Open Space & Trails Department
The Summit County Open Space and Trails Department identifies, protects, and manages open spaces, trails, and trailheads to preserve and maintain Summit County's rural mountain character, unique natural areas, and high quality of life for residents and visitors.
Quandary Peak and McCullough Gulch
Visitors wishing to hike Quandary Peak or McCullough Gulch during summer 2023, must reserve a parking reservation or ride a shuttle from June 17 to September 17, 2023. Outside of this time period, parking is free and first-come, first-served at the Quandary Peak Trailhead parking lot. Visitors can make parking reservations and purchase shuttle tickets beginning June 1, 2023. For more information about the 2023 Quandary Peak and McCullough Gulch program, please click here or visit the "Quandary Peak & McCullough Gulch" tab on the left-hand side of this webpage.
Peabody Placer Hazardous Fuels Reduction
Summit County, the Town of Breckenridge, Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS), and the United States Forest Service (USFS) have partnered to continue Hazardous Fuels Reduction (HFR) work on the Wildland-Urban Interface in the Golden Horseshoe near Breckenridge. Starting later this month, logging crews will be harvesting timber from 86 acres across three distinct treatment areas off Gold Run Gulch Road, on the Peabody Placer Open Space and nearby USFS lands.
Full closures on Upper Flume, Middle Flume, and Hard Luck trails, and temporary closures on Extension Mill Road, will be in place while heavy machinery is working on and around trails in the treatment areas. Closures may last up to five days, Monday through Friday, and trails will be reopened on weekends and for special events.
Trails will fully reopen when conditions are safe for recreation, but machinery will continue to work in the treatment areas and cross trails, when necessary, throughout the duration of the project. Hauling will occur on Tiger Road and Gold Run Gulch Road and users should be prepared to encounter logging trucks along these routes throughout the project. Work must be completed by October 31st, and completion is anticipated within 6-8 weeks of the start date.
For your safety, please obey all posted closures and signage, and use caution when travelling through areas with active logging. Trail closures can be avoided by using Gold Run Gulch Road and Slalom trails. Project information can also be found on popular recreation apps including Trailforks, MTB Project, and AllTrails.
For project updates, including start dates, closure notifications, and general information, please visit the project webpage and follow Summit County on Facebook and Instagram (@SummitCountyGov). This project is being funded by the Summit County Strong Futures fund with matching funds from the Denver Water Forests to Faucets grant program.
Summit County Open Space & Trails Master Plan
Summit County Open Space & Trails recently finalized its NEW master plan. Since the 1990s, our department has protected over 17,000 acres of land. We also manage more than 100 trailheads and local trail portals, 38 miles of paved Recreational Pathways (i.e., the RecPath), approximately 100 miles of natural surface trails, and 50 miles of dirt roads. After decades of successful open space protection and trail construction, we now face new challenges with natural resource management and visitor use. With our new master plan guiding us into the future, we will be better able to address challenges proactively and adapt to change.
- To view the Open Space and Trails Master Plan, please click here.
- To view the Executive Summary of the Open Space and Trails Master Plan, please click here.
Open Space and Trails preserves the county's rich heritage of outdoor recreation and trail use. The county’s immense scenic beauty and mix of geography, public lands, and tourism combine to create world-class recreational amenities and opportunities. By and large, recreation remains the most important aspect to a vital Summit County economy.
Open Space and Trails works with multiple partners including the U.S. Forest Service and our local towns. Our properties are often gateways to the vast recreational resources that the U.S. Forest Service provides. We have numerous trail portals and parking areas throughout the county, providing a variety of recreational opportunities.
Avalanche Awareness & Backcountry Safety
No matter what type of outdoor activities you choose to pursue in Summit County during the winter months, proper gear and knowledge to keep you safe in the mountains and avoid avalanche risk is essential. Learn more here and Know Before You Go.
AccomplishmentsThe State of the Open Space Report (pdf) summarizes the Summit County Open Space and Trail department’s accomplishments since its inception in 1995.
The report presents the current open space system and the many trails owned and managed by Open Space and Trails. It also provides clear metrics to measure the progress of the Open Space and Trails Department, including miles of trails, acreage of protected lands, and acquisition-related expenses.
- The program has protected almost 17,500 acres of land as open space through over 347 acquisitions and dedications, working with over 200 landowners.
- Each tax dollar spent to date to purchase open space has protected over $3 worth of property in Summit County, because our funds leverage contributions from property owners, Great Outdoors Colorado, and other organizations.
- Together with its partners, Summit County manages more than 100 trailheads and local trail portals for convenient access to the county's bountiful, outdoor recreational opportunities.
- Summit County has constructed and maintains over 38 miles of Recpath, an off-street bicycle network. This is part of the 55 mile system throughout Summit County.
- Summit County manages approximately 100 miles of singletrack, natural surface trails and 50 miles of dirt roads with partners at US Forest Service and towns of Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne.
- 1,315 volunteer hours were contributed to county open space and trail projects in 2019 with an estimated monetary value of $32,875.
Watch elk, mule deer, coyotes, foxes, and mountain lions on Summit County Open Space.
Preventing Moose Attacks
More people are attacked by moose than by any other wildlife species, but attacks are preventable. See Colorado Parks and Wildlife's strategies for preventing moose attacks.