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Best Weekend Getaways from Summit County, Colorado

Cirque of the Towers Colorado

Summit County, Colorado is a world famous vacation destination known for its beautiful mountains and world class skiing, but where do the people who live in the county go if they need to get away to relax?  Here is a breakdown of the best weekend getaways to escape the madness of Summit County.  There was one requirement for the locations that were picked: they are all no more than a 6-hour drive from Dillon, Colorado.  

To the North

Bridger Wilderness | Wyoming

Travel Time: 6 hours

Cruise up into Wyoming to the Bridger Wilderness and to the Wind River Range, where you will find stunning mountain landscapes including the Cirque of the Towers.  People have described the Wind River Range as “Yellowstone views with Wyoming crowds”, meaning you could find amazing trails and outlooks and have them all to yourself!  The Cirque of the Towers makes a perfect couple-day backpacking trip to catch some fresh air and escape for a weekend.

To the South

Great Sand Dunes National Park | Colorado

Photo courtesy of National Park.

Travel Time: 3.5 hours

Tucked into the west side of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, the Great Sand Dunes National Park will bring wonder and inspiration to all who visit.  After driving through mountain scenery, the dunes seem to appear out of nowhere, and as you drive closer you begin to comprehend just how massive these dunes are. Go explore and feel as if you’ve been taken to a far away desert landscape.  Many rent a sandboard or bring their snowboard or skis and ride the sand dunes.  FYI: your winter gear will only work if the sand is wet, so plan a trip in the spring during snow melt or after a hefty rain shower, so rent a sandboard on dry days.

To the Southwest

Mesa Verde National Park | Colorado

Travel Time: 6 hours

Mesa Verde National Park and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument are located in the southwest corner of Colorado, just over half an hour west of Durango.  At these two parks, you can take a glimpse into some of the oldest known Native American civilizations.  Take a walk through ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings and admire petroglyph wall carvings dating back to 7500 B.C.!

To the West

Arches National Park | Utah

Travel Time: 4.5 hours

Moab, Utah has all the landscapes and adventure anyone could want.  Arches National Park is home to the famous Delicate Arch and Canyonlands National Park makes you feel like you’re roaming around another planet as you hike to the oddly shaped natural structure called The Needles.  And with everything from world famous rock climbing to the best off-roading and scenic whitewater rafting, Moab has an adventure for everybody!

To the Northwest

Dinosaur National Monument | Utah

Photo courtesy of National Park Service.

Travel Time: 3.5 hours

Make it to Dinosaur National Monument and you will get the chance to see over 800 paleontological sites and even see the “Wall of Bones” which is a steep rock layer exposing hundreds of dinosaur bones for public viewing.  The area doesn’t have any lodging options, but is equipped with six established campgrounds for those who enjoy sleeping under the stars.

If you don’t have a lot of time to get away, you could always plan an afternoon trip to our Cliffside Zipline in Idaho Springs.  Though we aren’t currently ziplining, it won’t be long until we’re soaring among the treetops again!  Come adventure with AVA on the cliffside starting again at the beginning of March.


*Featured image courtesy of Clever Hiker.


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