Traveling to the mountains is usually sought to be an escape from the normal hustle bustle of life but with Summit County’s growing popularity it has become harder and harder to find hikes that offer true peace and quiet in the mountains. Getting to the high Rockies of Summit County is not always an easy feat. Whether its a crowded flight, long security lines, traffic jams, or a even a friendly shared shuttle ride you can always count on some sort of a delay. As a mountain carrier we see all these examples first hand but we have a remedy. What’s that you ask?
Well, after conquering all of the elements of getting to the mountains how do you really enjoy the true peace and quiet of the rocky mountains? Easy! You get away from the crowds. So where do those places still exist? Don’t you worry, your local shuttle company has you covered! Here are 2 hikes that will allow you to enjoy the true, untouched beauty Summit County has to offer without having to share the moment with hundreds of other vacationers. Peace and quiet is just a few more steps away.
Hike # 1
The first of the 2 hikes is loop trail perfect for all levels of adventurers. It is on the shorter side in regards to distance but it has views that go on forever. At just under 12,000 feet of elevation this hike offers breathtaking views at a literal breath taking height. Although the hike is only about a mile there is a lot to see in this relatively short loop. Alpine lakes, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland Ski Resort, Keystone and Breckenridge are just a view places visible from the surrounding areas of the lake. A bonus for out of state visitors; there is almost always some left over snow on the peaks surrounding the lake, even through the summer months.
If the one mile loop isn’t long enough then try heading up some of the pirate trails that stagger even farther up the nearby mountain. Even though this lake is right off of the main road the hike remains a hidden gem. Access is fairly easy, yet very few people stop off the somewhat hidden dirt road. Loveland Pass lake is your perfect stop for a quick hike, an alpine adventure, or even just a picnic. At 12,000 feet this is one of the higher hikes with little elevation gain needed. But don’t forget! You are 2 miles above sea level so even a summer day can get chilly real quick! Make sure to bring water and an extra layer or two.
Hike # 2
The Acorn Creek trail is located just north of Silverthorne. This hike is nestled in a quiet valley and features beautiful views of the Gore Range. Acorn Creek is just far enough from town to avoid the crowds but close enough to fit in a quick half day hike. Plentiful amounts of aspen trees, wildflowers, and frequent wildlife sightings make this hike a true Colorado experience. The total hike is 8.3 out and back but this hike can easily be cut in half without sacrificing much. The views start almost immediately so this hike is perfect for time sensitive hikers too. Thanks to boot packing by the locals in the winter, the acorn creek trail is accessible all year around. The open ranch lands backed by the towering Gore range is a really hard view to beat. Acorn Creek and its surrounding area is truly something special.
*Local Tip* Acorn Creek is a hot spot for large numbers of Elk in the early spring. Make sure to bring a camera to document the scenic back drops and Colorado wildlife you will see along the way.
Although Summit County is becoming a very popular vacation destination there are still plenty of hikes that can get you away from all the hustle bustle and back into desolate mountain trails. Hopefully you can get out and find some of that peace and quiet that we all long to have out here in the mountains.
PS. Feel free to ask any of our drivers or agents here at Summit Express about 2 of their favorite local hikes. They may let you in on some great local knowledge. . .just don’t tell anyone else 🙂