Photo by: Greg Rakozy, Click Here for the original photo on Unsplash.
“There’s so much snow in Summit County that they can’t even deliver the mail”. During the beginning of the year, Summit County received more than eight feet of snow, causing problems with mail delivery and other services. However, the residents aren’t complaining. These cold and snowy winters on the mountain are exactly why many people moved to the county. People here come for the winters and stay for the summers. If you’re ever bored here, you’re simply not getting out. So here are some ways to enjoy your winters in Summit County beyond the traditional skiing and snowboarding activities.
Ice Fishing: Summit County is home to over 140 lakes, rivers, and fishing spots. This make it a dream for fisherman, particularly those that want to enjoy some ice fishing. Lake, rainbow, and brown trout are the main fish you will be fishing for, and can be caught from 10 feet to 50+ feet of water. If you’re looking for some good game, head out to Lake Dillon, Blue River, Colorado River, Gore Creek, Antero Reservoir, Williams Fork Reservoir, or Granby, which are all popular sites with great fishing reports and a good ice cap. Per fishing reports, good choices for bait include white and pink small tube jigs in the 1 to 2-inch class and use one rod for lake trout and another for rainbows and brown. Be sure you are up-to-date regarding the fishing regulations in the region. In Colorado, the state-wide daily bag limit is four for trout and the possession limit is eight. Also, be careful on the ice, wear warm clothes, and keep dry.
Ice Climbing: Ice climbing adds a whole new edgy element to the already adventurous activity of rock climbing. Ice climbers in Summit County can climb mountain sides, cliffs and rock slabs, and even frozen waterfalls during the winters. One of the most popular sites for ice climbing is in Leadville. This area provides an easier climb called Chalk Creek which is a great starter for beginners. For the more experienced, north of Leadville houses a frozen waterfall located on Forest Service land. It is 40 feet of vertical ice, that provides all elements of a challenging climb. When ice climbing be sure to check all your equipment multiple times, and be aware of the ice and snow conditions. If it’s too cold, dinner plate-sized ice chunks can shatter off and if it’s too warm, refrigerator-sized chunks can crash down on you from above.
Snowshoeing: Snowshoeing is a great way to explore the wonders of Summit County and get in touch with your survivalist side. Some areas for great views and dedicated snowshoe trails include Frisco Nordic Center, Breckenridge Nordic Center, and Gold Run Nordic Center. Each of these centers has at least 12 kilometers of trails dedicated for snowshoe trekking. At Frisco Nordic Center, you can catch some great views of Lake Dillon while getting away from the city. Breckenridge combines wooden and open areas and you get a scenic route around the Breckenridge and surrounding mountain ranges. Gold Run provides access to back country trails, where you can really get in touch with your adventurous and rugged side. Before you head out on your adventure, make sure you have the proper equipment and know what to do in the case of an emergency.
Article By: Jocelyn Brown