Things to Do in Breckenridge in Summer

Written by EJ Ray

July 1, 2024
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Experience the perfect blend of outdoor adventures and historic charm in Breckenridge, Colorado. Discover the top things to do in Breckenridge in summer and make the most of your trip.

Imagine a place where the charm of a historic mining town meets the thrill of outdoor adventures and the tranquility of nature. Welcome to Breckenridge, Colorado, a summer destination that rivals the allure of Aspen, the adventure of Jackson Hole, and the serenity of Lake Tahoe. Unlike its glitzy counterparts, Breckenridge retains a laid-back vibe that makes it feel like a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking the next rush, a nature lover looking to bask in the beauty of the Rockies, or a family in search of a perfect vacation spot, Breckenridge has something for everyone.

Breckenridge is ideal for visitors of all types, from solo travelers and couples to families and groups of friends. Summer is arguably the best time to visit, as the town comes alive with various activities that take full advantage of the stunning weather and breathtaking landscape. The mild temperatures and clear skies create the perfect backdrop for hiking, biking, and exploring the outdoors. With its vibrant community, rich history, and endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation, Breckenridge is the perfect summer retreat for anyone looking to escape the ordinary and experience the extraordinary.

Hiking Trails and Scenic Walks

Exploring its numerous hiking trails is one of the best ways to experience Breckenridge’s natural beauty. The McCullough Gulch Trail is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. This moderate hike takes you through lush forests, past cascading waterfalls, and up to stunning alpine lakes. The trail is approximately 2.8 miles round trip, making it accessible for most hikers, including families with older children. Along the way, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, wildflower meadows, and possibly even some wildlife sightings.

The Mohawk Lakes Trail is a must-do for those looking for a more challenging adventure. This trail is about 8 miles round trip and offers a more strenuous hike with significant elevation gain. However, the effort is well worth it, as the trail takes you to a series of pristine lakes nestled in the high alpine environment. The views from the top are nothing short of spectacular, with panoramic vistas of the Tenmile Range and the Continental Divide. Be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and a camera to capture the stunning scenery.

columbines at Mohawk Lake in Colorado

Mohawk Lake near Breckenridge, Colorado. Photo by Brendan Bombaci via Flickr Creative Commons

Boreas Pass provides a gentle and scenic option for a more leisurely walk. This historic route, originally used by miners and railroads, is now a popular spot for hiking and mountain biking. The trail is relatively flat and wide, making it perfect for families with young children or those looking for a more relaxed outdoor experience. Walking along Boreas Pass, you’ll be surrounded by aspen groves and wildflowers, with occasional views of the mountains and Breckenridge below. It’s a great spot for a picnic or to enjoy a peaceful afternoon in nature.

Mountain Biking Adventures

Breckenridge is a mountain biking haven with trails that cater to all skill levels. The town’s extensive network of paths includes everything from gentle rides through aspen groves to adrenaline-pumping downhill tracks. For beginners, the River Trail offers a smooth and scenic ride along the Blue River, with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the views. This trail is perfect for families and those new to mountain biking, providing a gentle introduction to the sport without sacrificing the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Summertime hiking trail in Breckenridge, Colorado

Setting out on the hiking and biking trails is one of the most popular things to do in Breckenridge in summer. Photo by KaraGrubis via iStock by Getty Images

For intermediate riders, the Flume Trail System is a popular choice. This network of trails includes the Lower, Middle, and Upper Flume Trails, each offering a unique riding experience. The trails wind through dense forests, open meadows, and past historical mining sites, providing a mix of natural beauty and local history. The terrain is varied, with some sections offering smooth, flowing singletrack and others featuring more technical challenges. It’s a great way to explore the area while getting a good workout.

Experienced mountain bikers will find plenty of thrills on the Peaks Trail, which runs from Breckenridge to Frisco. This challenging trail offers a mix of steep climbs, technical descents, and stunning views of the Tenmile Range. The trail is about 8 miles one way, making it a great option for a full-day adventure. For those looking for even more excitement, the Breckenridge Ski Resort opens its slopes to downhill biking in the summer, with lift-served trails that range from beginner to expert. With so many options, Breckenridge is truly a paradise for mountain biking enthusiasts.

Aerial drone photo - Rugged Rocky Mountains of Breckenridge, Colorado.

Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado offers great summer trails. Photo by nick1803 via iStock by Getty Images

ATV/UTV Tours

For a more rugged exploration of Breckenridge’s backcountry, ATV and UTV tours are a must. These tours take you off the beaten path, allowing you to experience the region’s hidden gems and stunning landscapes. Multiple companies are providing ATV tours near Breckenridge. Whether you’re looking for a thrilling ride or a scenic journey, ATV and UTV tours offer an unforgettable adventure.

ATV in Colorado

ATV tours are great ways to get out and explore during summer vacations in Breckenridge. Photo by Tyler Delgado on Unsplash

One of the most popular ATV and UTV tour routes is Georgia Pass, which takes you up to over 11,000 feet in elevation. This high-altitude trail offers breathtaking views of the Continental Divide and the surrounding peaks. The route winds through dense forests, open meadows, and rocky terrain, providing a mix of challenging and scenic sections. You might spot deer, elk, and even the occasional moose along the way. The guided tours provide all the necessary equipment and safety gear, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.

The guided tours are an excellent way to get started for those new to off-roading. The knowledgeable guides provide instructions on operating the vehicles and navigating the terrain, making it accessible for beginners. They also share insights about the local history, geology, and wildlife, adding an educational component to the adventure. More experienced riders can opt for longer tours that explore more remote and challenging trails. ATV and UTV tours offer a unique and exhilarating way to experience Breckenridge’s stunning natural beauty regardless of your skill level.

Water Activities

Breckenridge’s rivers and lakes offer a refreshing way to enjoy the summer sun. Kayaking and paddleboarding are popular activities on the Blue River and Maggie Pond. For those interested in fishing, Breckenridge is home to some of Colorado’s best trout streams and alpine lakes. Fly fishing enthusiasts can take advantage of guided trips to find the perfect fishing spots. Whether you’re gliding across a serene lake or casting a line in a rushing stream, Breckenridge’s water activities provide a perfect escape.

Fly fisherman on a river in Colorado.

Fly fishing is a favorite summer-time activity in Colorado. Photo by arinahabich via iStock by Getty Images

Kayaking on the Blue River is a serene and picturesque experience. The river flows gently through the heart of Breckenridge, offering a peaceful setting for paddling. Rentals and guided tours are available, making it easy for visitors to get out on the water. For those looking for a bit more excitement, the river also features mild rapids that can add a bit of thrill to the adventure. Paddleboarding on Maggie Pond is another popular option, offering calm waters and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It’s a great way to relax and soak up the sun while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Fishing in Breckenridge is a dream come true for anglers. The area is known for its abundant trout populations, including rainbow, brown, and brook trout. The Blue River, which runs through town, is a designated Gold Medal Trout Stream, offering some of the best fishing in the state. Several local outfitters offer guided fly fishing trips, providing all the gear and expertise needed for a successful day on the water. For those looking to fish on their own, there are plenty of accessible spots along the river and nearby alpine lakes. Whether you’re an experienced angler or new to the sport, fishing in Breckenridge is a rewarding and relaxing experience.

Rainbow Trout on the Eagle River

A fly-fisherman holds a large rainbow trout caught in Colorado. Photo by Ashton Call via iStock by Getty Images

Historic Main Street and Shopping

Breckenridge’s Historic Main Street is a charming area with unique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Stroll along the streets lined with colorful Victorian buildings and discover various local treasures. From handmade jewelry to mountain-inspired art, the shops offer something for everyone. Don’t miss the Breckenridge Welcome Center, where you can learn about the town’s rich history and pick up tips for your visit.

Breckenridge Colorado

Downtown Breckenridge, Colorado, is filled with quirky local shops, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. Photo by Garrett Smith via iStock by Getty Images

The shopping experience on Main Street is truly one-of-a-kind. Many shops are locally owned and operated, offering products that reflect the town’s unique character and heritage. You’ll find everything from outdoor gear and clothing to home decor and souvenirs. Art lovers will appreciate the numerous galleries showcasing works by local and regional artists. Whether you’re looking for a special gift or a memento of your trip, Main Street has something to suit every taste and budget.

Dining on Main Street is a treat in itself. The area boasts various restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering everything from casual bites to fine dining. Many establishments feature locally sourced ingredients and creative menus that highlight the flavors of the Rockies. After a day of shopping and exploring, relax with a craft beer at one of the local breweries or enjoy a delicious meal at a cozy bistro. Main Street’s vibrant atmosphere and historic charm make it the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the best of Breckenridge.

Breckenridge Summer Festivals

Summer in Breckenridge is marked by a vibrant festival scene that brings the community together and attracts visitors from all over.

Food lovers will delight in the Breckenridge Food and Wine Festival, a three-day event showcasing the best local and international cuisine. Held in the picturesque setting of Main Street Station Plaza, the festival features wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, and gourmet food vendors. It’s an opportunity to savor delicious dishes, learn from top chefs, and enjoy the festive atmosphere. Whether you’re a connoisseur or love good food, this festival is a must-visit.

The Fourth of July celebration in Breckenridge is another summer highlight. The day starts with a lively parade down Main Street featuring colorful floats, marching bands, and local performers. The festivities continue with family-friendly activities, live music, and a patriotic ceremony. The grand finale is a spectacular fireworks display over the mountains, lighting the night sky in a dazzling array of colors. The Fourth of July in Breckenridge is a quintessential American experience filled with community spirit and joyful celebration.

Golfing in the Mountains

Golf enthusiasts will find paradise at the Breckenridge Golf Club, a 27-hole championship course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Tenmile Range, the course offers challenging play for golfers of all skill levels. The Breckenridge Golf Club is known for its well-maintained fairways, challenging greens, and breathtaking mountain views, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Breckenridge Highlands Neighborhood and Golf Course

Early morning photo of the Breckenridge Golf Club. Photo by Ryan Purcell via iStock by Getty Images

Playing at high altitudes presents a unique set of challenges and rewards. The thinner air at elevation allows golf balls to travel farther, adding excitement to each shot. However, the elevation also requires adjustments in strategy and club selection. The course’s design takes full advantage of the natural terrain, with holes that wind through forests, cross streams, and offer panoramic vistas. It’s a golfing experience that combines the game’s thrill with the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

After a day on the greens, golfers can relax at the clubhouse, which offers dining and refreshments with stunning views of the surrounding peaks. The Breckenridge Golf Club also features a pro shop, practice facilities, and professional instruction for those looking to improve their game. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, the Breckenridge Golf Club provides a memorable and enjoyable experience in a truly spectacular setting.

Family-Friendly Activities

Breckenridge is an ideal destination for families, offering a range of activities that cater to all ages. The Breckenridge Fun Park at Peak 8 is a highlight, featuring an array of attractions that provide hours of entertainment. Kids and adults alike will love the alpine slide, which twists and turns down the mountainside, offering a thrilling ride with spectacular views. The park also features zip lines, a climbing wall, and a bungee trampoline, providing plenty of options for adventure.

The town’s mini-golf course is a fun and affordable option for a more relaxed family outing. Located at the base of Peak 8, the course offers 18 holes of family-friendly fun with beautiful mountain scenery. It’s a great way to spend a sunny afternoon, with plenty of opportunities for friendly competition and laughs. The Breckenridge Fun Park also offers scenic chairlift rides, providing a unique perspective on the surrounding landscape and a chance to spot local wildlife.

Educational activities abound in Breckenridge, making it easy to combine fun with learning. The Edwin Carter Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and work of the town’s pioneering naturalist, with exhibits that showcase his extensive collection of taxidermy specimens. The nearby Country Boy Mine provides guided tours that take visitors into an authentic gold mine, offering insights into the town’s mining history and a chance to pan for gold. These family-friendly attractions in Breckenridge provide a deeper understanding of Breckenridge’s heritage while keeping kids engaged and excited.

Wildlife Watching and Nature Tours

Breckenridge’s diverse ecosystem is home to an array of wildlife, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife watchers. The Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Preserve is a popular spot, offering a serene environment where visitors can observe moose, elk, and various bird species. The preserve features a network of trails and boardwalks that wind through wetlands and forests, providing ample opportunities to spot wildlife in their natural habitat. Early morning or late afternoon are the best times for wildlife watching, as animals are most active during these periods.

Guided nature tours offer a more in-depth exploration of Breckenridge’s natural beauty. Local outfitters provide tours that focus on the area’s unique flora, fauna, and geological features. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who share insights about the local ecosystem and conservation efforts. Whether you’re interested in bird watching, wildflower identification, or simply enjoying the tranquility of nature, these tours provide a rich and educational experience.

A close-up front-side view of a strong mature bull elk standing in a mountain meadow on a late Summer evening. Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado, USA.

Keep an eye out for elk and other wildlife during your summer visit to Breckenridge. Photo by SeanXu via iStock by Getty Images

For a more adventurous wildlife-watching experience, consider a hike to one of the area’s remote alpine lakes or high mountain meadows. These locations often provide sightings of more elusive wildlife, such as bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and even the occasional black bear. Be sure to bring binoculars and a camera to capture the incredible sights. Always respect the wildlife and follow Leave No Trace principles to help preserve these beautiful natural areas for future generations.

Relaxation and Wellness

After a day of adventure, unwind at one of Breckenridge’s many spas and wellness centers. Whether you’re looking for a deep tissue massage, a yoga retreat, or a holistic health experience, Breckenridge has it all. The natural surroundings provide a serene backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation. Take time to pamper yourself and recharge your body and mind.

Breckenridge boasts several world-class spas that offer a range of treatments designed to soothe and revitalize. From hot stone massages to aromatherapy sessions, these spas use techniques and products that harness the healing power of nature. Many spas also offer outdoor treatment areas, where you can enjoy your massage or facial while enjoying the stunning mountain views. It’s a perfect way to relax and unwind after a day of hiking, biking, or exploring the town.

Yoga and wellness retreats are another popular option for those focusing on health and well-being. Several local studios offer daily classes, workshops, and multi-day retreats catering to all experience levels. These sessions often occur in beautiful outdoor settings, such as mountain meadows or lakesides, allowing you to connect with nature while deepening your practice. Whether you’re looking to improve your physical fitness, reduce stress, or find inner peace, Breckenridge’s wellness offerings provide the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Summertime Magic in Breckenridge

Breckenridge, Colorado, is a summer playground offering diverse activities for visitors of all ages. There’s something for everyone, from thrilling outdoor adventures like hiking, mountain biking, and ATV tours to more relaxed pursuits such as shopping, golfing, and wildlife watching. The town’s vibrant festivals and family-friendly attractions ensure that your summer visit will be filled with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, head to Breckenridge, and discover the magic of summer in the Rockies. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, Breckenridge is the perfect destination to create lasting summer memories.

We invite you to explore Wander With Wonder for more of our favorite things when visiting Colorado. We also have great ideas for more family fun on your next summer vacation.

Written by EJ Ray

EJ Ray is a traveler at heart. It is part of her soul and she loves to share her travels through her words. She has traveled the world, seeking great food, wine, and experiences. EJ was born in the Eastern US but has lived across the country and in Europe and Mexico. She also took to the road for a while, exploring from her RV. EJ always seeks the next great sip, bite, and adventure.

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