Scenic views are abundant around Breckenridge, which stands at just over 9,000 feet above the sea level. Breckenridge is located 104 miles from Denver International Airport and 80 miles west of Denver.
Known for its ski resort, Breckenridge is part of Colorado’s most popular resort destinations. Like many Rocky Mountain towns, it features picturesque waterfalls, alpine lakes, and lush, beautiful forests filled with wildlife.
In the summer, you can enjoy activities such as ziplining, jeep and ATV tours, horseback riding, golf, sipping local brews, arts and culture, fishing, and hitting the trails. In the winter, there is so much more to do other than the usual skiing and snowboarding. You can sleigh ride through the woods, taste wine at the Continental Divide Winery, shop at the various storefronts, and even go sledding and tubing.
Rocky ridgelines and towering peaks surround Breckenridge, with the 13,690-foot Bald Mountain and the 14,271-foot Quandary Peak.
Breckenridge, just like many other Rocky Mountain towns, was also a mining settlement in the nineteenth century. As a result, abandoned mining equipment, mine shafts, and mining operations along the trails are often common.
Regardless of the expert level, Breckenridge is sure to have something for every adventurer. Furthermore, feel free to tag your furry friend along to enjoy the fresh air and great outdoors with you as most of the trails here are dog-friendly.
The following are the best hikes near Breckenridge, Colorado.
Sally Barber Mine Trail
This is a relatively short hike up a well-made forest road. It is a 2.8 mile out and back trail good for all skill levels. The 365-foot Sally Barber Mine was originally founded in 1880 by a group of Bald Mountain miners.
You can safely explore it as it is one of the few sites that have been properly preserved.
If you have kids or are looking for something that requires a relatively low amount of effort, then Sally Barber Mine Trails is perfect for you.
The trail features beautiful wildflowers and mountain views. It is most popular from May until September and is primarily used for birding, nature trips, walking, and hiking.
Mccullough Gulch Trail
This trail is a popular hiking destination for both locals and tourists alike. It is located 2.2 miles west of Highway 9 on the north side of Quandary Peak. It is known for its waterfalls and above timberline lakes.
The trail initially follows an old mining road up the drainage before splitting on a rugged path to Upper Blue Reservoir and White Falls. The Upper Blue Reservoir is particularly popular with fishermen and families.
The 2.2-mile hike meanders through wildflowers, meadows, past waterfalls, and evergreen forests.
Blue Lakes to Monte Cristo Gulch
The trail is completely above treeline, starting at 1,748 feet elevation. It is a short, moderate hike to a historic area full of mine relics and high alpine lakes.
The fun thing about the Blue Lakes to Monte Cristo Gulch hike is that you start from such a scenic location.
The hike requires some steep descents, creek crossings, and rock scrambling. It is certainly easier if you are acclimated to the altitude. Some of the breathtaking views you will enjoy include plenty of local wildlife, wildflowers, and waterfalls.
Quandary Peak Trail
Unlike the previous 3 trails, this one is a bit more challenging. It is a worthy adversary for any peak lover visiting Breckenridge. It covers 6.7 miles and will take you up to more than 3,300 feet on Quandary Peak.
Quandary Peak stands tall at 14,265 feet, which makes it the highest mountain in the Tenmile Range. It starts from the Quandary Trailhead, located just north of Hoosier Pass. To reach there, you will need to drive 14 miles north from Fairplay, or 8 miles south on Colorado 9 from Breckenridge.
Expect it to take anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours for a fast trail runner to 4 to 6 hours for the average hiker. For this reason, make sure to bring lots of water with you!
From the summit of Quandary Peak, you will enjoy outstanding views of nearby 14ers including Mount Bross, Mount Lincoln, Mount Cameron, and Mount Democrat.
Watch out for mountain goats as you hike the trail. They can be aggressive and likely to “stand their ground” if encountered on the trail.
Crystal Lake Trail
The Crystal Lake Trail is an 8.4-mile trail that features outstanding views of Father Dyer Peak, Crystal Peak, and Mount Helen. It is not for the average, beginner hiker.
If you happen to be short on time, consider driving the initial part of the trail with a 4WD vehicle. Then when you reach Lower Crystal Lake, hike the rest of the trail up to Upper Crystal Lake to enjoy the stunning views.
The trail rises to an altitude of 2,560 feet above sea level. Dogs are permitted on this trail, although both you and your furry friend will need to be in good condition physically to reach the Upper Crystal Lake.
Cucumber Gulch is a 2.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Breckenridge, Colorado. It is good for all skill levels and features beautiful wildflowers and wildlife.
Some of the fascinating wildlife that lives here include 47 species of birds, mountain lions, beavers, moose, elk, and deer.
Due to the good maintenance and lack of elevation gain, the trail is perfect for all levels. From toddlers to senior members of society.
Baker’s Tank Trail
The 5.1-mile trail with an 800-feet elevation gain is one of the best hikes in Breckenridge to enjoy golden aspens. It is a great year-round trail that offers grand views of Quandary Peak and the Tenmile Range.
While hiking the trail, you will likely enjoy it with off-road vehicles and mountain bikers. However, there are some parts of the Baker’s Tank Trail where you can enjoy some tranquility and solitude.
The Bottom Line
There you have it. 7 of the best hikes near Breckenridge. If you have any questions regarding the aforementioned trails, contact us at Bighorn Rentals.