If you have spent much time skiing Colorado's front range, chances are high that you have dealt with the crowds- from standstill traffic on I-70 to hour-long waits at Summit County restaurants, the horde of tourists mixed with Denver's weekend warriors can be quite a headache. I prefer to sit down while I enjoy a drink after a long day on the mountain. Here are five pubs that tend to avoid 3 PM tourist rush, meaning you won't be stuck standing awkwardly between a wooden post and a family with screaming kids.
606 6th Street, Georgetown
Georgetown is often overlooked as an apres spot, tucked just east of the highway with only one exit and lacking the mainstreet staples found just up the highway in Idaho Springs. That makes it perfect for relaxing after a pounding the slopes all day. Lucha features fresh Mexican food and a full bar with a rustic wooden ambiance. There is even a Rathskellar bar in the basement, if you are feeling a shady game of poker or private conversation.
720 E. Main Street, Frisco
Backcountry is perfect for a beer and delicious pizza after a day at Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, or east of Summit on your way back towards Denver. The house beers are delicious. I recommend the Pilsner. You can sit over a drink near the large fireplace, at the bar, or in the dining room. Feeling balls-y? Try the Rocky Mountain Oysters. Hint: they don't come from the ocean.
Vintage Moose Tavern
123 6th Ave., Idaho Springs
The Vintage Moose is the definition of a solid mountain town dive bar. Full of locals sitting over cold beer and conversation, the Moose has a pubfare menu and you will not find cheaper beer anywhere in town.
Silver Plume Saloon
510 Main Street, Silver Plume
Silver Plume is even less-frequented than Georgetown by the out-of-towners. The Silver Plume Saloon is the perfect spot for draft beer and bar food while you wait for traffic to mellow out. If you're friendly they may even build you a fire and if you get a little too sauced, offer up some sleeping bags.
Summit House Grill and Tap
14285 Colfax, Golden
If you are wanting to beat the traffic backlog and make it to Denver before stopping, Summit House is situatied just off the 6th Ave exit from I-70 across from Colorado Mills. They tried pretty hard to put forth a mountain town ambiance, and compared to the majority of the city have done a decent job. The food is typical American fare but done well in a scratch kitchen- and the place features 24 craft beers on tap.