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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.