Exploring Copper's Backyard

You may have heard that the summer season is one of Colorado’s best-kept secrets. Well, the secret’s out. Summertime in the Colorado Rockies is an incredible time to enjoy the outdoors and all that these vast mountains have to offer.

You may have heard that the summer season is one of Colorado’s best-kept secrets. Well, the secret’s out. Summertime in the Colorado Rockies is an incredible time to enjoy the outdoors and all that these vast mountains have to offer. Luckily, you don’t have to venture very far from Copper Mountain to experience the season. While there are plenty of options on the resort, there are several hikes and hut trips around Copper to enjoy too. Here are a few:  

 

Janet’s Cabin

Janet’s is located just over 7 miles from Copper Mountain Resort. The trail can be accessed by foot and mountain bike from Copper’s Center Village by hiking on the Colorado Trail, running right through the resort. Janet’s is a very large hut run and operated by the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. Janet’s can hold up to 14 guests during the summer months and features a large sun deck and a wood-burning sauna. Janet’s can be visited from the 2nd week in July through Labor Day. Reservations are required. Janet’s may be booked through the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association at www.huts.org or by calling 970-925-5775.

 

Mayflower Gulch

Just up the road south of Copper is Mayflower Gulch. Mayflower offers spectacular views of both Pacific Peak and Fletcher Mountain, but is also home to the site of the Old Boston Mine. The trailhead can be reached by driving 5.8 miles towards Leadville on Highway 91. There is a parking lot on the left side which provides direct access to the trail. This easy 2-mile hike, 4 miles round trip, offers great views and if you visit at the right time, an incredible display of Colorado’s famous wildflowers. At the end of the trail lies the site of the Old Boston Mine, an abandoned gold mine that flourished during the late-19th century gold rush. This hike is perfect for beginners or those looking for a more casual outing without sacrificing spectacular views.

 

Shrine Mountain Inn

Shrine Mountain Inn actually consists of three cabins: Jay’s, Chuck’s and Walter’s. These are also owned and operated by the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. Each cabin sleeps 12 people and can be reserved all together or each individually. Shrine is accessible by hiking, biking or driving up the seasonal Forest Service Road 712 at Vail Pass, just off of Interstate 70 west of Copper. Thanks to road access and an easy trail that gains little in elevation, Shrine is one of the easiest huts to reach, making it a great option for a first time backcountry hut tripper. Shrine Mountain Inn can be reserved at www.huts.org or by calling 970-925-5775.

 

Mount Royal

If you’re looking for a more challenging experience with rewarding views at the top, check out a hike up to the summit of Mount Royal. Mount Royal is located just off of Interstate 70 in Frisco. The trailhead is accessible by parking at the bikeway parking area just off of exit 201 and walking a half mile on the bike path towards Breckenridge. This short 1.5 mile hike, 3 miles round trip, gains almost 1,500 feet in elevation, so it could require frequent rest breaks. Once you reach the top, the views will surely not disappoint as most of Summit County can be seen with a view over the Town of Frisco, Lake Dillon and Ten Mile Canyon. To gain an incredible perspective of Summit County, Mt. Royal will give you a great workout as well.

 

Mayflower Gulch, just under 6 miles away from Copper.

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