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region_urltitle colorado
site_id 4
g summit-county
group_id 28
id 8
path group
r colorado
region_id 72
requestedURL colorado/summit-county


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Area History

Summit County, Colorado is located just 70 miles west of Denver and sits in the valleys of the spectacular Ten Mile, Williams Fork, and Gore mountain ranges. It is home to six notable towns—Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne, Copper, and Keystone. The county possesses spectacular beauty, year-round recreational opportunities, and is rich with over a century of history.

Originally the area was home to the Ute Indians and other indigenous peoples. However, gold was discovered in the Blue River Valley in 1859 and a gold rush ensued. In a short time mining camps were erected and the valley was populated with thousands of fortune seeking miners. The mining industry thrived until about 1918. Around this time, the area's population dropped to dismal numbers. Not until 1946 when post-war ski enthusiasts established Arapahoe Basin Ski Area did the current new boom era begin. The next ski areas to open were Breckenridge in 1960, Keystone in 1971, and Copper Mountain in 1972. Today there over three million skiers visit per season.  And it has become an extraordinary summer vacation destination as well.