Best Places to Visit in Colorado this Summer - Summit County Edition

Lake Dillon with Buffalo Mountain in the background
by Emily

Colorado is home to many beautiful mountain towns, and Summit County in itself is home to 6 mountain towns, all worth a stop if you are traveling Colorado this summer.  Summit County has hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as a gorgeous reservoir perfect for fishing, boating, and sailing. Here are some of the best places to visit in Colorado this summer - Summit County edition! 

 1. Dillon Reservoir 

Dillon Reservoir or Lake Dillon is one of the county’s biggest attractions in the summertime. The reservoir has two marinas, both of which offer boat rentals, paddleboard and kayak rentals, and restaurants. Lake Dillon is one of the best lakes to go sailing, and the marinas even offer sailing lessons for those who would like to learn. The reservoir stretches over 3233 acres, has 26.8 miles of shoreline, and boasts gorgeous mountain views. Lake Dillon is also a great place for fishing, as the lake is home to a healthy amount of rainbow and brown trout. If your looking to spend some time on the water surround by mountains, then Lake Dillon is the perfect place to visit in Colorado.

 2. Sapphire Point Overlook

Sapphire Point overlooks the stunning Dillon Reservoir, hemmed in the Gore and Ten Mile Mountain Ranges. This overlook has a short circle trail for a small hike and is available to the public for free. It can also be reserved for 3 hour time slots like wedding ceremonies or small private events. It is a perfect place to stop for a picnic, and not to mention is one of the most beautiful photo opportunities in the county! A great place for a quick pit stop when visiting Colorado, and easy to access from I-70.  

 3. Breckenridge Troll 

Issak Heartstone is a large, wooden troll sculpture created by the Danish artist, Thomas Dambo. Over the last 5 years or so, Dambo and his team have created several of these art sculptures around the world, and Breckenridge, Colorado is home to one of them. You can take the Trollstigen Trail, a short 3 minute walk, to Issak’s home and see him in his glory. The Breckenridge Troll is a must to visit in Colorado,  and is a very easy trail so the whole family can enjoy!

 4. Blue Lakes Trailhead

Blue Lakes is a short, but gorgeous hike, just outside of Breckenridge, Colorado. The trail is 1 mile out-and-back and brings you to not 1, but two beautiful lakes with crystal clear water and surrounded by mountains. The short hike gives you an amazing view of Quandary Mountain, a Colorado 14er (above 14,000ft). This area is popular for fishing and hiking so you may encounter others while visiting this Colorado beauty. Dogs are allowed and can be off-leash in some areas. 

 5. Mount Royal Trailhead 

Mount Royal is located in Frisco, Colorado, just off I-70. The trail is considered to be difficult because although it is a short 4 miles there and back, it is basically a natural stair stepper. It takes about 1 hour to get to the top and another 30-45 minutes to get down. Once at the top you have a gorgeous view of the Dillon Reservoir and the Gore Range, and to the west, you can overlook the passerby on I-70. This view will truly make you feel how high up you are! It is a more challenging hike, but getting to the top is very rewarding. Check it out when visiting Colorado this summer!

 6. Giberson Bay - Day Use Area 

This day-use area in Frisco, Colorado is great for hanging out by the water, paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, having a picnic, or taking a walk along the water. The cost to use this area is $8 and $5 for any additional vehicles. Please bring cash for the day-use envelopes! 

 7. Cataract Lakes 

Cataract Lakes are located just 30 minutes from Silverthorne, containing the lower cataract lake and the upper cataract lake. The lower Cataract Loop trail is an easy 2.3 mile loop that takes about an hour to complete. This is a very popular trail for hiking and running, so you will encounter others. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash. 

The upper cataract trail is much longer, at 11 miles round trip. This trail takes about 5.5 hours to complete. The upper cataract trail itself is moderate, you will be jumping over some downed trees; the way up is not the most scenic, but the payoff when you reach the lake is incredible! Breathtaking views of a gorgeous lake, you can’t beat it!

 8. Green Mountain Reservoir 

Green Mountain Reservoir is another lake about 30 minutes from Silverthorne. The Heeney Marina offers a selection of rental boats and of course a boat ramp to bring your own boat! This lake is very popular for jet skiing, boating, tubing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, and more! If you are looking for a place to get out and do all the water activities, then Green Mountain Reservoir is the lake to be on! This is also a great lake for fishing, home to many different species of trout and more. 

 9. Lily Pad Lake 

The Lily Pad Lake trail is a 3.3 mile out and back trail in Silverthorne, Colorado. This trail is used in both the summer and winter for hiking and snowshoeing. It is beautiful to visit at any time of the year. Bring your fur friends, but make sure they are on a leash! Lily Pad Lake trail is a fairly easy hike and takes about an hour and 20 minutes roundtrip.


Summit County should be on your itinerary when visiting Colorado this summer. The county is home to countless hiking and biking trails, breathtaking lake and mountain views, and everything in between. Book your Summit County vacation rental at the link below and get exploring!