NEW Summit County Naturalist Website!
The Friends of the Dillon Ranger District just released a new website with the most amazing information on the flora, fauna, and habitats of our mountain community.
There is so much to learn from this amazing resource - for adults and kids alike.
There are three "Life Zones" in the Dillon Ranger District:
There are some amazing hikes in Summit County that can take you through all Life Zones in one day! Here is some information directly from their website:
The Montane Forest is where we spend most of our day to day here in Summit County. As you drop into Summit County from the tunnels, Dillon, Silverthorne, and Frisco all greet you at under 10k ft in elevation. As you make your way to Breckenridge, you end up around 10k ft when you settle into town.
The Subalpine Forest is one of my favorite habitats in Summit County. It is impossibly green in the summer and the wildflowers are straight out of a postcard. If you can hike at this altitude, I highly recommend it. One of my favorite hikes is in Silverthorne coming out of the Willowbrook neighborhood and heading up to Eccles Pass. It is breathtaking.
The Alpine Tundra can feel like another planet. Situated above treeline, you will find scrubby brush and windswept mountain tops. While the flora may seem like it is hardy at this altitude (I mean, it is in some of the harshest conditions of the mountains!), it is quite fragile. It is important to stick to the trails in this zone to avoid destroying the plant life. There are a number of trails that will bring you above treeline in Summit County. Before you head out above treeline, be sure that you are well prepared with water, food, and sun and wind protection - there is no shelter to be had! It is best to enter this zone early in the day before the threat of afternoon thunderstorms.
I hope you find this information to be as interesting as I do! Make sure to check out their website and sign up for their newsletters to get the latest on their programs and volunteer opportunities!
Stay Wild and Free!