Breckenridge (or “Breck” as the locals call it) is one of my favorite towns in Colorado! When I think of Breckenridge I’m reminded of winter days spent skiing down the mountain, and drinking hot chocolate around the fireplace in a cozy cabin at night.
Breckenridge is also my favorite place to visit in the summertime! Its landscape includes luscious green meadows where you can get lost in the trees, and mountain peaks that offer incredible views. Some of my favorite things to do in Breckenridge in the summer are go hiking, off-roading, and camping. One of my favorite free campsites of all time is in Breckenridge! But you’ll have to read until the end to learn where it is.
Keep reading for your complete guide to Breckenridge in any season.
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Breckenridge is a popular ski town located in Summit County, Colorado, pretty much right in the middle of the state. It was put on the map during the Gold Rush, and a lot of the Victorian buildings from that era still make up the downtown area on Main Street today.
Nowadays Breckenridge is most well-known for its ski resort. It is the highest ski resort in Summit County, one of the largest in Colorado, and one of the busiest ski resorts in the world. You’ll read all about the resort and everything you need to know about skiing in Breckenridge below!
It’s really easy to get to Breckenridge from Denver and takes about an hour and a half, so it makes a great day trip or weekend getaway! Take Highway 70 all the way to Frisco, and then take State Highway 9-S into Breckenridge.
For a scenic route open seasonally you can take Loveland Pass (check to see if it’s open here), which will take you through multiple ski resorts. You’ll pass through Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone and into Breckenridge from there! Whenever I take a day trip to Breckenridge I like to take Loveland Pass on the way home to admire the sunset views after a dope day in the mountains.
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Blue Moose is a great little Breakfast restaurant downtown. It has a nice homey feel to it, the staff is so friendly, and the food is delicious! My favorite meal is to build my own omelette and drink the Moose Mimosa. The cinnamon buns are to die for too, but I recommend getting it to go because you’ll be full after your meal.
Head’s up: Blue Moose is cash only but there are ATMs nearby!
Ollie’s Pub and Grub is a cute little sports bar located right next to the gondola parking lot on the water. They have locations in both Breckenridge and Frisco, but I personally have only been to the one in Breckenridge. They have delicious bar food and a very long list of Colorado beers and cocktails on tap. Definitely stop by next time you’re in town!
Breckenridge Brewery is hands down my absolute favorite brewery in Colorado. It’s located right up the hill from Blue Moose and Ollie’s off of Main Street. They have a small space with tables outside, and an upstairs level with gorgeous views inside. Some beers you need to try include the Agave Wheat beer, Oatmeal Stout, and the Mango Mosaic Pale Ale.
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Like I mentioned above – sitting at 9,603 feet above sea level, Breckenridge is the highest ski resort in Summit County. It boasts 5 peaks and 34 chair lifts including the highest chairlift in North America, the Imperial Express, which brings you up to 12,840 feet above sea level. Together that makes up 2,908 acres of skiable terrain for every level from beginner to expert.
If you’re a beginner, the bottom area of Peaks 8 and 9 are for you. This is where the ski school and green trails are located.
If you’re an intermediate skier, the blue trails will be located mostly on Peaks 7 and 9. If you’re just getting off the greens, I’d recommend sticking to Peak 9 as it’s less narrow and steep than Peak 7. You could also connect to the green trails at the bottom if you get too overwhelmed.
If you’re looking for some tougher blues that can help you transition to blacks, make your way over to Peak 7.
If you’re an advanced skier, the black trails will be located at Peaks 8, 9, and 10. Peak 9 is a great place to start if you’re newer on blacks. While the runs are steep, they’re not too complex so it’s a great way to get a feel for things.
Peaks 8 and 10 are definitely for your advanced skiers. Peak 8 is where the Imperial Express is located, which makes way to some fun challenges and bowls. Peak 10 strictly consists of black and double black trails, and is the least crowded of them all.
Mayflower Lake is a gorgeous area in Breckenridge with hiking trails that are suitable for all skill levels. Take the Spruce Creek Trail to the Lower Mohawk Lakes Trail and you’ll soon arrive at the Mayflower Lakes. You can turn around here if you’re just looking for an easier hike, but if you keep going you’ll certainly be rewarded with some incredible alpine lake views. You’ll pass by Continental Falls before arriving at Lower Mohawk Lake and then finally Mohawk Lake.
Silver Dollar Lake is a popular hike located in nearby Georgetown Colorado. It’s a great hike for visitors in my opinion. It is considered to be moderately difficult as it is pretty short (about a 4 mile round trip) and only has about 1000 feet of elevation gain so it’s nothing too steep. It starts at a higher elevation (about 11,000 feet), so give yourself a day or two to get acclimated to the elevation if you’re visiting from out of town.
There are quite a few notable 14ers near Breckenridge including Quandary Peak and Grays and Torreys. They are a couple of tougher hikes so be sure that you’re well-prepared if you’re going to attempt them. That being said, they’re certainly not impossible hiking trails and are absolutely worth the view from the top!
Georgia Pass is a 19.8 easy off-roading trail that begins in Jefferson Colorado and ends in between Breckenridge and Keystone. It’s a great trail to drive if you’re just looking for an easy way to spend the afternoon and see some pretty mountain views. I saw mountain goats and dog sleds the last time I was on this trail too! It’s also great if you’re looking to be within close proximity to town.
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I’m not a fan of your traditional campsites that are generally located off of main roads with outhouses and whatnot. Instead, I prefer to find free campsites a little off the beaten path.
My favorite place to camp in Breckenridge is off Boreas Pass Road. If you prefer to stay near civilization, there are plenty of pull-offs off the main road where you can set up for the night. If you go a little further though you’ll find fire circles located in the woods where you’ll have luscious wide open meadows and creeks all to yourself.
These are my favorite campsites in all of Colorado!
4WD and high clearance is required to reach the campsites that are further off, but the campsites along the main road are just off a dirt road.
There is no service in the area so make sure you have a satellite phone, and be weary of the wildlife.
And enjoy your nights under the stars 🙂
Breckenridge is such a beautiful and special place no matter the time of year. I recommend it for summer, winter, van life, or just an epic vacation.
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