Four Fun & Easy Picturesque Frisco Hikes
Posted by: admin May 27th, 2016
It’s no secret that Summit County is surrounded by scenic mountain ranges and beautiful western landscapes. But, if you really want a dramatic Colorado view, everyone knows the best ones are beheld on mountaintops. However, not everyone is up for an extreme, all day trek just for a few Instagram photos. If you’re coming from the Front Range, hiking at our local altitudes can be especially difficult. Luckily, Summit County offers several easy hikes you can accomplish in just a couple hours or less, all under 14,000 ft., all the while offering the reward of a gorgeous, photogenic summit. And, if these mini-adventures are too easy for you, turn them into an all day excursion! Find out how by reading on about our four favorite easy hikes in Summit County – three of which are accessible by foot from our downtown Frisco bed & breakfast.
Getting one of the most panoramic, gorgeous views of the Ten Mile and Gore Ranges is as easy as a 15-minute, quick hike right in the heart of Summit County. The hike begins at the top of Swan Mountain Road, which you can get to easily coming from either side of the County. The parking spaces at the trailhead offer a convenient access point to the hike. After winding through the trees, you’ll be greeted with a dramatic view as you find yourself standing atop one of the County’s most picturesque lookout points. The final destination is so beautiful, in fact, several weddings have been held here. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, take the Summit County bike path from Dillon to the trailhead and continue to the lookout point on foot!
This hidden gem is within both driving and walking distance from Frisco’s historic Main Street. After grabbing brunch downtown, turn south onto Second Ave and take a right onto South Cabin Green after a few blocks. There, you will find the Peaks Trail parking area with a sign for Rainbow Lake. In roughly two-mile round-trip, you’ll venture through wetlands and over boardwalks as you wind into a forest of lodgepole pines, aspen groves and trickling streams. The path leads directly to Rainbow Lake – a tucked away beaver pond that makes a wonderful spot for an afternoon lunch or quite place to fish at sunset. If you’re looking for an all-day hike, start out earlier in the morning and continue on the Peaks Trail past Rainbow Lake all the way to Breckenridge!
Lily Pad Lake
For a quick Summit County hike right off I-70, venture up to Lily Pad Lake in Frisco. Take exit 203 for Frisco and Breckenridge off the interstate, enter the roundabout and exit onto the dirt road that runs along I-70 West. The switchback trail runs through changing scenery and Aspen forests. With an approximate 800 ft. of elevation gain in less than three miles, this hike is short yet enough to serve as your dose of cardio for the day. After a half mile up the trail, you will find a fork split to either Lily Pad Lake or Meadow Creek. Continue up to Lily Pad Lake and find a great spot to settle down for the afternoon. If you’re up for adding more miles onto your journey, finish the eight miles of the Meadow Creek trail for an all-day adventure!
Although arguably the hardest of these four jaunts, the hike up Mount Royal is exhilarating and rewarding. With over 1,000 ft. of elevation gain, the trail is no walk in the park, but it’s hard to get discouraged when you’re offered such incredible views of Frisco and the surrounding county on your way up. This four-mile round trip hike offers an historical tour of Masontown halfway up – an abandoned mining camp dating back to the early 20th century where you can explore the remaining remnants and artifacts (please – take only photos). If you continue on, the summit offers dramatic views of the neighboring Gore Range. Mount Royal is the first peak of the Ten Mile Range starting in Frisco. So, for serious hikers, continue up Mt. Victoria and over to Peak One for some bragging rights. You can even make the trek all the way across to Peak 10 of Breckenridge for intense peak bagging (if your legs are up for the challenge).