At 9,600 ft above sea stage, scenic views are by no means in brief provide round Breckenridge.
Located on the north aspect of the Continental Divide on the foot of Colorado’s Tenmile Vary, Breckenridge delivers a spotlight reel of Rocky Mountain hikes with alpine lakes, picturesque waterfalls, and plush forests teeming with wildlife.
The substantial snowmelt results in roaring falls and cascades within the spring, and the mountain meadows are painted with wildflowers in late summer season.
The historic ski city is surrounded by towering peaks and rocky ridgelines, with 14,271-foot Quandary Peak and 13,690-foot Bald Mountain beckoning to adventurous peak baggers. Make the 1.5-hour drive from Denver to Breckenridge in late fall, and also you’ll take pleasure in a powerful eruption of golden aspen because the leaves change colours.
Like many Rocky Mountain cities, Breckenridge additionally has a wealthy mining historical past courting again to the 19th century. Most of the hikes round Breckenridge comply with outdated mining trails, so that you’ll usually come throughout deserted mining operations, mine shafts, and mining gear alongside the path.
Our checklist of one of the best hikes close to Breckenridge has one thing for everybody, whether or not you’re an adventurer trying to bag a 14er or a father or mother looking for a kid-friendly nature stroll. Many of those trails are dog-friendly, too, so be happy to convey your furry relations alongside to benefit from the contemporary mountain air.
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1. Spruce Lakes to Mohawk Lakes Path
Why it is best to go: An epic waterfall, an deserted mining operation, alpine lakes, and expansive views of the Tenmile Vary.
- Issue: Difficult
- Distance: 8.6 miles
- Elevation Achieve: 2,130 ft
As one of the crucial common hikes close to Breckenridge, a day journey to Continental Falls and Mohawk Lakes on the Spruce Lakes to Mohawk Lakes Path positively deserves a spot in your journey plans.
Following the Spruce Creek Path, you’ll have an opportunity to step again in time as you go by an outdated mining operation replete with cabins, mining gear, and mine shafts. Look however don’t contact, particularly in the case of the outdated shafts — you wouldn’t be the primary hiker to undergo an damage in case your curiosity goes too far.
You’ll attain Continental Falls about midway by the hike. The picturesque waterfall carves by a gully within the granite hillside, tumbling down three chasms to create a multi-tiered pure masterpiece. It’s a reasonably common native attraction as the most important waterfall close to Breckenridge, so anticipate a small crowd throughout peak hours and weekends.
Many of the path’s elevation good points come after Continental Falls, so take a very good breather earlier than trekking onward. Once you attain Mohawk Lakes, you’ll take pleasure in an amazing view of Mt. Helen from Decrease Mohawk Lake, and excellent views of the Tenmile Vary from Higher Mohawk Lake.
If an 8.6-mile trek sounds is an excessive amount of, remember the fact that 4WD automobiles can park additional up the path and shave off a pair miles. You can too go for shorter hikes to Mohawk Lakes with the Spruce Creek Street to Mohawk Lake or Mayflower Lake and Decrease Mohawk Lake hikes.
2. Burro Path
Why it is best to go: A household pleasant stroll alongside the creek by pine forest and meadows.
- Issue: Reasonable
- Distance: 6.1 miles
- Elevation Achieve: 920 ft
The Burro Path is a household favourite in Breckenridge, particularly for vacationers staying at one of many many lodging choices alongside Village Street. Whether or not you full the complete out-and-back hike, shorten it to a one-hour nature stroll, or proceed onward to one of many many different connecting trails, you’ll take pleasure in loads of contemporary mountain air within the pine forest and meadows.
The Burro Path begins on the base of Peak 9 at Breckenridge Ski Resort, close to the Quicksilver chairlift. The stress-free path by White River Nationwide Forest has a reasonable elevation achieve of 918 ft, making it an amazing hike for households. Canine are allowed on the path, although they’ll must be on a leash.
Associated Learn: 11 Lovely Nationwide Forests in Colorado for Outside Recreation
3. Bald Mountain Path
Why it is best to go: A basic, simply accessible 13er providing panoramic views of Breckenridge and the encompassing mountains.
- Issue: Reasonable
- Distance: 8.1 miles
- Elevation Achieve: 2,320
There are 27 Bald Mountains in Colorado, however at 13,690 ft, this specific peak in Arapaho Nationwide Forest stands excessive above the remainder. Typically referred to as Mount Baldy or Baldy Mountain, it’s one of the crucial iconic peaks within the Breckenridge mountainscape, and a preferred hike for Colorado peak baggers.
The total Bald Mountain Path is a bit of over 8.1 miles from the 2WD car parking zone to the summit and again, however you'll be able to shave that down by bringing a 4WD automobile. In truth, automobiles with sufficient clearance can climb the path for about 2.5 miles, reducing nearly 5 miles off of your journey.
Because the title suggests, you’ll climb by a skinny pine forest earlier than reaching the mountain’s bald spot — a rocky, desolate alpine tundra with little vegetation. The path isn’t effectively outlined, but it surely’s fairly simple to comply with the ridgeline. You’ll go a number of false summits earlier than reaching the true summit, marked by a cairn and wind shelter.
The summit of Bald Mountain presents excellent panoramic views. The City of Breckenridge and the Tenmile Vary lie northwest, with Swan Mountain and Dillon Reservoir close by to the north. You’ll additionally take pleasure in a wonderful vantage of Mt Guyot and Boreas Mountain.
4. Baker’s Tank Path
Why it is best to go: A beautiful fall hike that includes golden aspens and glorious views.
- Issue: Reasonable
- Distance: 5.1 miles
- Elevation Achieve: 880 ft
The Baker’s Tank Path is a good year-round path with reasonable elevation achieve, however this path particularly shines within the fall. It’s hands-down among the finest hikes in your entire state for having fun with golden aspens, providing grand views of the Tenmile Vary and Quandary Peak.
The excessive level of this hike is Baker’s Tank at 11,030 ft. In the course of the late 19th century and early 20th century, steam locomotives would cease at this historic tank to fill their water reserves earlier than tackling the steep grades and curves of the Rocky Mountains.
Some components of the Baker’s Tank Path provide solitude and tranquility, however you’ll be sharing the highway with mountain bikers and off-road automobiles by many parts. To keep away from the crowds, it’s finest to finish this hike early within the mornings and keep away from the weekends.
After all, in case you can’t beat them you may as effectively be a part of them. Be happy to convey your individual bike or off-road automobile to kick up some mud your self, or cruise alongside Boreas Go Street with a 4WD automobile to soak up the golden aspens from the consolation of your SUV.
5. Cucumber Gulch
Why it is best to go: A household pleasant nature stroll by the Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Protect.
- Issue: Simple
- Distance: 2.9 miles
- Elevation Achieve: 300 ft
The Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Protect sits under the Peak Eight gondola at Breckenridge Ski Resort. An enchanting array of wildlife name this 77-acre wetland dwelling, together with deer, elk, moose, beavers, mountain lions, and 47 species of birds. Given the well-maintained path and lack of elevation achieve, this is a wonderful trek for everybody from toddlers to seniors.
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There are a number of methods to hike Cucumber Gulch, together with out-and-back routes and loops. The out-and-back Cucumber Gulch Path is the group favourite, but it surely’s secure to say any Cucumber Gulch hike can be rewarding. Preserve a watch out for the lookout level on Shock Hill, the place you’ll take pleasure in views of Breckenridge with the Tenmile Vary within the background.
Over the winter, Cucumber Gulch and the encompassing trails are a part of the Breckenridge Nordic Middle. The cross-country ski trails are groomed every day, and the snowshoe trails are mapped, marked, and maintained. There are even warming huts alongside the way in which to maintain you snug.
Cucumber Gulch is an area treasure that’s continuously threatened by human site visitors and surrounding developments. To attenuate the impression on native wildlife, no canine are allowed on the encompassing trails.
6. Crystal Lake Path
Why it is best to go: Alpine lakes with commanding views of Mount Helen, Crystal Peak, and Father Dyer Peak.
- Issue: Difficult
- Distance: 8.Four miles
- Elevation Achieve: 2,560 ft
The Crystal Lake Path is difficult however rewarding, bringing you to 2 pristine alpine lakes on the head of a broad glacial valley within the Tenmile Vary. Should you’re brief on time, take into account driving the primary portion of the hike as much as Decrease Crystal Lake with a 4WD automobile, then mountaineering as much as Higher Crystal Lake to benefit from the views.
The path initially climbs by thinning forest till you go the treeline, the place you’ll discover one of the best views of the encompassing mountains. As you’re following Crystal Creek, preserve a watch out for elk and deer within the flower-filled meadows.
Decrease Crystal Lake sits in a shallow basin up Crystal Creek drainage. Higher Crystal Lake is about 900 ft larger in a high-walled cirque carved into the slopes of Crystal Peak and Father Dyer Peak. Canine are allowed on this path, although you and your pup will must be in good bodily situation to make the ultimate leg of the journey from Decrease Crystal Lake to Higher Crystal Lake.
7. Quandary Peak Path
Why it is best to go: Hike the 13th highest peak in Colorado and bag the one 14er within the Tenmile Vary.
- Issue: Difficult
- Distance: 6.7 miles
- Elevation Achieve: 3,330
If tackling probably the most difficult hike on the checklist appears like your factor, set your sights on Quandary Peak. At 14,265 ft, Quandary Peak is the very best mountain within the Tenmile Vary — a worthy adversary for any peak bagger visiting Breckenridge.
The Quandary Peak Path begins north of Hoosier Go in White River Nationwide Forest. It’s a comparatively brief hike with much less elevation achieve than different 14ers in Colorado, however don’t let that idiot you. Nearly all of the elevation achieve is available in two brief sections, they usually’re positively not for the faint of coronary heart.
From the summit of Quandary Peak, you’ll take pleasure in excellent views of close by 14ers together with Mount Democrat, Mount Cameron, Mount Lincoln, and Mount Bross. You’ll see Crystal Peak and Pacific Peak to the north, and the Gore Vary off within the distance.
Make sure you begin your hike early sufficient to achieve the summit earlier than midday, as you don’t need to get caught above the treeline in a day thunderstorm. Preserve a watch out for mountain goats, too — they’re could be a little aggressive in case you encounter one on the path.
8. Blue Lakes to Monte Cristo Gulch
Why it is best to go: A beautiful mountain hike with pristine alpine lakes, a waterfall, and the remnants of an outdated mining operation.
- Issue: Difficult
- Distance: 2.Eight miles
- Elevation Achieve: 1,130 ft
Should you’re a fan of alpine lakes and waterfalls, add the Blue Lakes to Monte Cristo Gulch hike to your checklist. It’s a little bit of a drive south from Breckenridge and the path is way from simple, but it surely’s effectively definitely worth the drive and climb.
The enjoyable factor about this hike is that you just begin from a scenic location close to Blue Lakes. After exploring the alpine lakes, comply with the path as much as Monte Cristo Gulch to see the remnants of an outdated mining operation. Your complete hike is above the treeline, so that you’ll take pleasure in breathtaking views from begin to end.
A few of the path critiques on the market point out it is a reasonably troublesome path, however don’t allow them to idiot you. It’s actually simpler in case you’re acclimated to the altitude, however the hike requires some rock scrambling, creek crossings, and steep descents. It’s positively definitely worth the effort, although, rewarding you with waterfalls, wildflowers, and loads of native wildlife.
9. McCullough Gulch Path
Why it is best to go: Hike the household pleasant portion as much as Higher Blue Reservoir and revel in glorious fishing, then proceed climbing to the higher valley with six extra alpine lakes.
- Issue: Reasonable
- Distance: 6.2 miles
- Elevation achieve: 1,570 ft
The McCullough Gulch Path is unquestionably within the working for the most well-liked hike close to Breckenridge. You’ll discover this path on the north aspect of Quandary Peak, the tallest mountain within the Tenmile Vary.
The McCullough Gulch Path initially follows an outdated mining highway up the drainage earlier than splitting on a rugged path to White Falls and Higher Blue Reservoir. We advocate making the one-mile-loop detour to White Falls if you attain the path marker, although White Falls itself isn’t really a part of this specific itinerary.
Higher Blue Reservoir is common with households and fishermen, so anticipate finding a crowd right here except you’re an early riser. The attractive lake encompasses a lengthy, open shore with loads of nooks and vantages to discover.
Most hikers (particularly these with children) cease for a picnic at Higher Blue Reservoir earlier than heading again, however the actually adventurous proceed onward and upward.
Climbing to the highest of the waterfall brings you to the huge higher valley, the place you’ll discover six extra lakes and tarns. There’s a faint path by the alpine meadows up right here, but it surely’s largely open tundra so you are able to do your individual route-finding.
10. Sally Barber Mine Path
Why it is best to go: A fast and simple hike alongside a creek to an deserted mining operation.
- Issue: Simple
- Distance: 2.Eight miles
- Elevation Achieve: 400 ft
The Sally Barber Mine Path is nice little hike for historical past buffs. Initially based in 1880 by a gaggle of Bald Mountain miners, the 365-foot Sally Barber Mine is likely one of the few well-preserved websites within the space which you can safely discover.
A lot of the unique mining gear continues to be strewn all through the positioning, and also you’ll discover a number of info indicators to supply a quick historical past lesson.
After all, the Sally Barber Mine Path isn’t nearly taking a historical past lesson — the mining space supplies a wonderful vantage of the encompassing space with lovely mountain views.
The path itself is household pleasant and nice for youths, whereas skilled hikers on the lookout for extra of a problem can proceed their day hike on one of many many backcountry trails that hook up with the Sally Barber Mine.
If you end up in Breckenridge over the winter, don’t cross the Sally Barber Mine off your checklist simply but. It’s a preferred path for snowshoeing and cross-country snowboarding, too.
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