World class skiing is what comes to mind first when you think of Breckenridge. However, this charming mountain town isn’t just for winter sports. Locals in Breck have a saying: “Come for winter, stay for summer.” There is so much to do and see that you can stay just as busy in Breckenridge in July as you can in January.
While temperatures soar all over the country during the hottest summer months, Breckenridge holds steady at a comfortable 70-80. The high altitude and dry air keep temperatures pleasant even during the longest days of summer. At night, the air cools down and offers the perfect temperature for a bonfire. Forget heat and humidity, Breck offers sunny days and relaxing, cool nights.
Even though the ski slopes have thawed out, there are still plenty of outdoor sports to do in Breckenridge. The abundance of trails make hiking and mountain biking the two most popular outdoor sports. Trails can be accessed right in town, so you can be out in the wilderness in minutes. In addition to biking and hiking, fishing is also popular in the high country. Catch a trout in one of the pristine, high alpine lakes around town. If you are up for even more adventure, try a scooter tour with the sled dogs at Snow Caps.
There is no shortage of jeep, ATV and dirt bike trails to explore when you want to go a little further than your feet can take you. Some amazing mountain passes can only be summited with a high clearance, 4x4 vehicle. You can download White River National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps with this link
. For trail opening dates and conditions contact the Dillon Ranger Station. As you take off in your motorized vehicle, be sure to respect forest service postings and rules about what is allowed on roads and trails. The high alpine environment can be fragile; take care to follow the rules so that you and everyone else can enjoy it for years to come.
Dining and Shopping
When you are done adventuring, Breckenridge offers excellent dining and shopping. Take advantage of the many porches and patios throughout town to enjoy an al fresco meal in the fresh mountain air.
In addition to all of the great amenities that can be enjoyed every day, Breck locals also love all of the festivals that happen over the summer. It is the perfect opportunity to get out, mingle with your neighbors and meet new friends. Outdoor concerts, art festivals, Fourth of July celebrations and more draw a diverse crowd of locals and visitors. There is always something to do in Breck, whether it is an outdoor movie, an art class, a science workshop for the kids, or a bike parade. When you are not enjoying the wild, mountainous surroundings, you can find entertainment and activity in town. Locals love Breck for the sense of community that they find there all year long. Come, check out Breckenridge Resort Managers
for a cozy and comfortable condo or vacation home, and find out what you love about Breck in the summer!
Photo “FlyFishing2” by Liam Doran, courtesy of the Breckenridge Tourism Office
Photo Courtesy of Breckenridge Tourism Office
Infographic Courtesy of Breckenridge Tourism Office
Summer is a glorious time to wander through the woods, slopes, peaks, and brooks that surround Breckenridge on all sides. Whether you are a family looking for a hike all ages will enjoy, or you are out to conquer a fourteener, Breckenridge trails have something to offer for everyone.
When you set out, aim to hit the trail early in the morning. Afternoon thunderstorms roll in almost daily and getting caught in the lightening at high elevations can be very dangerous. Pack snacks and water. You need to stay hydrated even on a short hike, and you never know when you might encounter a problem that could delay you. Having a granola bar handy can stave off emergencies. Bring layers. A brisk morning can become very warm in full sun, or a single cloud can dramatically drop the temperature. Rain or even snow can come up in the blink of an eye. Stay prepared with light and easy layers and don’t forget a hat, gloves, and sunscreen. Now that you know the basics, you are ready to head out.
McCullough Gulch is an extremely popular hike, for good reasons. The terrain is interesting, the end destination is a stunning waterfall, it is easy to access, and short enough to accomplish in a few hours. It is an in and back trail that is 1.3 miles, one way. Some of the terrain requires a bit of hiking up and over rocks and around wet, muddy patches. This is a great trail for families that have done a bit of hiking before, but aren’t quite ready to log long miles. This is also an ideal trail when you are headed out alone, because there is a steady stream of fellow hikers. There is no danger of getting lost or stranded on this trail.
Access McCullough Gulch off of Highway 9. Head toward Hoosier Pass from Breckenridge and turn right on Blue Lakes Road or Forest Road 850, take another quick right on Forest Road 851 and follow it to the gate. Park here and follow the well marked trail.
The Peaks Trail is about nine miles one way. It runs from Breckenridge to Frisco. It meanders through forests, along streams and through clearcuts. You are sure to catch spectacular glimpses of the Tenmile Range all along the trail. Stunning wildflowers are also an added bonus. The Peaks Trail can be accessed from the base area of Peak 7 and drops out at the Rainbow Park Trailhead in Frisco. This hike is ideal if you don’t want to use a car. You can easily start on the Gondola to Peak 7 and then take the Summit Stage from Frisco back to Breckenridge. This hike is also a popular mountain bike trail, so expect some bike traffic and be courteous to one another.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Breckenridge Tourism Office
No list of hikes in Breckenridge would be complete without including Quandary Peak. Quandary is one of Colorado’s famed peaks above 14,000 feet. The trail is only 3.1 miles to the summit, but it includes a challenging 3,330 feet of elevation gain. It is imperative to start this hike early in the morning to avoid getting caught above timberline in a dangerous thunderstorm. While Quandary Peak is challenging, most avid hikers can complete this trail to the summit without complication. It does not require any technical or mountaineering skills. It is a very popular trail, so you are sure to meet some new hiking buddies along the way. The trailhead is visible from Highway 9 and can be accessed from Blue Lakes Road.
Detailed Trail Information
For detailed information about all of the trails in the area, including topographical maps go to the unofficial Dillon Ranger District webpage
. You can enjoy Breckenridge in a whole new way when you take to the trails in the summer. Try one of these three trails on your next visit.