Summit Stop: Warming up, Summit style |

Summit Stop: Warming up, Summit style

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Let’s face it. It’s freezing out there. Temperatures plunging below zero this week, made worse by wind and snow this weekend may have been enough to make the teeth of the notoriously thick-skinned Summit County locals chatter just a bit. For those not used to nippy -30 degree evenings, the conditions can be even harder to handle, especially out on the slopes. So if it’s just too darn cold out there for you to think about hitting the slopes again this afternoon and you’re looking for something a bit warmer to do, never fear. Summit County’s got you covered. With grand fireplaces saunas and steamrooms and some frankly awesome hot chocolate, there’s no shortage of toasty ways to pass the afternoon.

There are few things more peaceful and inviting than a crackling fire. Summit County boasts a number of enviable fires both indoor and outdoor. To escape from the bitter cold grab a seat near one of our favorites, order a drink and spend a blissful afternoon or evening watching the flames.

As indoor fireplaces go, the rustic hearth at the Ski Tip Lodge at Keystone Resort is hard to beat. Warm up near it as you enjoy your dessert rounding off a four course meal. The restaurant, housed in a historic former stage coach stop turned bed and breakfast, hosts two dinner seatings at 5:30 and 8:45 p.m. Reservations are required.

For an awesome outdoor fire try the bonfire on Main Street in Breckenridge. Grab a warm drink and enjoy the blaze at night just north of Ski Hill Road.

Sometimes the best remedy for frozen toes and stiff muscles is a trip to the hot tub. Many local resorts and condos have one, but if yours doesn’t, try the jacuzzis at the Breckenridge or Silverthorne recreation centers. The kids can hit the water slide while you warm away the memories of the bitter cold weather. For those 16 years and older, the Breckenridge rec center also features an outdoor hot tub, kept at a steamy 103 to 104 degrees. Both rec centers also offer steam rooms and saunas, another great place to relax and forget the cold.

A hot stone massage is a great way to unwind and relieve sore muscles after a few days on the slopes. During the ancient treatment, the massage therapist uses smooth stones heated to 120 to 130 degrees to conduct the massage, rather than their hands, utilizing the heat in the stones to maximize the effectiveness of the work. Many spas offer this treatment, but you might try the Blue Sage Spa in Breckenridge where therapists conduct a signature spinal layout as part of the 90-minute session, placing hot stones under the body in rows down either side of the spine. You can also try a massage with hot and cold stones to improve circulation.

On a really cold day, even grown ups can see the appeal in a steaming cup of creamy hot chocolate. If you’re seeing that appeal, stop by the nearest Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory for a fix. There you’ll find the cocoa you’ve been craving and satisfaction for any other chocolate yearnings you might be nursing. There are locations in Keystone, Frisco and Dillon.

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