Summit County, Colorado, is glorious. Located 70 interstate highway miles west of Denver at an altitude of 9,000 feet and higher, this heat-conquering summer escape is favored as much for its easy access convenience as for its vast and spoiling array of high country adventures.
Great golf is a given, but so is the resplendent hiking, camping, zip lining, road and mountain biking, off-road touring, whitewater rafting, standup paddle boarding and hot air ballooning, underscored by oh-so-luxurious resorts, delectable restaurants and cafes, effervescent festivals and some of the more dazzling alpine scenery on the planet.
Get to Summit County. Here are five compelling reasons to go now:
- It’s Downright Cool: Surrounded by 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks, and with daytime temperatures averaging in the high 60s, where else would you rather to be?
- Balata Bangers Rejoice: At this elevation, golf balls fly two to three clubs farther than at sea level. Favorite places to play include 27-hole Breckenridge Golf Club (designed by Jack Nicklaus), Copper Mountain’s Copper Creek Golf Course (Pete and Perry Dye), 36-hole Keystone Ranch Golf Club (Michael Hurtzan/Dana Fry and Robert Trent Jones Jr.), Silverthorne’s Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks (Tom Lehman/Hurtzan/Fry), and Leadville’s Mount Massive Golf Course.
- Enticing Stay & Play Packages: At Keystone Resort, golf and lodging combos start at $153 per person, which includes privileged access to resplendent Keystone Ranch Golf Club. In Silverthorne, Wildernest Vacation Rentals and SkyRun Copper work closely with top-ranked Raven Golf Club. And to stay and play in Breckenridge, make a call to the Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center.
- Amazing Attractions Await: Keystone Bike Park is regarded a single-track nirvana, and guests can master mountain biking basics onsite at Keystone Academy. At Rusty Spurr Ranch in Kremmling, proficient cowhands teach the fine art of herding cattle during three- and four-hour horseback outings. For a heart thumping challenge near Breckenridge, hike the 8.6-mile, wildflowers-punctuated trail to Upper Crystal Lake, described as one of the most beautiful backcountry scenes in the state.
- Attend the Premier Events: Don’t miss the live music, seminars, culinary events and 300 varieties of wine at the Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival (July 16-17). If you favor hops and barley over grapes, belly up to Keystone’s 20th annual Bluegrass and Beer Festival (Aug. 6-7). For single-track racing thrills, attend the Copper Crush (July 30), a 10-mile competitive event in Copper Mountain that is a new addition to the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series. And live musical performances and stunning sunsets over Lake Dillon are showcased during the free Summit Concert Series (Friday and Saturday nights through Sept. 10).
Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.