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dlynne Aug 16th, 2011 08:55 AM

Keystone in September
We're having a girls' week (ages 30-50ish) in Keystone Sept 9-15. I'm looking for favorite restaurants, and whether you know if they'll be open or not. We like to try new things, and prefer healthy, locally sourced foods. Suggestions of fun things to do or good day trips would also be appreciated! We're fairly active... will be looking into whitewater rafting if it's still going on, and other activities. Do you have a favorite hiking area? Any particular area especially pretty that time of year? Has anyone done a Wagon Dinner? (I know, might not hit the healthy mark, but sounds like it might be fun) Also, any tips on altitude sickness and how common this is? We considered staying in Denver our first night to get a little acclimated. Thanks for your help!

fmpden Aug 17th, 2011 07:27 AM

Lots of questions, few answers. Keystone will be pretty dead since it is the change over season between summer and skiing. Vail or even Breckenridge would be a better choice. Without checking, I would believe that the higher end restaurants will be closed as will be most tourist oriented activities. Better restaurant selections will be available in Vail and Breckenridge and even Frisco. Whitewater raft has been over since August - low water levels. Somewhere like Vail because it is much larger would have some activities still going but you need to check carefully.

Spending a night in Denver will have little impact on altitude adjustment. Altitude sickness is extremely unpredictable. You could come here four time with no problem and sick as a dog on the fifth trip. Usual precautions - lots of water. min booze, watch the exercise level, etc. It takes at least a day or two per thousand feet of gain to adjusted. So where are you coming from?

Leaves will be changing at that time especially at the higher elevations. The Mineral Belt trail in Leadville should be very pretty at that time. Any of the high mountain passes should be pretty. Best part about that time is that you should find lots of deals. Some of the restaurants that are open will be offering 2 for 1 especially in Vail. Lodging will be cheap.

Good luck.

AustinTraveler Aug 17th, 2011 09:56 AM

Not sure why you chose Keystone as it's a pretty dead place. We were in Breckenridge recently and drove to Keystone and there was nothing going on at all.

If you're stuck staying there because of a timeshare or something, then I would suggest taking day trips to Breckenridge and Vail. Really loved Vail the best.

Swan Mountain Road between Keystone and Breckenridge is really pretty. We loved our hike at Lower Cataract Lake. It is about a 40 minute drive but a pretty drive and well worth it.

The altitude definitely affected us, especially when we took the gondola in Breckenridge and then the ski lift chairs all the way to the top of the mountain. Definitely have water with you at all times and drink way more than you think you need.

The best restaurants we ate at in Breckenridge were Southridge Seafood and Modis. Hearthstone is highly rated but we found it highly overrated. Also, the Breckenridge Brewery had probably the worst salsa and guacamole I've ever eaten.

In Vail we loved Sweet Basil. Basically just loved the town of Vail in general. It's very well planned out and easy to get around. Vail also didn't have the "look at me" crowd of Aspen although it still has a very upscale feel. I guess I found it to be the perfect combination of upscale and laid back.

Frisco is a very cute little town and we enjoyed walking around it and going to the marina. Dillon and Silverthorne are good for grocery shopping/Target, etc. Also, there's a ranger station in Silverthorne, right on the main drag. The ranger in there helped us choose hikes and suggested Lower Cataract Lake, which was a winner for sure.

Sorry this is mostly about towns other than Keystone but I think you'll have to do some driving to find something to do. That said, driving is easy and time passes quickly because it's so damn beautiful all around you!

Nelson Aug 17th, 2011 05:27 PM

You've received some great advice already. A great hiking area is Mayflower Gulch. Everything from lovely short strolls to intense 13'ers.

Spending a night in Denver might help with altitude acclimatization, but fmpden hit it on the mark: it's totally unpredictable. A second to advice, and you should be OK. Pay attention if any symptoms worsen to a bad headache or nausea, then consider getting down to lower elevation.

Nelson Aug 17th, 2011 05:37 PM

Correction: I meant to say "A second to <i>his</i> (fmpden's) advice" on dealing with altitude.

dlynne Sep 8th, 2011 09:04 AM

Thanks much! We're in Keystone because we got it at a silent auction. We'll have fun regardless, and it sounds like the drives will be part of enjoying the area! Thanks for you help!

sylvia3 Sep 9th, 2011 04:05 AM

I suggest a drive up to Leadville (about an hour); lots of history and scenery.

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