Summer Hiking in Keystone
Hiking in Keystone in the summer is a popular activity and with the plethora of trails and hikes in Summit County it’s easy to add to your travel plans when visiting Colorado!
There’s a variety of trails, terrain, and levels for all hikers, whether you want a leisurely walk with views of the reservoir and mountains or a strenuous climb to the summit with expansive views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
- Sapphire Point Overlook Trail:This .6-mile hike is perfect for all hikers or as an introduction to hiking in higher altitudes. Enjoy the picture-perfect backdrop of the mountains and lake behind you.
- Tenderfoot Mountain:This 1.8-mile trail winds through wildflower meadows and forests of aspen trees with very little elevation gain. The trailhead and parking lot are off Hwy 6 on Straight Creek Road.
- Old Dillon Reservoir Trail:An easy 1.7-mile hike with very little elevation gain as you walk around the reservoir. Trailhead is off Dillon Dam Road off of Hwy 6.
- Lily Pad Lake: This easy 3.2-mile roundtrip trail has very minimal elevation gain and is perfect for families or kids. The trail meanders through a forest with an ending at the lake.
- Willow Lakes Trail:At 11.6 miles, it may not seem easy but this hike is friendly to hikers of all abilities and has a beautiful lake and waterfalls to greet you at the end. This trail is an out and back style with about 2,824 ft. in elevation gain. This trail is in Silverthorne, off Highway 9 on Willowbrook Road.
· French Gulch Road to Sallie Barber Mine:At 5.6 miles, this hike is like walking into the past as you come upon the historic Sallie Barber Mine. You’ll also enjoy views of the mountains peeking out from between the trees as you gain about 110 ft. of net elevation.
- Mount Royal Trail:This 4-mile roundtrip trail is a moderate hike with 1,372 ft. of elevation gain and within the first mile you’ll pass the mining settlement of Masontown. The trailhead is off Main Street, exit 201 off I-70.
- Lenawee Trail:At 3.8 miles one-way, this moderate hike gains 1,786 ft. of elevation and includes fantastic views of Lake Dillon. The trail is off Peru Creek Rd., near Keystone Resort.
- Meadow Creek:A 9.2-mile roundtrip hike that offers views of the Upper Blue Valley as you wind through aspen groves. The elevation gain is 1,600 ft. and the trailhead is accessed off the north frontage road (exit 203) off I-70.
- Dillon Reservoir Loop:This 18.6-mile trail has just over 1,000 ft. in elevation gain but fantastic views of Breckenridge and the surrounding mountains.
- Gold Hill Trail:This 6.6-mile hike has a total elevation gain of 1,512 ft. and is located between Frisco and Breckenridge and is part of the Colorado Trail. You’ll enjoy views of the Ten Mile Range and Breckenridge Ski Area.
- Gore Range Trail:This strenuous hike is 9.9 miles and has more than 2,000 total feet of elevation gain. The stunning views as you make your way to Lost Lake are worth the trek as you pass meadows, ponds, forests, streams, and more. The best parking for this trail is at Copper Mountain Ski Resort’s Alpine Parking Lot and look for signs for Lost Lake.
- Ptarmigan Peak:This 12-mile trail has 3,343 ft. of net elevation gain and rides the boundary between Summit County and Grand County. The summit provides panoramic views of the Ten Mile range and you can see Buffalo Mountain, Red, Grays, Torreys, and Longs peaks from this vantage point. Take Exit 205 off I-70 and turn right, you’ll turn right again on Rainbow Drive, and another right onto Tanglewood Lane, and then look for signs for Ptarmigan Trail Road.
- Buffalo Mountain: Thought it’s only 5.5 miles, this hike has more than 3,000 ft. of elevation gain in just 2.75 miles. You might even spot a mountain goat on this hike as you pass through open fields and the rocky terrain and you’ll also pass by the remains of cabins. Once you’ve reached the summit, you’ll see South Willow Creek basin, Eccles Pass, and Red Peak. This trail is also off Exit 205 along Highway 9 (Wildernest Road).
Guided Keystone hikes
Not sure where to start or want to learn more about the area on your hike? Consider taking a guided hike! These hikes are kid-friendly and span a range of difficulty levels and lengths. There are guided hikes every day of the week except for Sundays and Thursday and Fridays offer two hikes at 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Costs are typically $9 per child aged 6 – 12, $16 per adult, and $13 per senior hiker.
When hiking in Colorado, it’s best to get an early start as it’s not uncommon for afternoon thunderstorms or snowstorms to roll into the mountain ranges. The weather can change rapidly the higher up you go so be prepared to encounter any sort of weather. Plan ahead for the weather by wearing sturdy and water resistant shoes and dressing in layers. Be sure to take plenty of water and snacks for your trek as well.