Few places fuel a hiker’s imagination the way the fantastic network of trails in and around Frisco, Colorado do. With breathtaking summits, rugged landscapes, and hiking experiences for all skills and fitness levels, these day hikes offer some of the best ways of discovering Summit County.
Some of Colorado’s finest hiking trails are found here, and cover two of its three mountain spines, which boast little traffic but plenty of views. In Summit County where parts of the Front, Tenmile, and Gore Ranges collide, hikers can enjoy stunning panoramic views of Frisco and other nearby towns, such as Keystone, Dillon, Silverthorne, and Breckenridge.
With that in mind, here are 5 of the best day hikes in the area, with an option for every ability level:
Day Hikes to Lily Pad Lake, Frisco
This route has a rating of “moderate” to “more difficult” and is just over a mile one way. However, there is a bus back from the Wildernest neighborhood, so you can save your legs the trip back to Frisco if you wish!
Off the interstate, take exit 203 (signposted for Breckenridge and Frisco), then take the junction off the roundabout, which leads you down a dirt road that runs parallel to the I-70 Westbound. Parking is available here.
On this trail, you’ll find ever-changing scenery. It runs through an aspen forest and climbs to 800ft. After 0.6 miles, you’ll reach a fork in the trail, where you can head to Meadow Creek or Lily Pad Lake. Head to Lily Pad Lake for an afternoon picnic, or, if you fancy more of a workout, head down the Meadow Creek Trail, which will take you eight miles further (details below).
Day Hikes to Rainbow Lake, Frisco
Boasting an “easy” difficulty rating, this trail is a great place to start and a favorite among locals. As part of the Peaks Trail, you can opt to walk all the way to Breckenridge on this hike, but the trail to Rainbow Lake itself is just short of two miles in total.
To uncover this hidden gem, you’ll need to head west on Frisco’s Main Street, before turning south onto Second Avenue. After following this road for a little while, you’ll find South Cabin Green, where there’s a sign pointing you in the direction of Rainbow Lake.
Throughout the hike, you’ll trek along boardwalks and wetlands and among lodge pole pines and aspen trees until you arrive at Rainbow Lake — a picturesque beaver pond.
Day Hikes Along Peaks Trail, Frisco
Another “moderate” to “more difficult” route, this trail will have you following the same directions to Rainbow Lake (above) but takes you a lot further. Stretching nearly 8 miles one way, this route continues after Rainbow Lake, connecting with the Peaks Trail, which you’ll reach at a 4×4 road junction at Miners Creek.
You’ll journey across a number of landscapes, including a meadow, before arriving at Breckenridge Ski Resort at the base of Peak 7. Here you can decide whether you want to hop a bus back to Frisco or retrace your steps for the hike back.
Day Hikes Up Mount Royal, Frisco
This hike is the most difficult of the ones we’ve suggested here, but is definitely the most rewarding. Although you’ll need to have your wits about you for this one (it’ll see you climbing over 1,000 feet), the journey up will offer unbeatable views of Frisco and its surrounding areas.
To get to this trail, walk from the Main Street in Frisco, following directions for the trail, which is near to Rainbow Lake. However, once you reach the signs, you’ll head in the direction of Mount Royal, where you can start the hike.
As you embark on the hike, you’ll soon discover why it’s been deemed a good replacement for a “Stair Master” machine. However, your mind will be easily distracted by the spectacular views of Lake Dillion. Hiking poles are recommended as you walk along this trail since there are quite a few loose rocks.
On your journey to the summit, you’ll pass through an abandoned mining camp, Masontown, which was deserted in the 1900s before being wiped out in 1926 by an avalanche. However, there are still some red brick foundations, mineshaft tailings, and structures remaining, providing you with an insight into what the area looked like many years ago.
The route to Masontown is one mile, but if you want to continue to Mount Royal’s summit, you’ll need to hike another mile to the top. Make it up there and you’ll have instant bragging rights, as you’ll have conquered the most recognizable peak you can see from Frisco!
These are just four of the many incredible day hikes on offer in Frisco— they’re perfect for enjoying a couple of hours exercise or for enjoying a day full of adventure.
All of these trails, plus many more, can be enjoyed from Frisco Inn — book your stay today.