to do.
After playing numerous board games, watching countless hours of college football and entertaining family members, it is only a matter of time before individuals start to grow bored.
Luckily Summit County offers visitors and locals alike several options in order to cure the inevitable wave of boredom that sweeps over families every year around the holidays.
Whether it be heading to a local ski resort, Nordic center, finding a trail to hike or going to see a new movie release, Summit has options to keep everyone entertained.
Summit’s Nordic centers
The Frisco Nordic Center, Gold Run Nordic Center, Breckenridge Nordic Center and Keystone Nordic Center all offer numerous miles of groomed trails for classic and skate Nordic skiing styles.
As of Friday, Dec. 23, the Frisco Nordic Center was 98% open with 27.5-kilometers of groomed trails. Pete Swenson — trails Manager at the Frisco Nordic Center — recommends M’Rezy and Kim’s Chase for beginner Nordic trails.
Swenson recognizes that the Frisco Nordic Center will be busy over the holidays, but he encourages guests to arrive early in order to avoid the afternoon rush of guests.
“Frisco Nordic Center has hundreds of pairs of snowshoes and skis to rent, but it’s best to come before noon as we are busiest between noon and 3 p.m.,” Swenson said.
The Frisco Nordic Center is a good activity for families looking to learn how to Nordic ski or improve their Nordic skiing ability.
“The trails closest to the Nordic Center are flat beginner trails, so family members of different ages and abilities can start together and move on to advance trails of their choosing,” Swenson said of the design of the Frisco Nordic Center trails.
The Summit County Recreation path from Frisco to downtown Breckenridge is also groomed daily for Nordic skiing. The option allows guests to easily ski from one town to the next for a meal or just a fun adventure. The groomed recreation path is also accessible for running, walking, fat biking and snowshoeing.
Backcountry skiing and riding
Backcountry skiing has seen an uptick in popularity over the last few seasons in order to avoid crowds and lift lines.
Some of the most popular areas close to Summit for backcountry skiing include Mayflower Gulch, Rock Creek Road, Keystone Gulch Road and Boreas Pass Road.
“They are popular because they are easy access and there is easy parking like right off the road,” Friends of the Dillon Ranger District team member Jen Vogler said. “They are in areas that are not typically in avalanche slide paths if you stay on the road.”
Vogler was quick to not recommend heading into the backcountry to ski or ride, but rather recommends people do a guided tour through Colorado Adventure Guides or another guide company.
“We want people to have proper education,” Vogler said. “Its great for people to look for meet-up groups or professional companies that lead (backcountry tours) for beginners.”
Above all else, Friends of the Dillon Ranger District encourages guests to plan ahead when preparing to enter the backcountry. Vogler urges people to carry water and keep skin covered when it is cold.
Individuals can check the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s website for avalanche forecasts and the U.S. Forest Service website for trail information.
Frisco Adventure Park
Located next to the Frisco Nordic Center, the Frisco Adventure Park provides a fun family activity over the holidays.
The Frisco Adventure Park offers tubing and a beginner ski and ride hill in the winter. Currently all tubing reservations are booked through the new year, but the adventure park still has openings on its beginner ski and ride hill.
Unlike most ski resorts, the hill allows an uncrowded experience for beginners. It is also ideal for those who are brand new to the sport or those who have not gone skiing or riding in a few years.
Reservations are required for the ski and ride hill. To make a reservation, call 970-668-2558.
In terms of activities that do not involve being outside in the cold and wind, Summit offers movie theaters, museums and places to eat and drink.
Both the Skyline Cinema 8 movie theater in Dillon and the The Eclipse Theater in Breckenridge will be open throughout the holidays.
Some of the movies Skyline Cinema 8 is currently showing are: the Whitney Houston biopic, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” “Babylon,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Black Panther: Wakanada Forever” and “Violent Night.”
The Eclipse Theater is showing “Avatar: The Way of Water” through Jan. 2 and will be closed Christmas Eve as well as Tuesday, Dec. 27.
The Frisco Historic Park & Museum, Barney Ford Museum and the Summit Historical Society are good options for those wanting to learn more about Summit County’s rich history.
For those looking to grab something to eat or drink, Summit has a bustling brewery and wine scene. Almost every town in Summit County offers at least a few options.
Some local favorites include: Angry James Brewing Co. in Silverthorne, Broken Compass Brewing in Breckenridge, Outer Range Brewing Co. in Frisco, Dillon Dam Brewery in Dillon, Continental Divide Winery in Breckenridge and Saved by the Wine in Dillon.
Summit’s ski areas
Summit is unique for a lot of reasons, but one major reason it is so popular is the prevalence of ski areas and resorts located in or near the county.
Breckenridge Ski Resort, Keystone Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area all call Summit home. Each offer guests its own unique set of terrain ranging from beginner to expert, to moderate to advanced.
All of Summit’s ski areas offer the opportunity for festive crowds to get their turns in around the holidays. For those willing to travel a little out of the county, Loveland Ski Area — just east of the Eisenhower Tunnel — is another nearby option for holiday skiing and riding.
For those who want to get in some turns before the lifts start churning for the day, Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper and A-Basin have uphill access open for the season.
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