Are you ready to conquer some of the most incredible ski slopes in the United States? Then get your snow gear ready: it's time to explore Summit County, Lake Tahoe, Park City, Big Sky, and Sun Valley. From pristine powdery slopes that will send your adrenaline skyrocketing as you make perfect turns through the unfathomable wilderness to high-end villages that offer exquisite dining and luxurious lodging—these are THE places to visit for Winter sports!

In Part 1 of this Ultimate Ski Guide, we'll set out on an adventure of a lifetime while exploring the unique qualities of Summit County, Colorado, that have come together to shape one of the best skiing experiences in North America. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, and let’s head up onto the mountainside for an unforgettable ride!


Pine trees in the snow.
Friends enjoying beers at a brewery.



Truly a year-round destination for nature lovers; though, its reputation for excellent skiing makes Summit County “Colorado’s Playground” for Winter sports enthusiasts.


Brace yourselves for an unforgettable getaway as we take you to one of the most sought-after destinations in the United States for skiing, Summit County, Colorado! Famous for its four world-class ski resorts—Copper Mountain, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Arapahoe Basin—with varying degrees of difficulty, Summit County offers choices for all ski and snowboard enthusiasts, whether beginner or intermediate. Picture yourself zipping through snow-laden trees, witnessing awe-inspiring views, or experiencing the thrill of skiing down steep pitches. Summit County is all that and much more.

Here's a list of top-rated ski resorts in the area:

  1. Breckenridge Ski Resort (Summit County)
  2. Copper Mountain (Summit County)
  3. Keystone Resort (Summit County)
  4. Arapahoe, AKA “A-Basin” (Summit County)
  5. Loveland Ski Area
  6. Ski Cooper
  7. Vale Ski Resort
  8. Beaver Creek Resort

Pro-Tip: Although it may be tempting to wait until you arrive at the mountain, there are several advantages to buying your lift tickets in advance. Buy your lift tickets now>>>

Man in orange coat ice fishing.
Scenic fall overlook.


  • Ski and Snowboard: Hit the slopes at Breckenridge Ski Resort! With a massive 2,900 acres of breathtaking terrain and an impressive 187 trails, it's a Winter wonderland for ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Whether you're a ski novice or a snowboard aficionado, this Winter playground will leave you in awe. Discover the ultimate ski adventure in Breckenridge, Colorado!
    Pro-Tip: Familiarize yourself with commonly used skiing terms to ensure clarity and understanding while on the slopes. Speaking of “slopes,” skiers and snowboarders have a variety of terms to describe a marked snow path that is maintained by machines to compact and flatten the snow for easy use—including piste, slope, trail, and run.
  • Breck Art District: Experience the vibrant art scene at the Breckenridge Arts District. Take art classes, enjoy live performances, and explore local galleries filled with incredible artwork.
  • Dog Sled Tour: Embark on a thrilling 6-mile dogsled tour with Good Times Adventures to witness the beauty of Swan River Valley in the Rocky Mountains. Learn from your expert guides how to command the sled and work alongside the majestic Siberian Huskies while winding through breathtaking landscapes. It's a unique adventure you won't want to miss.
  • Main Street: Discover the irresistible charm of Main Street in Breckenridge—the epicenter to any small or large mountain town. Enjoy a leisurely stroll while soaking in the beauty of its historic buildings and exploring the delightful shops and restaurants. Main Street has it all!

  • Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships: Experience the magic of snow and ice at the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships! Join us in January as talented sculptors from around the globe create incredible works of art out of snow. Marvel at the skill and creativity of this exhibit!
  • Scenic Drive on Hoosier Pass: Take your adventure to new heights by driving along the 11,542-foot Hoosier Pass Scenic Byway—straddling the Great Continental Divide. Immerse yourself in the majestic beauty of the Southern Rockies as you wind through towering peaks on a route that is generally accessible year-round. Don't miss this amazing opportunity to drive around and explore the beauty of Breck. Please note that snow tires and 4-wheel drive are not required in Winter, except in severe weather conditions.

  • Crepes a la Carte: Indulge your sweet tooth at Crepes a la Carte, the ultimate destination for dessert lovers. From mouthwatering sweet options to savory delights—even satisfying breakfast choices—the menu has something to tickle every taste bud.
  • Blue River Bistro: Satisfy your cravings for delicious American classics and enjoy handcrafted cocktails at the vibrant Blue River Bistro. Their food and drinks are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients and served with elegance and flair.
  • Breck Distillery: Embark on a journey through a variety of flavors at the renowned Breck Distillery—4X Colorado Whiskey Distillery of the Year—where you can taste their award-winning spirits and take an unforgettable tour.



  • Ski and Snowboard: Start your day on the slopes at Copper Mountain Resort—known for its authentic and laidback atmosphere. Copper prides itself on simplicity and affordability, offering a refreshing change from the overly crowded ski destinations that can be found in other parts of the state. With a whopping 2,500 acres of skiable terrain and 140 thrilling trails, Copper Mountain offers a wide range of trails and terrain options to suit every skill level. Here, you’ll find welcoming slopes, unbeatable scenery, and a friendly community of fellow skiers to make unforgettable memories with!
  • Tubing at Copper: Looking for an adrenaline rush? Don't miss the tubing experience at Copper Mountain! Zoom down the slopes on high-speed tubing lanes and let out screams of excitement as you race your friends to the bottom. It's guaranteed to be a fun-filled experience!
  • The Woodward Barn: For some indoor excitement, head over to The Woodward Barn. This incredible indoor action sports playground will have you jumping, flipping, and getting your heart pumping. With indoor skateparks, Olympic-grade trampolines, foam pit jumps, and indoor ski/snowboard training, you’ll never want to go back into the cold again.


  • Climax Molybdenum Mine: Embark on a captivating journey through history at the legendary Climax Molybdenum Mine. Situated on Fremont Pass, this hidden gem invites you to discover the inspiring tales of Colorado's mining past. Travel along a breathtaking route and immerse yourself in the rich heritage that spans generations.
  • Top of the Rockies Byway: Make sure to explore the Top of the Rockies Byway, known for its breathtaking views and high altitude. It's one of the highest drives in the entire USA! Along the way, you can stop in Leadville to discover the legendary Tabor Opera House, built in 1879. This iconic venue has hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment, including the likes of Harry Houdini and Oscar Wilde.


  • JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern: Indulge in mouthwatering American cuisine while enjoying live music at local slopeside favorite, JJ's Rocky Mountain Tavern, located in the East Village. Indulge in their delectable menu filled with housemade drumsticks, nachos, grilled sandwiches, giant crisp salads, and more.
  • C.B. Grille: Head over to C.B. Grill in the heart of Center Village and explore their delicious menu while soaking up the Copper Mountain vibes. From elevated American cuisine to a fully stocked bar with an impressive wine selection, C.B. Grille offers a stylish and inviting dining space.
  • Toast & Co.:Craving something sweet or savory for breakfast or brunch? Look no further Toast & Co., also located in Center Village. Step into a charming vintage interior while you indulge in a classic menu filled with mouthwatering breakfast and brunch options.



  • Ski and Snowboard: Nestled among the magnificent Rockies, Frisco is a ski haven like no other. Hit the slopes and carve your way through 2,507 acres of skiable terrain at the iconic Copper Mountain. Just 75 miles from Denver, this premier ski resort offers scenic trails for beginners and the most seasoned skiers. But what truly sets Frisco apart is its unique blend of rustic charm and modern amenities, making it an ideal place not just for skiing, but for experiencing the warm and welcoming hospitality of a mountain town.
  • Ice Fishing on Lake Dillon: Have you ever tried ice fishing? Dillon Lake is the perfect spot to give it a shot. From Brown Trout to Kokanee Salmon, Dillon has an abundance of bigger species of fish that are sure to give you an exciting challenge as you drop your line through the ice. And, with its stunning views of the Ten Mile Range, you can admire the frozen reservoir while engaging in other activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There’s so much to see and do here!
  • Snowshoeing in White River National Forest: And if you're in the mood for a hike, don't miss the opportunity to explore the White River National Forest. With trails for all skill levels, you can go snowshoeing or hiking and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Colorado.



  • Frisco Historic Park: Discover the fascinating stories of Frisco's mining and railroad past at the Frisco Historic Park and Museum. Immerse yourself in the town's vibrant history as you explore the exhibits and displays that bring the bygone era to life.



  • Butterhorn Bakery & Cafe: Start your day off right at Butterhorn Bakery & Cafe, a local favorite that offers a tasty selection of breakfast and lunch options. From the southern-inspired biscuits and gravy to the spicy chicken guacamole sandwich, there’s plenty to choose from.
  • Ein Prosit: Discover an authentic Bavarian beer bar in Frisco, with a mouthwatering menu highlighting fine beers and sausages. Step inside to experience a traditional tavern atmosphere and enjoy the vibes of a beer garden.


  • Ski and Snowboard: Every day is a good day at Keystone Resort, boasting an impressive 3,000 acres of terrain and 128 trails for all skill levels. Whether you're a skier or a snowboarder, you'll find endless opportunities to carve through the fresh powder and experience the thrill of the mountains.
  • Keystone Stables: For a unique and memorable experience, don't miss the enchanting sleigh rides offered Keystone Stables Bundle up and embark on a magical journey through snowy landscapes, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Snowshoeing at Keystone: Immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of Keystone with an exhilarating snowshoeing adventure. Explore the picturesque landscapes and take in the breathtaking views as you trek through the snow on snowshoes. Guided tours are available for individuals and groups, ensuring a safe and unforgettable experience.
  • Nearby Hot Springs: Ready to relax and rejuvenate? Head over to Idaho Springs, where you can soak in the soothing natural hot springs at Indian Hot Springs. Indulge in the therapeutic waters and let your worries melt away as you bask in the serenity of this natural oasis. Got time for a longer drive? Consider Glenwood Hot Springs Resort or Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort—both are under 2 hours away.



  • Gondola Ride Up Dercum Mountain: Soar to new heights on a breathtaking gondola ride up Dercum Mountain—even if you're not hitting the slopes! On this roughly 11-minute ride to the top, you can experience the awe-inspiring beauty from 11,640 feet! No reservation is required.
  • Loveland Pass: Embark on a scenic drive to Loveland Pass and prepare to be dazzled by the majestic Continental Divide. At an impressive elevation of 11,990 feet, you'll be treated to an unforgettable panoramic view. Plus, it's conveniently close to A-Basin.



  • Kickapoo Tavern: Whether you're looking for a satisfying lunch, a lively après ski experience, or a delicious dinner, Kickapoo Tavern has got you covered. This tavern originally got its name from moonshine in the Lil' Abner comic strip, but has since discovered that various Indigenous Americans who frequent this establishment are from the Kickapoo Tribe. With a history like that, along with a lively bar scene and laidback vibes, this is a must-see for hungry visitors.


Glenwood hot springs resort.
Take an adventure with a snowshoe tour in Frisco or Keystone.


No matter which town you choose to explore, Summit County is sure to leave you breathless with its stunning natural beauty and endless opportunities for adventure. So what are you waiting for?

Natural Retreats offers a diverse collection of incredible Colorado homes. From alpine chalets and family lodges to spectacular Victorian homes near Main Street—get ready to experience the best of Colorado!

Enjoy Summit County year-round, book now>>>


While Summit County might be famous for its skiing, it's also a Winter wonderland for those who like to embrace the outdoors year-round. With endless options to explore and experience, Summit County stands out as an ideal destination for adventurous travelers. The location provides a magical combination of an energetic ski town, fascinating history and culture, friendly locals, and an abundant range of Winter sports opportunities. With so much to offer, Summit County is undoubtedly a vibrant and unique location that will leave an indelible memory in your mind. When you’re ready to escape the stress of your daily life, book a ski trip with Natural Retreats. Travel on.