Summit Stop: Take sledding back to its roots
summit daily news
Today, with the rising popularity of tubing, what was once a simple winter pastime enjoyed in backyards and public parks has become an extreme and sometimes expensive sport. But, though an excellent destination for the avid tuber, Summit County also offers a world-class selection of lesser known hills perfect for those who want to take sledding back to its roots. In fact, every town in the county can lay claim to at least one great hill. And the best part? Sledding is free – of charge and time limits. So throw down your prized and polished toboggan or last night’s pizza box and spend an hour or the whole afternoon enjoying some of Colorado’s prime sledding terrain.
Sledding is prohibited on the ski slopes for safety reasons, but off-mountain sledding real estate can be found all over Summit County.
Breckenridge’s best sledding hill is located at Carter Park, a former ski slope located on the outskirts of town. The hill is wide with a gentle slope, safe for younger kids. But the long, lazy run also gives the experienced sledder a chance to pick up some speed and makes the trek up worthwhile. If smaller kids get tired, they can watch the puppies play in a popular dog park adjacent to the sledding hill. The park also has picnic tables and restrooms. Turn east on Lincoln Avenue from Main Street and then right on High Street to reach the park.
Just outside of Dillon is the tallest and most challenging hill of Summit’s sledding scene. The slope provides long, steep runs that weave through narrow chutes in the trees and finish off with a series of hard bumps that might unseat even the most experienced sledders. Climb up the hill through the trees off to the left to avoid collisions with sledders. For a shorter, easier practice run try the softer slope to the right. The hill is visible from Highway 6 between Keystone and Dillon near the Summerwood neighborhood.
In Frisco, head over to the free hill near the Frisco Nordic Center for a slide that is a bit wilder. The ungroomed hill offers a bit of variety with a short, steep pitch enhanced with a few exciting jumps at one end. But smaller kids can enjoy the gentler slope off to the other side or start half way down for an easier run. The hill faces amazing views of Peak One and the mountains surrounding Frisco. To get there, turn into the Frisco Peninsula and park in the lot next to the Nordic Center. The hill is located at the opposite end of the lot.
A set of nice, easy hills for little ones can be found at Silverthorne’s Rainbow Park. The short, mellow slopes of varying incline border the soccer fields where kids have plenty of space to coast to a stop. When they’re done sledding they can head over to the playground adjacent to the soccer fields, which is open all winter. Turn right off of Highway 9 onto Rainbow Drive in Silverthorne and follow the road around to the town recreation center.
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