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Things to Do in Summit County In Winter

11/24/2022

group of family members in snowsuits and skis getting ready to ski as one of the things to do in summit county in winter

Snow season is magical in the mountains. From viewing the whitecapped peaks to skiing the slopes, enjoying fine dining, catching deals with our amazing shopping, and much more—our high country offers an abundance of things to do in Summit County in winter!

You might understand why Paffrath & Thomas Real Estate chose to make Breckenridge our home! We won’t kid you; we think Summit County contains all the best aspects of what Colorado offers. 

There’s nothing like living in a terrific town that blooms all year round with family fun. Contact us if you’re thinking about joining the Summit life. Our team works here, lives here, and would be happy to help you become a neighbor. 

Check our cherry-picked choices for fun things you can do when the snow’s falling and the mountains are calling!

Overview: Things to Do in Summit County in Winter

Think of this as your starter kit for enjoying the season’s best winter activities in SummIt County. A lot of people choose Breck because the family can ski while the rest stay in-town with plenty to do! Not to mention all the opportunities to ski starting right outside your front door!

Does any of the following sound like a day you might enjoy?

  • World class skiing (from bunny to bombing) 
  • Restaurants/dining (travel the world with a fork)
  • Snowmobiling (power schussing baby!)
  • Dog sledding (yup, for real)
  • Spa pampering (you deserve it)
  • Relaxing massages (troubles? What troubles??)
  • People watching (so fun!!)
  • Activities for all ages (from tots to grandpops)
  • Watching the beauty of snow falling on the pines in that crisp mountain air (happy sigh)

At Paffrath & Thomas, we not only help friends become neighbors, we can offer some advice when you’re looking for winter activities in what is (or could be) your new home town. Give us a call, we’d love to share our faves. 

Breckenridge

Our home base starts the list with major fun! 

Skiing

Breckenridge Ski Resort brings in skiers from around the world to slide, glide, and rip down 187+ trails. There are 35 lifts—from gondolas to chair lifts to magic carpets—that carry you up, up, up to the start of excitement.

If you’re looking for ski lessons while you’re there, be sure to book in advance. The slots fill fast, because the whole family can learn together. It’s a great way to share an experience and build memories for a lifetime.

And if you’re outrageous courageous, Breckenridge also offers terrain parks so you can freestyle and hotdog all you want! 

Hiking/Snowshoeing

Welcome to your personal winter wonderland. Break out your winter gear—including those snowshoes you’ve always wanted to use—and hit a trail into the woods. It’s quiet, it’s beautiful, and it’s a workout! 

You can start at Carter Park for a system of Breck trails, or maybe try the Sallie Barber Mine Trail if winter hiking with yaktrax is new to you. Like we said, there’s something for everyone.

Staying in Town

Love the views, but want to shop? Breck is top-notch, with so many shops, boutiques, restaurants, bars, cocktail lounges, and heated outdoor seating, you’ll need more than one day to “do it all!”

Copper Mountain

In case you didn’t know it, Summit County is kind of a big deal—for skiing!! Copper Mountain Ski Resort offers 3 villages of lodging all just steps away from chairlifts, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and more.

Family-friendly snow fun includes a special play section for the younger set that not only offers plenty of climb-on-it-slide-on-it-swing-on-it fun, but also has a bring-your-own-sled area, and snowman building area! 

Snowtubing

In late December, the Copper Mountain snow tubing run opens up for a ride like no other. Bring the family, grab some innertubes, and slide/spin/scream/swirl your way down an awesome banked course. It’s exciting with a capital “wheeeeee!”

Dillon

Dillon gives you choices! Stay in town for fun activities, or use it as a home-base for heading out to nearby ski resorts and mountains. Dillon sits just 20 to 25 minutes from 5 world-class skiing areas!

Sapphire Point

Staying in Dillon provides a short-trip starting point to go to Sapphire Point Overlook. There you can marvel at the whitecapped wonder of the Tenmile Range. Enjoy the view looking over Lake Dillon. It’s one way the Rockies love to show off.

Snowmobiling

Take the trails with plenty of horsepower by renting snowmobiles! Get motor-vated to head outdoors and enjoy the fresh air.

Ice skating/hockey on Lake Dillon

There’s more than fishing in Dillon reservoir! Strap on your blades and pirouette with grace, or fall down laughing. It’s all good when you go skating on the lake.

Fairplay

Here’s a town practically in the stars. You’ll find Fairplay at almost 10,000 feet elevation. In winter, it’s got it all. The Mosquito Mountain Range offers skiing and boarding, not to mention alpine/Nordic/cross-country skiing along pristine backcountry.

Ice climbing

Get ready for the challenge of a lifetime. Several areas around Fairplay offer cliffs and bluffs coated with feet-thick sheets and falls of pure ice. Break out your helmet, harness, carabiners, ice axes, crampons, and more—then face the ice wall for vertical adventure.

Snowshoeing

Hoof like a mountaineer for a heckuva workout as you enjoy the delicious scenery of the high elevations. 

NOTE: When going backcountry, remember to explore safely. We are in the mountains, and your local guides and advisors can help you navigate away from areas with increased avalanche possibilities.

Related: spend time anytime with your own short-term rental investment

Frisco

When you’re looking for things to do in Summit County in winter, Frisco provides a great choice as both destination and starting point. 

The Frisco Main Street offers plenty of shopping & dining for those off-trail times.

Ice fishing

You know the old saying: “fishers gotta fish.” Ok, we just made that up, but we totally get it! You could go on a day trip to one of the several nearby Summit County rivers:

  • Blue River
  • Colorado River
  • Gore Creek
  • Arkansas River
  • Frying Pan River

Or spend your day casting lines into pristine Dillon reservoir. Either way, rainbow trout, brown trout, kokanee salmon, and arctic char are calling your name. 

Dog Sledding

Mush, you huskies!! Learn the fine art of dog sledding, and adventure out with a tour group as you guide your team across gorgeous mountain trails. Reservations are required, so here’s a link to 4 different companies mushing their way to fun!

Frisco Adventure Park

Look out family, it’s together-time! Your whole crew will love Frisco Adventure Park, with its tubing hill, Nordic center, and beginner ski & ride hill. Did we mention sleigh rides? Oh you bet. 

And when you get back from adventuring, have snacks & hot cocoa, plus conversation about all you’ve seen and done as you cozy up to a fireplace in the Frisco Adventure Park’s massive day lodge. 

Keystone

If you’re looking for the full gamut of things to do in Summit County in winter, Keystone’s menu of good times is loaded with favorites!

Keystone Resort

It starts with skiing on beautiful corduroy or lush powder. Along with the ski runs, Keystone Resort offers family adventure in the World’s Largest Mountain Top Snow Fort. Or play in the new family snow fort & fun zone in the Mountain House Base area. 

Enjoy libations in their amazing mountain setting at the Last Lift Bar. And see the landscape from above as you ride the River Run Gondola.

River Run Village

Stay near the Keystone Resort excitement in one of River Run Village’s condominium complexes. Shop boutique stores, enjoy world class dining, and drop by the outdoor fire pit in the main plaza to warm up and roast s’mores. 

Highest Restaurant in the U.S.

At 12,456 feet elevation, Il Rifugio at Snow Plume offers a Euro-style bistro menu, including charcuterie pairings with locally-sourced meats and cheeses. Soup, salad, espresso and more—while you sate your soul on the stunning views.

NOTE: as per the Il Rifugio website,Guests must be able to ski or ride at least a blue / intermediate run to get down from the restaurant. There is no foot-passenger lift service.”

Silverthorne

Welcome to a playground amongst the playgrounds! It’s your perfect basecamp for in-town treats and pleasant shopping before you head out for adventure.

Free Snowshoe/Nordic Ski Courses

Slide across trails surrounded by mountains, along two free courses. Choose between a beginner course or more advanced course, on your own skis or snowshoes, or on ones you’ve rented nearby.

Free Ice Skating

North Pond Park offers free ice skating and pick-up hockey games at its north end. Just bring your own skates, and make for a day of fun on ice!

Ice Fishing

Ready to tease out that whopper trout from Dillon Reservoir? Nearby outfitters can help get you set up with bait, poles, and the all-important ice auger for a day of dropping lines and taking home “the big one.”

Related: summer is just as fun in Summit County

Things to do in Summit County in Winter: Festivals!!

Summit county offers plenty of activities, including fun local and world-class festivals that draw crowds ready to enjoy what our mountain towns love to offer. Here’s just a sampling of the good times that await you.

The Breckenridge ULLR Festival

“Heil og sæl!”

Oh, you don’t “speak Viking?” You will, after you come for the Breckenridge ULLR Festival! This 3-day event celebrates Norse mythology like nobody else! 

Come dressed as a viking for the downtown Breckenridge parade and bonfire. And enjoy a town-wide talent show, the Ullr Ice Plunge, ice skating and fat-bike racing.

You could even become part of history at the longest Shotski® “unofficial” World Record breaking attempt. Don’t miss this legendary party.

Lighting of Breck & Race of the Santas

A breath-taking tradition with plenty of family fun. Breckenridge becomes a festive holiday scene with 13,000 feet and 250,000 LED holiday lights twinkling against the mountain backdrop. 

The official lighting ceremony and Race of the Santas happens the first weekend in December, with a holiday dog parade, children’s moose march, holiday carolers strolling the streets, and of course—more Santas than you could shake a yule log at running a marathon down Main Street for charity and hilarity.

The International Snow Sculpting Championship

Each January Breckenridge hosts the International Snow Sculpting Championship. Ice artists from around the world bring their teams to Breck for a week of creating amazing, glittering works of art out of 20-ton blocks of snow and ice.

Wassail Days

Come celebrate winter itself during Wassail Days in Frisco, CO! Local businesses serve up their “secret” recipes for classic to modern wassail. 

Get a “12 Sips of Wassail” card, try 12 different sips of this tasty treat, and then redeem the card for a commemorative Frisco Wassail Days mug (while supplies last). 

USASA Snowboard National Championships

In 2023, the USASA Snowboard National Championships return again to Copper Mountain Resort! Almost 2,000 ski and snowboard athletes will compete for 12 days of thrills, skills, and freestyle fun. This winter season finale usually occurs in late March/early April. 

There’s so much more to Summit County in winter!

We’ve only outlined a few of the things to do in Summit County in winter. There’s so much more, in every city, in every way you can enjoy snow, sun, and a beautiful mountain setting.

At Paffrath & Thomas, we can help you find and purchase the perfect home, so that you can visit whenever you want. And who are we kidding? It might become where you want to live every day.

Mountain life is our choice, and our joy. We’d love to share it with you. Contact us, and be sure to see our listings online. And if you’re visiting the area, stop by our Main Street office and have a cup of coffee. As we’ve seen over and over again, lots of people come for the winter, and stay for the summer. 

Our team is here, as your Realtors®, neighbors, and friends—ready to help you come home.

Selling? Find out what your home is worth online.

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