The Best Things To Do in Summer in Breckenridge, Colorado
Surrounded by daisies on Kokomo Pass, Colorado Trail, Breckenridge, Colorado | © Raquel Mogado / Alamy Stock Photo
If you are heading to Colorado’s Breckenridge this summer, expect a fun-filled outdoor adventure from start to finish.
Enjoy incredible hiking, biking, fly fishing and whitewater rafting all on your doorstep – while breathing in lungfuls of fresh Colorado air. The town itself is a historic hidden gem dating from the 1900s gold rush and edged by wildflower meadows. We’ve hand-picked the best things to do here for the most memorable summer in Breckenridge. Enjoy.
© Panther Media / Alamy Stock Photo
The snow melts on the Rocky Mountains to reveal wildflowers blooms, serene alpine lakes and burly waterfalls. Hiking trails here range from easy-peasy and pleasant to thigh-burning day-long challenges. The Iowa Hill Loop is a pleasant stroll through an 1800s placer mine site and at 3mi (4.8km) long, it’s more popular with history buffs than hardcore hikers. At the other end of the spectrum is Quandary Peak: a rigorous hike that’s only 6mi (9.6km) long, but climbs vertically up 3,305ft (1007m). It will take you anywhere from three to nine hours to complete.
Go Mountain Biking
© Dave Stamboulis / Alamy Stock Photo
Breckenridge is home to a legit year-round biking scene. With endless miles of trails and paths opening up in the summer from technical to family-friendly, it suits bikers of all levels and speeds. In summer, the most popular mode of transport here is the mountain bike. It’s easy to rent all the gear and enjoy self-guided adventures or organized tours. It’s a great way to explore nearby towns and there’s a popular (and wobbly) beer and distillery bike tour.
Epic Discovery for Kids
Ski Resort, Amusement Park, Hiking Trail
© Dan Leeth / Alamy Stock Photo
Buckle up for some high-octane family-friendly fun that will blow your socks off. Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Epic Discovery is located at the base of a mountain and it’s accessed by the (free) BreckConnect Gondola from town, pretty cool already. And once you’re here you get free reign on summer activities – from bungee trampolines and ziplines to an alpine slide winding through treetops. There’s also biking and hiking trails, scenic lift rides – for calmer moments – and mini-golf, open from June to early September.
Drink Craft Beer at Broken Compass Brewing
Craft Ale Bar, Beer
Owned and founded by Jason and Jolene Ford and fronted by a team of friendly bartending beer enthusiasts, this is a wonderful spot to while away a sunny afternoon in Breckenridge. This off-the-beaten-track brewery and taproom opened its doors in 2014 and serves up a variety of delicious beers. Try the ginger pale ale, Irish red and mango passionfruit sour while the Slope Sipper Kolsch is their latest brew – it’s a popular hangout with both tourists and locals.
Join a Craft Workshop at Breck Create
Art Gallery, Music Venue
The opportunity to make a mess and create something beautiful to take home as a souvenir has never been so enticing. At the Breck Creative Arts Center, you can craft a mug at a clay molding workshop, have a go at gardenscape printmaking, or learn about edible wild plants in a foraging class. There are also specific toddler art sessions, spoken word poetry for teens and a Mixed Up Media class for children. All teachers here are friendly, fun and very talented.
Sip Whiskey at the Breckenridge Distillery
Who said whiskey is a winter drink? Breckenridge Distillery is the highest distillery in the world and is open from springtime to blend water from the Rocky Mountain snowmelt for mineral-infused whiskey perfection. Book a tour and tasting to learn all about the craftsmanship, skill and knowledge imparted at each stage of the distilling process. The whiskey – from bourbon to spiced – is award-winning and bringing home a bottle or two is a must.
Watch the Gold Panning Championships
Music Venue, Memorial, Market, Historical Landmark
© Universal Images Group North America LLC / Alamy Stock Photo
Breckenridge was founded in 1859 during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. While gold panning hasn’t been a daily necessity for decades, the tradition is kept alive by this fun annual competition. For three days over a weekend in June, the town steps back in time and invites visitors and locals to roll their sleeves up and pan for gold together – all necessary tools will be provided and it’s free to join in. Look out for plenty of fun unfolding on the main street.
Enjoy Fly Fishing
Architectural Landmark, Natural Feature
© Landscapes / Alamy Stock Photo
This pocket of Colorado is abundant with rivers, streams and alpine lakes all within an hour of downtown Breckenridge, making it a popular spot for fly fishing. For beginners, get involved by visiting either Breckenridge Outfitters and Mountain Angler shops in town and ask for a knowledgeable guide to take you out. Both outfitters will provide you with everything you need: including fishing licenses, rods and reels, waders and boots. If you’re going it alone some of the best places include the Blue River, Eagle River and Colorado River.
Go Horse Riding
© Edwin Remsberg / Alamy Stock Photo
In the wild-west, a horseback ride is a must – it would be rude not to saddle up. The Ten Mile Range has been explored on horseback for over 100 years and Breckenridge Stables has been taking people out on trails since 1976. They have over 100 horses to choose from – with a mare or stallion to suit your ability. You’ll be in the hands of experts who will keep you safe as you master river crossings, circle beaver ponds and take in panoramic views. Yehaar!
Experience White-Water Rafting on the Blue River
© Josh Schutz / Alamy Stock Photo
A summer trip to Colorado wouldn’t be complete without an afternoon spent hurtling down wild rapids in a dinghy. The whitewater rafting season in the Rocky Mountains begins in May when the snow melts and gushes into the nearby rivers and runs until early September. From huge waves to mellow floats that showcase scenery and wildlife tours, these can all be customized to suit age, ability and thrill-seeking levels. Popular rafting locations near Breckenridge include Browns Canyon, Blue River, Colorado River and the Clear Creek Canyon.