Slopes of a different sort: Your guide to sledding in Summit County
Summit County is known for its slopes.
Between four world-class ski resorts and endless backcountry chutes for the more adventurous skiers and snowboarders to explore, it’s the perfect place to get outside and enjoy the sun, give the legs a good workout and get your adrenaline fix.
But sometimes it’s nice to take a load off, and that doesn’t mean you have to abandon the thrill and excitement of screaming down a hill with the cold wind in your face.
Let’s go sledding.
Country Boy Mine
970-453-4405; 542 French Gulch Road, Breckenridge; CountryBoyMine.com
In Breckenridge, there’s no better place than Country Boy Mine. With over 3,000 feet of downhill track that takes visitors down a 600-foot elevation drop, the mine’s extreme sledding hill is an unrivaled experience for anyone who dares to take it on.
“You come around a blind corner, and it just goes down,” Country Boy Mine Superintendent Jon Bellew said. “It is exhilarating. People look at me afterward, and they go, ‘Dang, Jon. You were not lying with your marketing. This is extreme.'”
Visitors are given steerable sleds and can control their speeds to their own liking. Bellew said it’s a great activity for the young and old, but small children will likely have more fun at the kids’ hill nearby. Guests should also pause between rides to take in the rest of the experience, whether it’s getting hauled back up the hill in a 1986 Finnish army snowcat or simply appreciating the knowledge that you’re zooming over $70 million worth of gold still buried beneath the snow and rock.
Once the sledding is over, visitors can stick around to take a historical sleigh ride, a self-guided snowshoe tour throughout the property or solve an outdoor escape room to find Pug Ryan’s hidden treasure.
“We’re really trying to get Country Boy Mine to be one of the premier destinations here in Breckenridge, if not the entire United States, when it comes to that mining-themed tourism,” Bellew said.
Visitors can take a single ride for $14 or purchase three rides for $34. The attraction is open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Frisco Adventure Park
970-668-2558; 621 Recreation Way, Frisco; FriscoAdventurePark.com
Just a short trip north up Colorado Highway 9 from Breckenridge is the Frisco Adventure Park, another of the county’s best spots to sit and shred. Visitors can bring their own sleds or purchase one at the day lodge. The sledding area is open daily between 9 a.m. and dusk, and sledders are welcome to stop into the lodge to warm up in front of the fire or grab a cup of hot cocoa whenever the mood strikes.
“Our traditional sledding hill is just such a classic way to experience mountain life,” Frisco Adventure Park Guest Services Manager Kelsy Maxie said. “And, yes, you need to be prepared to do some walking uphill.”
If you’re not in the mood for a hike up the hill, you can always check out the Frisco Adventure Park tubing hill, which offers six lanes with various experiences — some are more mellow, while some are steeper with more rolling terrain — and a magic carpet will carry you back to the top.
Reservations are required for tubing and are made in one-hour increments. Reservations cost $32 an hour during the regular season and $36 an hour during holidays. Kids need to be 36 inches tall to participate.
“We see grandparents taking their grandchildren and grown children out for this experience, and the convenience of close-in parking and a cozy lodge make it a hassle-free experience, which creates memories that everyone in the family can share,” Maxie said.
Copper Mountain Resort
970-968-2318; 209 Ten Mile Circle, Copper Mountain; CopperColorado.com
If you’re already planning on skiing and want to add tubing to the mix, some area ski resorts offer excellent tubing hills, as well.
Copper Mountain Resort’s tubing hill includes four lanes with different angles and speeds, each with banked turns to ensure every participant gets to glide all the way down to the bottom. The hill is typically open between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and is accepting reservations starting Jan. 1.
Sessions are an hour long and can be booked online for as low as $49. Copper passholders, Ikon passholders and Copper lodging guests can participate at a discounted rate, as well. Children must be at least 36 inches tall to participate.
855-603-0049; 100 Dercum Square, Keystone; KeystoneResort.com
Keystone Resort has two tubing options. The first is at the resort’s Nordic center, offering an old-fashioned experience where visitors can slide down and hike their way back up the hill. The resort also has the Mountaintop Tubing Hill that includes eight lanes of high-speed tubing at the 11,640-foot summit of Dercum Mountain, allowing guests to take in stunning views on their way down and relax on the magic carpet ride back up.
Kids must be at least 42 inches tall to participate in the mountaintop tubing. Mountaintop tubing is typically open between 10:15 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Reservations can be made online.
“Guests can really experience the amazing views at the top, and it’s a great way for everyone to have fun and enjoy the mountain in a different way if they want to switch it up from skiing and riding,” Keystone spokesperson Loryn Roberson said.
This story previously published in the winter 2021-22 edition of Explore Breckenridge & Summit County magazine.
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