While Copper Mountain is your homebase for food, drink, and fun activities, we realize that you have to get out into nature for the best views. Luckily, Copper Mountain has several scenic hikes nearby. Before you head out, make sure that you are fed, hydrated, and have all the tools that you will need on the trail. This includes up to 3 liters of water, plenty of snacks, hiking boots or study footwear and several layers to be prepared for rapidly changing weather. A good place to start is Camp Hale in Center Village, where they sell all of the latest gear and have a coffee shop to make sure you have the fuel that your body needs to perform at altitude. Once you are good to go, hit up one of our favorite hikes that feature something for everyone, all within a stone’s throw of the resort. All of these hikes are rated as moderate so make sure that you are going your own pace.
Wheeler Lakes Trail
Wheeler Lakes is a 6.7 mile out and back that starts just on the other side of I-70 from Copper. The best way to get there is to walk or ride your bike (it is that close!). This hike has a little bit of everything: Aspen trees, lakes, wildflowers, and breathtaking views. The first part of the hike gives you some fantastic views of Copper and if there is live music playing in the village, sometimes you can hear it from the trail! Keep going until the sound disappears and you feel away from civilization. Just when you think you are away from it all, you’ll reach the top, and find views of Lake Dillon and the Town of Frisco. This hike is a really good workout so make sure to reward yourself at the top with a bite (Sky Chutes Coffeehouse at the Conoco gas station - which you pass on the way to the trailhead - makes fantastic sandwiches to-go).
Mayflower Gulch Grand Traverse
Mayflower Gulch Grand Traverse is a 5.9 mile hike that is beautiful year round. From Copper Mountain, the trailhead is just 6 miles south on Highway 91. The first three miles are through the forest as you go straight back towards the gulch. Once the woods open up, you will find the ruins of the Old Boston Mine at the bottom of rugged peaks. At this point, the trail veers to looker’s right and you will make your way up a series of switchbacks for about a mile for the steepest part of the trek. Make sure to stop and smell the flowers on the way! This is a great hike for the whole family. Once you are done, come relax those legs at Downhill Duke’s and enjoy a beverage, food, and live entertainment.
Shrine Ridge Trail
Shrine Ridge is a 4 mile hike located less than 11 miles from Copper. We recommend doing this one later in the day to catch the alpenglow. Be sure to keep on an eye on the weather though! It can change rapidly up here in the mountains especially later in the day. Start with a leisurely breakfast (Toast & Co. has the best brunch patio) and enjoy some activities in the village before packing up. Once the afternoon hits, head west on I-70 and take exit 190. Enjoy the scenic drive on Shine Pass Road to the trailhead. Fun fact: several Copper Mountain employees volunteered with the U.S. Forest Service to build the first part of the Shrine Ridge Trail to help make our trail system beautiful and useful! You will start off with some fantastic views including Copper in the distance! This is one of the best wildflower hikes so don’t forget to look down.You will go over a stream a few times, up some rocks and you are almost on top of the world with your final destination at 11,905 feet. Enjoy the sunset and hike down with your headlamp on.