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.