Summer Resorts 2003: Summit County, Colorado


Summit County is known for its high density of big ski areas (Breckenridge, Copper, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin), but it wouldn't be "Colorado's Playground" if it didn't offer the goods year-round. The county boasts four championship golf courses. The newest and toughest, The Raven at Three Peaks, is nestled at the base of the Gore Range in Silverthorne. The Raven defines the term "mountain course" and might beg a more straightforward "ego round" to follow. Hit Copper Creek Golf Club, at 9,700 feet, the highest of any championship course in the nation. If your ball won't sail at this altitude, nothing will. Lake Dillon has been parched by the recent drought, so boating is limited. Fortunately for anglers, there's plenty of water (and trout) in the Blue River, as well as in the hundreds of alpine lakes and streams throughout the Gore and Ten Mile ranges. The mountains set a gorgeous stage for hiking and biking. More than 200 miles of paved bike paths link the county's five towns. The paths forge through abandoned mining camps and retrace former railroad routes. Off-roaders can tear up 400 miles of backcountry trails-7,000 to 14,270 feet high-with landscapes ranging from lush green meadows to the naked Continental Divide. No pressure to sweat: You can always exercise your wallet at Silverthorne's outlets. You'll still be surrounded by dozens of breathtaking peaks.

•DON'T MISS For a taste of local flavor, grab a pitcher, a burger and a round of pool (or foosball) at the Moose Jaw in Frisco. It's simple. It's cheap. It's rustic. It's Colorado.

•BEST DEAL June 20-Sept. 21 (except July 4), come midweek and a night's lodging and a round of golf starts at $79 per person, double occupancy. Some restrictions apply. 800-458-8386;