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Living in the Colorado High Country

Travel just an hour or so west of Denver and you’ll find two of the most idyllic, sought after mountain communities of the Colorado Rockies; Summit and Grand Counties. Each community in these two very special counties offers something different in mountain living.

Our Mountain Communities

Summit County

Summit County is nestled in high among the rocky peaks of the majestic Rocky Mountains on the western slope of the Continental Divide. With most of its rustic 619 square miles residing within National Forest boundaries and extreme elevations ranging anywhere from 7,900 to 14,000 feet above sea level, this mountain recreational area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts year round. Hence its nickname, "Colorado's Playground".

Eight distinct towns comprise Summit County: Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, Montezuma, Silverthorne, Keystone and Heeney – each provides a unique Old West charm and world-class amenities. Locals and visitors alike tend to live the “work hard, play hard” philosophy of Summit County, enjoying adventure and a relaxed lifestyle at the same time.

While the county is a top tourist destination for people from around the world, over 28,000 residents call Summit County home.

Grand County

Grand County is just an hour's drive from Denver on I-70 and Highway 40. In this quaint mountain refuge, you’ll find the towns of Winter Park, Fraser, Tabernash, Grand Lake and Granby, tucked among the famed Rabbit Ears, Gore and Never Summer Mountain Ranges. Winter Park offers peak skiing at one of the nation’s most popular ski resorts, while the surrounding areas provide endless outdoor recreation no matter the season.

Grand County offers 14 unique Colorado mountain towns, including Grand Lake, Granby, Winter Park, Kremmling, Fraser and Hot Sulphur Springs. Rich in history, Grand County is reminiscent of westward expansion and the gold rush era while maintain a reputation as one of Colorado’s top areas for outdoor exploration.

In addition to the year-round tourism, Grand County is home to over 14,000 residents, thanks to the Grand County School District, medical resources and ample amenities that make living here so desirable.

Taos County

Formed in 1852, the historic Taos County is full of culture and history. This scenic region lies in northern New Mexico. Bordered to the north by Colorado, Taos County lies across the Southern Rocky Mountains. Taos includes the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Range, which is famous for its aspen shaded mountainsides, and home to the highest point of the county, the summit at Wheeler Peak (or Mount Wheeler), standing at 13,161 feet. The county contains over half of New Mexico’s highest peaks and the highest elevation of any other county in the United States outside of Colorado.

Taos County is comprised of two towns, two villages, and numerous other communities. These unique New Mexico towns and villages include Taos, Red River, Taos Ski Valley, and Picuris Pueblo. Steeped in history, the famous Taos Pueblo has been inhabited since the mid-1300s, with the first Spanish explorers coming to the areas in 1540. Keeping the history and culture of the pueblo people and ancestors continues to be important to Taos County today.

Whether you’re visiting Rio Grande Gorge, Taos Ski Valley, or the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, you can step back in time while feeling more connected to the origins of the towns around you. Home to 32,937 annual population, Taos County continues to be an under-the-radar year-round vacation destination as well as the ideal location to call home.

Gunnison County

Gunnison County is a naturalist’s paradise. Home to an ample amount of national wilderness and recreation areas, and two national forests, this county expands over an area of 3,260 square miles. Gunnison is the fifth-largest county in Colorado with an estimated population of 15,500. Spend a day hiking on the famous Colorado Trail, or visit the historic Crystal Mill of Marble, Colorado.

Gunnison County consists of 14 uniquely lovely towns, like Crested Butte, Gunnison, Somerset, Marble, and Almont. From iconic mountain towns to hidden gems, Gunnison is a heaven-sent place for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. Although the town of Gunnison is the seat of the county, Crested Butte is our favorite little ski town that you might not have heard of. Both towns offer endless activities and sports year-round, and with the best adventures that nature has to offer right at your fingertips, there’s no better place to spend your time.

While Gunnison County is expansive, there are many charming, “local secret” neighborhoods that exist in every town. If you’ve fallen in love with Gunnison County, now is the perfect opportunity to make it your next getaway spot or home. These hidden gems won’t stay hidden for long!

Eagle County

Named after the Eagle River that runs through the west-central portion of Colorado, Eagle County was created in 1883. Well known for its scenic trails, protected forests, and of course, the popular ski town of Vail, Eagle County continues to be a must-see destination for many. As much of Eagle County is comprised of America’s most popular National Forest, the White River, visitors from across the country visit for more than just their ideal ski vacations.

Eagle County is made up of 15 towns, including Eagle, Beaver Creek, and Red Cliff. However, the town that’s put Eagle County on the map is Vail, Colorado. This winter wonderland is a holiday destination that continues to be popular amongst visitors from across the country. Vail is home to the renowned Vail Ski Resort, meaning living in any of Eagle County’s delightful towns puts you close to all the popular events happening at the Resort and beyond.

Eagle County is known for more than just it’s exciting outdoor spaces and enriching communities, it’s also home to award-winning school districts and a competitive economy. Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to raise your family, retire, or just get away for a season, Eagle County is a desirable place to call home.

Summer Activities

Though most mountain town locals will tell you they moved here for the incredible skiing and snowboarding, a large number will admit they stayed for the perfect summers. With temperatures averaging a balmy 68 degrees, summer is the time of year to be in Summit and Grand Counties. Enjoy the sunny days on one of the many hiking and biking trails, rafting or kayaking the whitewater, playing on world-class golf courses or casting your rod in one of the many lakes and reservoirs. The Blue River, Snake River and Ten Mile Creek define the county’s contours as well as feeding Summit County’s two large reservoirs, the Dillon and Green Mountain Reservoirs. Grand County’s Grand Lake and Lake Granby offer endless summer fun, including boating, fishing, kayaking and more.

Winter Activities

Both Summit and Grand Counties are well-known for their world-class skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. Four major ski areas proudly call Summit County home: Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Keystone, while Grand County is home to the world-renowned Winter Park Resort and Granby Ranch. All of these ski destinations offer a little something for everyone. With an average annual snowfall of over 250 inches, low humidity, an average temperature of 30 degrees and over 300 days of sunshine a year: sunny “blue bird” skies, both Summit and Grand Counties are the norm for these winter vacation destinations.

Summit County Transportation

The Summit Stage free public transportation system is available to transport you to most ski areas, shopping centers and medical centers. This free bus service runs 7 days a week with convenient hours to get you where you need to go.

There are a number of options for getting around Grand County. Hop on the Western Motor Coach or Grand Lake Bus Service for getting around with ease, or fire up your Uber app for a quick pick up and drop off!

Summit County Schools

Raising a family in the Colorado Rocky Mountains is ideal when you have access to the right resources. Both the Summit County School District and East Grand School District provide students with a progressive educational environment.

With over 3,000 students enrolled yearly, Summit Middle School, Summit High School and six elementary schools employ 240 teachers, 175 support staff and 15 administrators to provide your child with a quality education.

The East Grand School District provides comprehensive learning to over 1,300 Grand County students, K-12. The East Grand School District Board of Education holds public meetings several times a month in order to further develop and encourage student achievement and improve academic and safety plans.

Summit County and Grand County schools not only offer students excellent academic programs and a plethora of extracurricular activities, they off the unique advantage of being able to participate in the many recreational activities mountain communities have to offer. Nordic skiing, ice skating, downhill skiing and racing, swimming, snowboarding and tele-skiing are just a few of the offerings provided to the students of Summit and Grand Counties.

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