Are you planning to visit Summit County in the fall?
Summit County, CO has plenty of places to visit and things to do throughout the year, some of which are even free. This region is about an hour’s drive away from the Denver Metro Area, providing convenient access to and from the big city.
The changing of the seasons can always be felt in this part of the country. Summit County hosts numerous festivals that welcome the fall with local music, drinks, and food. Plus, fall is a beautiful time for hiking on a mountain in the area. You’ll love the colorful foliage in September and October!
In the following paragraphs, we are going to shed some light on the best fall activities in Summit County, CO. You’ll learn all about the top activities and festivals for autumn.
NOTE: Many of the 2020 Summit County events have been postponed or canceled due to public health concerns. Before making any plans, please check the latest updates.
Fishing in the Fall
Summit County has numerous options for fishing. The local fish population is bountiful and there are many local companies providing float trips and wade excursions. For example, try Big Ed’s Fishing Ventures, Trouts Fly Fishing, Mountain Angler, or Cutthroat Anglers.
Some of the best fishing spots in Summit County include the reservoir, Ten Mile Creek, Blue River, and Snake River. Another great spot is Lake Dillon, which is one of the two places in the contiguous U.S. that hosts Arctic char!
You can try reeling out rainbow trout, Kokanee salmon, and brown trout in the local water as well. However, make sure to get your Colorado fishing license before heading out on your big fishing day.
Dillon Farmers’ Market
This farmers’ market runs through mid-September, making the first month of the fall a great chance to buy some local products. The vendors offer excellent Colorado produce, handmade bath products, and local honey.
In order to reach the market, you need to take Lake Dillon Drive. That will dead-end at the Dillon Amphitheater and you’ll find the farmers’ market to your right on Lodgepole Street. There’s free parking on Dillon Marina and Marina Park parking lots.
Get on the Water
Frisco Bay Marina and Dillon Marina are the two best spots in Summit County to enjoy boat rentals in September or October. You may have to put on a few extra layers, but the tranquil scenery is going to be worth it.
If you plan on hitting the waters with a bigger group of people, you can rent motorboats and sailboats! However, you can also rent a kayak or paddleboard for a slower pace to explore Lake Dillon in the shoulder season. Or you can just enjoy the views for free!
Another place to relax and take in all the sights and sounds of the fall season for free is Marina Park located in Dillon. You’ll get sweeping views over Ten Mile and Gore mountain ranges along with gorgeous Lake Dillon scenery.
On a sunny day in September or October, this is a perfect place to organize a last picnic before the winter as there are even charcoal grills available for use. Marina Park has open shore access and the area comes with numerous walking paths and a nice playground for the children.
Breckenridge Wine Classic
Breckenridge Wine Classic is a true celebration of local wine and food. The event covers a series of wine dinners being organized across Breckenridge. Wine Classic includes a wine tasting along Main Street that allows you to visit various tasting rooms and art galleries while sipping on fine wine and feeling at home.
You can’t miss Boreas Pass when on the lookout for stunning aspen foliage against the backdrop of a mountain and blue skies. This area can be accessed by car, bike, ATV, or on foot.
Many people opt for a drive through Boreas Pass. It takes about an hour as it zips right through the central Rockies. Historically, the road connected the popular Breckenridge winter sports town with the historic Como village. The latter was an important railroad community that many people called home.
This is the biggest street festival in the Rocky Mountains. The three days of celebrations are filled with great beer, delicious schnitzel, and live music (not only polka!). Many people at the festival are wearing traditional costumes: women have dirndl dresses and men wear lederhosen.
In addition to all the excellent German beer and mountain views, you’ll have the chance to eat your way through all those food stalls at the festival. Huge turkey legs, Bavarian pretzels, and roaster pork tenderloins are just some of the delicacies you’ll get the chance to enjoy.
Frisco Historic Park & Museum
Autumn is a great time to visit the Frisco Historic Park & Museum that showcases life in this town since the 19th century. History buffs delight as some parts of the exhibition go back as far as 7,000 years to cover the importance of early Ute settlements.
You’ll find this historical park right in Downtown Frisco. The collection of traditional and local items helps you understand the captivating history of this town. As the railroad and mining industry lost its importance, Frisco could have turned into another ghost town. But luckily, the reality is far from that. Many people call this town their home and it’s frequented annually by millions of people.
The Bottom Line: Fall Activities in Summit County
Summit County is a great pick for a vacation in the great outdoors during the autumn months, like September and October. You can still enjoy some of the popular summer pastimes like kayaking, fishing, and hiking. However, all of your chosen activities are going to be accompanied by golden aspen foliage in the background during September and October.
Usually, the event schedule is full of cozy live music performances, popular festivals, and harvest markets. And don’t forget that Summit County is as big on culture as it is on nature: check out the art displays, theatre events, and concerts in places like Frisco, Silverthorne, and Breckenridge.