6 Best Hikes in Breckenridge: Trails You Have to Try
What do residents in the Breckenridge community do when it's not ski season? The beautiful mountain vistas surrounding the town are not just for skiing and provide many opportunities for other Breckenridge outdoor activities. The great outdoors call out to locals and visitors, and many hiking trails in the area let hikers see the Rocky Mountains up close with trails that are great for beginners and challenging hikes for enthusiasts. Ready to go? Get out and hike on these great trails in Breckenridge, CO.
Hoosier Pass Loop
Hoosier Pass Loop is an easy path about 10 miles south of Breckenridge. Take Highway 9 and look for the road trailhead on the right-hand side at the Continental Divide sign. This loop is 2.8 miles, and its surface is covered in gravel. Sunset is a glorious time of day to do this hike, as the views of the surrounding peaks are genuinely stunning.
Hoosier Pass Loop is an easy trail, although it does have a 688-foot elevation gain. This trail is great because it lets visitors say they have "crossed the Continental Divide" afterward. It's also reasonably easy to make it to the summit of this hike, which is above the treeline. After reaching the top of the summit, the trail loops back downhill the rest of the way for an easy out-and-back journey.
Boreas Pass Road
Find Boreas Pass Road and drive south on it from Breckenridge. The pavement ends after about four miles, where the trailhead for a great 6.5-mile hike begins.
Visitors can view the historic Section House, a wintertime ski hut, at the road's summit, which can be reserved for overnight stays. Hikers can also take in spectacular views of the Tenmile Range from the summit. One of the best times of year to do this hike is in the fall when the leaves start to change color. The road gains about 400 feet in elevation as hikers climb.
Boreas Pass Road is considered a relatively easy hike and is ideal for beginners. The path provides phone service throughout most of the journey, and many bikers and even motorists share the road.
Sawmill Trail is a short, flat, and easy hike that begins near downtown Breckenridge. The trailhead is simple to find — follow the signs from the base of the Snowflake lift. Another way to get here is by driving down Four O'Clock Road.
Sawmill is only one mile long and ends at a beautiful spot near the Sawmill Reservoir. Many people who make this hike bring along a fishing pole and spend the day near the water. There are plenty of shade trees (mostly pines) along this trail.
Hiking Sawmill Trail is a kid-friendly activity in Breckenridge due to its easy inclines. The best time of day to make this hike is in the late afternoon or early evening.
McCullough Gulch Trailhead
There are many ways to access the McCullough Gulch Trailhead. Visitors can reserve a parking spot at Quandary Peak or take a free shuttle ride from there to McCullough Gulch. Otherwise, hikers can take the shuttle from the Airport Road Lot in Breckenridge to the trailhead. And that's only the beginning of this adventure!
McCullough Gulch Trail is 6.4 miles long and has a steep 1,607-foot elevation gain. Hikers who reach the top are rewarded with stunning views along the way. Along this moderately difficult path, the trail passes waterfalls, shady forests, and alpine lakes, so hikers should have a little experience under their belts before attempting the climb. Don't forget to bring a camera, because the views are like nothing else in Colorado.
Mohawk Lakes Trail
Take Highway 9 south from Breckenridge for about two miles, then take a right onto Spruce Creek Road. Take this road to the end to find the Mohawk Lakes trailhead, a local favorite. This 5.6-mile moderate hike offers some of the best views in the entire area.
Continental Falls is the largest waterfall near Breckenridge, and the Mohawk Lakes Trail is the best way to view it. The hike also passes several beautiful alpine lakes. Lower Mohawk Lake is another site well worth viewing.
Expect an elevation gain of more than 1,400 feet while taking this trail, which is reasonably gradual. New hikers can still make this journey, so long as they set aside half a day for the trip. June and July are the best months to take the Mohawk Lakes Trail because that's when the wildflowers bloom.
The truly adventurous hikers will want to check out Wheeler Trail. Drive south of Breckenridge on Highway 9 and turn right on McCullough Gulch Road, then a half-mile past the Quandary Peak trailhead and turn right on County Road 852. Another half-mile down that road is the beginning of Wheeler Trail.
This 25-mile hike is one of the most stunning wilderness areas in the United States. It's rated as a challenging hike, with a 6,187-foot climb. Hikers don't have to travel to the end, but if they do, the views are well worth it.
Hikers will pass multiple alpine lakes while enjoying the Tenmile Range's fantastic views. Summer wildflowers are amazing here as well. This trail is also open to horseback riding, and its difficulty rating means it is never very crowded.
Enjoy Breckenridge's Spectacular Hikes
No matter the difficulty level of any hikes in the area, there's always a great view near Breckenridge. Leashed dogs are welcome on all of the hikes listed above, and some marked off-leash areas are also included.
There are many great destinations outside Breckenridge's homes; it just takes a bit of a hike to get there!