Breckenridge is a well known skiing destination in Colorado, with world class resorts. It’s also a great place to take a summer vacation due to the number of outdoor adventure activities you can try. Let’s take a look at what you can do during a summer vacation in Breckenridge in my latest destination in focus feature.
Biking in Breckenridge
Breckenridge is as bike-friendly as it gets. It has paths and trails for road and mountain biking, but is also great for cruising around with family. It is home to a bike park for riders looking to practice or train. And it has something to offer both novice and experienced bikers and even kids.
The must-tries include the Blue River Recreation Path (Rec Path), a paved pathway that runs for miles and has a scenic mountain backdrop, and the middle flume, V3, B-Line and Gold Hill to Peaks trails, which are among the most popular of the town’s hundred-plus back-country trails.
The community is so big on biking that they celebrate this annually, every June, during Breck Bike Week. You can join in on the fun through bike-themed activities such as guided tours, demos and clinics, and the campfire ride—a night ride capped off with campfire s’mores.
Hiking in Breckenridge
With Breckenridge’s interconnected, extensive and well-maintained trail system, you can look forward to a variety of hiking options during summer. The best part: the scenery—from wildflowers to mountains and lakes—is serene and stunning and worth the time and effort.
You can go easy or begin with the paved paths along Blue River. You can head up Mount Baldy Road and check out the old Iowa Mill. You can step up your game by traversing Wheeler Pass, which rewards trekkers with views of the town, Crystal Lake, Quandary Mountain and Tenmile Range. Or you can challenge yourself and take on the trail leading to Mohawk Lakes, where breathtaking vistas await.
For a unique day-on-foot adventure, you can try trail running, guided wildflower and wildlife hikes, an in-town scavenger hunt, or touring ghost towns and silver and gold mines.
Fishing in Breckenridge
Find out why fishing at the Colorado Rockies is a top-ranked experience by adding Breckenridge’s famed fishing spots to your itinerary.
Lakes and rivers across town typically lose their ice cover before mid-June, so you can spend the day fly fishing at Lower Mohawk Lake (ideal for catching native cutthroat trout, the state fish of Colorado) or at Blue River (teems with fat brown and rainbow trout). If you are a beginner, seek out local shops with experts who can take you on a personal guided fishing trip and show you the basics. If you would like to introduce your kids to fly fishing, visit Maggie Pond. You can also reel in rainbow trout the traditional way at nearby Lake Dillon.
Rafting and SUPing
Although best known as a mountain town, Breckenridge has its share of water sports. With snowfall exceeding 300 inches during winter, there is enough mountain run-off to feed local rivers, lakes, streams and waterfalls, which in turn allows for both thrilling and relaxing water activities come summer.
One example is Standup Paddleboarding, which is more popular than ever thanks to numerous rental locations in areas such as Maggie Pond and Lake Dillon. Often referred to as SUPing, this lets you “float” freely on a still body of water while soaking in the surrounding views. You can even take things up a notch by signing up for an SUP river tour or an SUP yoga class.
Another tourist favourite is rafting. Perfect for groups or those travelling with their kids, Breckenridge rafting trips cater to adrenaline junkies as well as to those who prefer mellow rides. The waves are huge and the rapids strong in June, making this the best time to go whitewater rafting. When (and where) the water is tame and tranquil, you can enjoy nature-sightseeing and wildlife watching as part of a full-day float trip.
Summer Beer Fest
Breckenridge hosts an annual Summer Beer Festival every July, and it’s a standout mix of beer tastings and live music. Dozens of breweries offer beer tastings to attendees with pre-purchased tickets. And those who avail of VIP tickets are treated to a catered lunch and special-edition brews, receive a take-home mug, and enjoy access to private bathrooms. The festival has been running for over ten years, with tickets often selling out. There are also food and retail vendors on site.
International Festival of Arts
Make the most out of the fine mid-August weather by taking part in the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts. This annual 10-day event turns the spotlight on mountain culture and environment themes through a feast for the senses—a lineup that combines exhibits, installations, screenings, talks and workshops with eclectic performances and entertainment acts.
Whether you are interested in visual or street arts or are a film, theatre or music aficionado, this summer art fest won’t disappoint. On top of all this, it’s free! If you would like a behind-the-scenes look, you can even sign up as a volunteer.
Getting to Breckenridge
Getting to Breckenridge from the UK is very straightforward. There are regular flights from main UK airports to Denver International Airport, and on arrival, you can either hire a car or use a shuttle service. UK residents should keep in mind that they will need to to apply for travel authorisation under ESTA before you travel and have an electronic passport in order to take advantage of visa-free travel.
Image credits: Breckenridge Tourism Office (for both the mountain bike & beer festival image)
Image credit: Mark Pickthall/Breckenridge Tourism Office (for the WAVE festival image)