Colorado Getaways: Summit County

Keystone Ranch 3rd Hole Sunset
The 3rd Hole at Keystone Ranch

NIGHT AND DAY is how Keystone PGA Golf Professional Philip Tobias describes the difference between the resort’s two courses. The older Keystone Ranch layout, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. in 1980, weaves through 7,090 yards of sprawling parkland, lodgepole pines and marshy heath, with two lakes and 68 bunkers factoring in. Opened in 2000, the 6,886-yard Hurzdan/Fry-designed River Course at Keystone climbs and tumbles precipitously through the forested mountainsides and along the Snake River.

Keys to Success

TEE And empathy: To make its courses more playable for the less powerful, Keystone has shortened the Ranch’s front tees by 700 yards, and created tees that shorten both courses to a spunky 2,200 yards.

Keystone Ranch
Keystone Ranch

TGIF: Kick off your weekend at Keystone Resort’s Friday Afternoon Club. Gondola up to the Summit House’s Overlook Grill for live music, drink and food specials and free activities like horseshoes, corn hole and more.

CHOICE DIGS: With more than 800 rooms (including condos and townhomes), multiple award-winning restaurants, a 10,000-square-foot luxury spa and endless acreage for year-round adventures, Keystone Resort makes where to stay an easy decision.

Resorting to Fun

Summer Family Programming at Keystone includes summer snow-tubing on Dercum Mountain, Keystone Bike Park’s 100 miles of lift-serviced single-track biking trails and the ever-popular Kidtopia—nature hikes, dodgeball games, interactive kite-building workshops, Wild West nights and other family-oriented activities.

The Amazing Keystone Science School, which turns 40 this year, proudly offers a range of summer camp programs  on its 23-acre campus. Varying in duration and topic, the programs balance hands-on science activities, adventure and traditional camp-style fun—all based upon scientific themes of comparative ecology, geology, and wildlife

Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival
Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival

YOU May have Missed last month’s Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour, but plenty of other fests fill the summer: Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival (July 16-17); River Run Village Art Festival (July 30-31); Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Festival (August 6-7); Mountain Town Music Festival (Aug.20); Keystone Oktoberbfest (Sept. 3) and Taste of Keystone (Sept. 4).

Beaver Run Resort
Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center

The perfect location from which to explore Breckenridge, Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center features 515 rooms and suites right at the base of Peak 9, affording summer access to hiking trails zigzagging up the mountainside. You can take the free shuttle or easily hoof it to downtown. The resort itself boasts swimming, hot tubs, fitness, tennis and the rejuvenating Spa at Beaver Run. Spencer’s and The Coppertop afford deliciously relaxed resort dining.

Play Time

Go Kayaking. At 1,800 feet long, Breckenridge Kayak Park is the longest in the state and includes 15 water features to challenge all levels of boaters. Located in the Blue River, it affords an opportunity to learn or practice kayaking skills in a convenient location.

Crepes a la Cart in Breckenridge
Crepes a la Cart in Breckenridge

FUEL UP at one of Breck’s many eateries. The refined Hearthstone ( rates among the best, closely followed by Relish (, Ember (emberbreck.comand the delightful Le Petit Paris ( And you can’t miss the line at Crêpes à la Cart ( It moves tout de suite.

TAKE A HIKE to Upper and Lower Crystal Lake near Breckenridge. The 8.6-mile loop, accessible via the Spruce Creek Trailhead, appears on just about every list of memorable Colorado hikes. Hoof past wildflowers and keep your eyes peeled for marmots, mountain goats and bighorn sheep.

What the Breck?

GET OUT: Located at the base of Peak 8 at the Breckenridge Ski Resort, the Breck Summer Fun Park has not only a massive amount of activities (including ziplines, climbing walls, bungee trampolies, super slide and 4×4 tours)  but also chairlift-serviced

Alpine Slide at Breckenridge Fun Park
Alpine Slide at Breckenridge Fun Park

mountain biking and hiking trails topping out at more than 11,000 feet above sea level.

The world’s highest distillery, Breckenridge Distillery is quickly becoming one of world’s best, producing award-winning bourbons, gins, vodkas and other spirits. Free tours and tastings begin every half-hour between 11 and 5:30. Plans call for a restaurant to open this summer. There’s also a tasting room/gift shop on Main Street and occasional visitor bottling session.

Breckenridge Distillery
Breckenridge Distillery
Raven Three Peaks Golf Club
Raven Three Peaks Golf Club

Set Amid towering pines, lush groves of aspen, grassy wetlands and trout-filled lakes, the 7,413-yard Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks perches more than 9,000 feet above sea level and affords views of three 13,000-foot peaks. Tom Lehman teamed up with Dana Fry and Michael Hurdzan to create this mountain masterpiece just three miles north of the interstate in Silverthorne. Ample fairways, furrowed bunkers and true, undulating greens make for an exhilirating alpine golf experience.

Chillin’ in Dillon

Dillon Open Regata
Dillon Open Regata

Watch the SailBoats race August 5-7 on Lake Dillon, home of  Dillon Open Regatta hosted by the Dillon Yacht Club ( and benefitting its Junior Sailing program. Dillon Marina offers boat rentals, sailing instruction and races. You can also rent grill-equipped pontoon boats, stand-up paddleboards (with or without a yoga mat) and kayaks.

THROW BACK a Rum Runner or microbrew on the killer deck at Pug Ryan’s Lakeside Tiki Bar, located at the Dillon Marina and serving burgers, salads and more from a 28-foot mobile kitchen.    

Dillon Ampitheatre, summer concerts

ENJOY LIVE outdoor music every Friday and Saturday night at the Dillon Amphitheater on the lake. Sit on the grass watching the sun setting over the water and the Ten Mile and Gore Mountain ranges in the background.

CHOW DOWN at Arapahoe Cafe and Bonnie Q BBQ (, home of great breakfasts and ’cue; or try the upscale pizzas, burgers and more at the rustic Red Mountain Grill ( or the Dillon Dam Brewery (

The Island Grill in Frisco
The Island Grill in Frisco

Frolicking in Frisco

CANTINA AT the MARINA: A hopping spot offering island fare, a mountain vibe and live music every Friday night, The Island Grill serves sensational tropical cocktails on its deck adjacent to the Frisco Bay Marina on Lake Dillon.

GET BIG AIR: The Frisco Adventure Park flat-out rocks. For one, it’s free. For two (as in wheels) there’s a bike park with a slopesyle course, dirt jump track and dual slalom course. A skate park, disc golf course, wagon rides and miles of Lake Dillon shoreline that offers secluded hiking and biking on forest service land.

SUP, DUDE: Rent stand-up paddleboard, kayak, canoe, runabout, fishing boat or sailboat at the Frisco Bay Marina.

Copper Mountain
Copper Mountain

On the Move

A Seven-minute drive separates Frisco and  Copper Mountain, site of North America’s highest 18-hole layout, Copper Creek Golf Course. Other high-altitude activities await at the top of The American Eagle chairlift, such as Go Karts, Bumper Boats, Hydro Bikes, Diggler scooters and more. Pair lunch at Solitude Station with gorgeous views of the Ten Mile Range.

Dining Around Frisco and at Copper Mountain presents a buffet of choices. Copper favorites include Incline (, CB Bar & Grille  and JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern (both, while folks in Frisco head to FoodHedz (, The Lost Cajun (see page 35) and the new Tavern West ( The Butterhorn Cafe ( remains a Frisco favorite for breakfast.

FISHING STORY: Want to fish Lake Dillon? It requires a fishing license. Most guides streamline the process of getting one.

Lake Dillon
Lake Dillon

Ride, Walk, Float

CYCLING THROUGH: The bike route between Dillon and Frisco is the ultimate easy cruiser ride across Dillon Dam. The 13-mile round trip ride climbs only 550 feet  on short rolling bike path hills. The trip from Dillon to Keystone is twice the distance but an easy, scenic ride along the Snake River Rec Path. Feeling more ambitious? Pedal the 18-mile loop around Lake Dillon, which starts at the Dillon Amphiteater, ascends via a dedicated climbing lane up Swan Mountain and rewards you with stunning views from Sapphiire Point. Download trail maps and suggested routes—including a Mount Evans “hill climb” at

BY FOOT OR FAT TIRE: 200 miles of hiking trails and dazzling wildflowers crisscross the White River National Forest surrounding Dillon. There are also 150 miles of mountain bike trails, 100 miles of Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trails and 55 miles of paved, non-motorized pathways, connecting towns and resorts throughout Summit County. 

BOOK NOW: On select mornings through Aug. 28,enjoy mountain views and fun facts during the the popular “Explore Lake illon,” a 90-minute pontoon boat tour from Dillon Marina. $30/$15 per adult/child.

Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This article appears in the July 2016 issue of Colorado AvidGolfer.


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