Hiking Summit County’s Iconic Trails

Summit County | Colorado
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Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to hike Summit County’s Iconic Trails

  • Trip Highlight

    Breathe fresh air in spruce, fir, aspen, and lodgepole pine forests

  • Trip Highlight

    Revel in a wide array of landscapes no matter which trail you opt for

  • Trip Highlight

    Explore some of the best hiking objectives in Summit County and Colorado

Bursting at the seams with trails winding through spectacular scenery, Summit County is a must-visit destination for every hiking enthusiast. With accessible objectives snaking their way through lush forests, mountain passes, and trickling streams, both novice and expert hikers can get a taste of Colorado’s varied landscapes. Your options include the Colorado, Wheeler, and Peaks Trails, some of the most iconic hiking opportunities both in Summit County and the whole of Colorado. A portion of the Colorado trail offers lush coniferous forests and open meadows, while the Wheeler trail boasts spruce and fir forests as you climb into the alpine tundra. The Peaks trail, on the other hand, houses some of the best lookouts to the east and views of a peaceful mountain lake. Whichever option you end up choosing, you can’t go wrong! With your expert guide and their knowledge of these areas, you’ll love every second of this hiking adventure.

Season

May through October

Nearest city

Denver, CO, is about 2 hours away from the trails

Duration

1 day

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Choose how you spend your day

Half-Day of Hiking the Colorado Trail from Summit County

Half-day

Discover a portion of the iconic Colorado Trail starting from your base camp in Summit County with your guide over the course of 4-5 hours. Explore the lovely streams, dense coniferous forests, and stunning mountain passes as you make your way from sub-alpine slopes to alpine terrain and you’ll be rewarded with views of wide-open meadows. You may even encounter some through-hikers since this is a 500-mile trek!

Full-Day of Hiking the Colorado Trail from Summit County

Full-day

If you think 4-5 hours of hiking is not enough to take in the views that the Colorado Trail offers, explore a portion of this 500-mile trek in 6-8 hours. Let your guide take you through breathtaking forests, along streams and mountain passes, and admire the views of big open meadows. Kick this adventure off from your base camp in Summit County and you might run into through-hikers trying to complete this epic trail in its entirety!

Half-Day of Hiking the Peaks Trail

Half-day

Relish in the scenic vistas while hiking across 8 miles of meandering singletrack on the Peaks Trail. Witness the stunning views to the east as you pass bubbling streams and a mountain lake. This trail can be done as a 15.5-mile out-and-back, shuttled point-to-point, or as part of a multi-trail link-up—the choice is yours! Let a guide take you to this amazing trail that connects Breckenridge and Frisco in Summit County and spend 4-5 hours exploring this stunning trail.

Full-Day of Hiking the Peaks Trail

Full-day

In case 4-5 hours of hiking won’t satisfy your hiking appetite, go for the full day option. Spend 6-8 hours exploring the Peaks Trail, an iconic hiking objective that connects Breckenridge and Frisco in Summit County. This guided hike will allow you to witness striking views to the east, an alpine lake, and mountain streams. Depending on your wishes and fitness level, this trail can be done as a 15.5-mile out-and-back, shuttled point-to-point, or as part of a multi-trail link-up.

Half-day of Hiking the Wheeler Trail

Half-day

Pass through fir and spruce forests, climb into the alpine tundra, and enjoy the smell of wildflowers as you hike the Wheeler Trail. Let your guides take you on this adventure and witness the views of Breckenridge, the Front and the Gore Ranges, Copper Mountain and more. You can do this trail as an out-and-back, a shuttled point-to-point, or a multi-trail link-up—it’s up to you! It can also be linked with other trails depending on your fitness level.

Full-day of Hiking the Wheeler Trail

Full-day

Treat yourself to 6-7 hours of hiking across Summit County’s Wheeler Trail and reap the benefits it offers—take in the views of Breckenridge, the Gore Range, the Front Range, Copper Mountain, and more after passing through spruce and fir forests and admiring the wildflowers. Do this 9-mile trail as an out-and-back, a shuttled point-to-point, or a multi-trail link-up, or let your guide link this trail with other areas with mountain lakes and passes!

Reviews

Reviews (1)

Lisa Kreutz Mahoney about Colorado Adventure Guides on Facebook

Extremely knowledgeable, safety-oriented staff providing fun adventures and escapes for people at all levels of experience!

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in Summit County, Colorado

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Summit County, CO, please refer to Colorado’s COVID-19 Travel Guidelines and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

    • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • A half or full day of hiking depending on your chosen itinerary
    • 3% fees

What’s not included:

    • Transportation 
    • Accommodations
    • Food

How fit do I need to be?

The best thing about hiking in Summit County is that there are incredible options for all skill levels. For beginner hikes, if you can walk for four to six hours with little elevation gain, you are good to go! Intermediate hikes will see a little more change in elevation and hikes will start to increase in length, hiking anywhere between four to eight miles. Advanced hikes are full day treks with steep descents and challenging switchbacks.

The Colorado and Peaks Trails are suitable for all levels of hikers, while the Wheeler Trail is more difficult. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

    • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
    • Trekking poles (available to rent)
    • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
    • Close-toed shoes
    • Synthetic t-shirt or long sleeve shirt
    • Long pants or shorts
    • Spare clothes for layering
    • Waterproof rain jacket
    • Sunhat
    • Food you can eat on-the-go
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Headlamp or flashlight
    • Sunglasses
    • Camera — optional (but recommended)

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • For these private hikes, the max. client to guide ratio is 6:1. 
    • Cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to hike with friends and family! 

Hiking in Summit County can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Cancellation policy

Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

    • Refunds will be honored for cancellations with more than 48 Hours PRIOR notice to trip start time. An administrative fee of 10% will be assessed for all cancellations.
    • Rescheduling will be honored 48 HOURS prior to trip start date. An administrative fee of 10% will be assessed for all rescheduling.
    • All activities are rain or shine. In case of operator cancellation due to adverse or unsafe conditions prior to start time, first the operator will attempt to reschedule. If rescheduling is not possible, the client will receive a full refund. Operator, including guides in the field, reserves the right to shorten or reroute activity in case of unmanageable hazards or inability of guest to complete the objective. Completion of objective-based routes is not guaranteed.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Summit County, most people fly into Denver International Airport just under 2 hours away from Summit County. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. Half-day tours depart at 8 am and 1 pm, while full-day tours start at 8 am. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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