11 Jul 2016
Imagine this – sunny weather, fresh scents of pine, vibrant wildflowers and beautiful snow-capped mountains. These are just some of the great things about hiking in Breckenridge in the Summertime. Due to the endless forest and mountain terrain that encompasses Breckenridge, hiking is one of the many activities that Breckenridge has to offer. This allows you to fully take in the Rocky Mountain nature that defines Colorado, as well as capture photos of amazing views. In a recent blog post, we filled you in on fun events happening this Summer in Breckenridge. Now, here are some of the best summertime hikes in Breckenridge, whether you are looking for more of a casual hike, or are in for a full-day rigorous outing.
1. Easy – Sawmill Trail
This short, kid-friendly hike is the perfect way to start the day, and the trailhead is within walking distance from Main Street Breckenridge. A stream follows the wooded trail up to Sawmill reservoir for a perfect family photo opp. Tip – Stay at one of our beautiful Breckenridge lodging rentals located right next to the Sawmill Trail including the Highlander townhomes or Los Pinos townhomes (perfect for families), or our cozy Riverbend Lodge condos. Trailhead directions: Walk from south downtown/Main Street to the intersection of Four O’clock Road and Kings Crown Road to Snowflake Lift, where the trail starts.
2. Easy – Blue Lakes/Monte Cristo Gulch
High alpine lakes along with historic mines nestled in a bowl of towering 12,000 foot plus mountains describes this hike perfect for beginners. However, this hike starts at 11,748 feet, so be sure to acclimate to the altitude before embarking on this 2.5-mile round trip journey. Tip – Keep your cameras close by and eyes peeled for mountain goat sightings that are common in the area. Trailhead directions: From Breckenridge, take Highway 9 South for about 7 miles and turn right on Blue Lakes Drive. Take Blue Lakes Drive about 2 miles on a dirt road to the end, where you will see the lake’s dam and some parking spots.
3. Easy to moderate – McCullough Gulch Falls
Located near the popular 14,000-foot mountain Quandary Peak, this hike consists of lush flora, wildflowers, and rapid waterfalls. This approximately 3 miles out and back hike is the perfect start to the day, and allows you to get your hiking legs under you if are just starting your vacation. Tip – pack a lunch and eat on one of the many boulders surrounding the waterfalls. Trailhead directions: From Breckenridge, take Highway 9 South for about 8 miles and turn right on Blue Lakes Drive. Take a quick right onto McCullough Gulch Rd and drive about 2 miles (past the Quandary Peak trailhead) to the McCullough Gulch trailhead.
4. Moderate – Mohawk Lakes
Mohawk Lakes is a popular hike in Breckenridge due to its final destination – a pristine lake full of crystal clear water that is inviting for a swim on a warm summer day. This 6.8-mile out and back hike is a must for those who want to start through a shaded forest trail, and end above tree line. Tip – although this hike could be busy on the weekends, it’s still a must for those interested. If you are in Breck on a weekday, consider hiking then to avoid possible crowds on the trail.
Trailhead directions: From Breckenridge, take Highway 9 South approximately 2 miles to Spruce Creek Road. Proceed up the road for .1 mile and veer left, driving about 1.1 miles to the parking lot and trailhead.
5. Difficult – Quandary Peak
Quandary Peak is one of the 53, 14,000-foot peaks that we have in Colorado, that Coloradans call 14ers. Quandary is a peak that is not easy by any means, but can be done starting early in the morning and completed by mid-day to have a nice relaxing afternoon and evening. This hike is 6.75 miles, starts at 10,850 feet and ends at a 14,256-feet summit that allows you to take in breathtaking views of Breckenridge and surrounding peaks, including fellow 14ers Mt. Bross, Lincoln, Democrat and Cameron. Tip – with any 14er the key is to start the hike early in the morning due to fast moving, stormy weather that can occur in the area. Trailhead directions: Similar to the McCullough Gulch directions – From Breckenridge, drive south on Colorado 9 and turn right on Blue Lakes Drive. Drive a few hundred yards and turn right onto McCullough Gulch road. Drive .1 mile to the signed trailhead and a small parking area.
Enjoy these beautiful summertime hikes in Breckenridge! Looking for more? Read our explore Breckenridge blog to stay in the know of all activities, events and other great things about visiting this mountain town.