It’s starting to get cold up here! The coveted ski season is almost upon us, so make sure you get up here to enjoy the fall weather before the whole town is covered in a blanket of snow! Get the most out of the calm before the storm; enjoy the last few weekends of peace and quiet before ski season takes over. Don’t miss out on these fun activities and events, get up here and check it out for yourself!
Thursday, Oct 8th:
Flip Fabrique: Catch Me! | 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm | Riverwalk Center | 150 W Adams Ave, Breckenridge CO | $10-Child, $25-Adult
Fall in Breckenridge always seems to start around the same time as football starts, which is a little early compared to the rest of the country. Sometime in mid-August, each year there will be that one tree that starts to show hints of yellow. While most of the country is still baking in heat and humidity, Breckenridge is starting to enjoy the cooler nights and dry, sunny days that characterize a perfect High Country autumn.
As school starts back up, for a brief period, Breckenridge becomes a sleepy little town tucked away in the high Rocky Mountains. September and October weekends are slower and less hectic than the high seasons of winter and summer. For leaf peepers and autumn lovers, Breckenridge offers a chance for early enjoyment of the fall season. A relaxing drive through the mountains and forests in and around Breckenridge offers a great way to see the changing colors of fall.
Boreas Pass/Hoosier Pass Loop – 53 miles, about 2 hours
The Boreas Pass/Hoosier Pass loop is considered by many to be the classic fall drive from Breckenridge. Boreas pass road is an easy gravel road that travels the old rail route that was the only winter way into Breckenridge in 1800’s and early 20th century. Start by turning left onto Boreas pass road at the south end of town and stop at High Line Memorial Park located right at the very beginning of the route. See Engine Number 9 and the original rotary snowplow engine that operated on Boreas Pass. Continue up, and in a few miles the road will turn to gravel and you will pass many wonderful stands of aspen trees as you climb to above tree line. You will know you have reached the top of the pass when you see the Section House which is now a lodging “hut” operated by the 10th Mountain Division Hut system. As you descend down the other side of the pass you will arrive at Como and highway 285. Turn right on 285 to return to Breckenridge. Stop in Fairplay for lunch and visit the old South Park Town site to see what Colorado life was like in the 1800’s. Continue past four magnificent fourteeners (magnificent 14,000 high peaks) and down through stands of the best aspen colors on the whole route back into Breckenridge.
Loveland Pass – 56 miles, about 2 hours
Loveland Pass is the high pass that was the eastern entrance to Summit County and was the main driving route until the Eisenhower-Johnson tunnel was completed in 1973. This drive is completely paved and offers wonderful views of Lake Dillon, Keystone, Arapaho Basin and the high tundra of Loveland Pass itself. Start this drive by following Highway 9 north out of Breckenridge towards Frisco. After about five miles, turn right onto Swan Mountain Road towards Keystone. Swan Mountain Road is a short, twisty road with heart stopping views of Dillon Reservoir, the Ten Mile range, the Gore Range and more. Stop at the top and take the very short hike to the viewpoints at Sapphire Point. You will see the calico patchwork of towns, fall colors, pines, lakes and rivers, ski areas and mountains that make up the heart of Summit County; a stunning view. Continue on and turn right on highway 6 towards Keystone at the road’s end. Stop in Keystone for lunch on the lake or in River Run village. Keep going on Highway 6 and head up Loveland Pass. You will travel into the high wooded valley that Arapahoe Basin is nestled in. As you start to ascend the pass, you will see the steep terrain that gives A Basin its nickname “The Legend.” Continue up and over Loveland Pass to almost 13,000 feet in elevation and stop for some fresh air or a short hike above tree line. Continue down to I-70 west towards Frisco and take exit 203 back towards Breckenridge.
Drive around Lake Dillon – 26 miles, about 1 hour
The drive around Lake Dillon is a great way to see Summit County from all angles. This short and easy drive can be accomplished in as little as an hour, but it is worth making a few stops along the way. Start the same way as the Loveland Pass drive by going north on Highway 9 and turning right onto Swan Mountain Road. Don’t forget to stop at the top and take the very short hike at Sapphire point and check out the viewpoints. It is well worth the effort. Continue down to Highway 6 but this time take a left towards Dillon and Silverthorne. The road will get very close to the shore of Lake Dillon and provide water level views of the Ten Mile Range and towering Buffalo Mountain to the north and west. Stop in Dillon for lunch and take some time to stroll along the waterfront, or have your kids play at one of the most scenic playgrounds in Colorado at Marina Park. Instead of going to I-70 towards Frisco, take the Dillon Dam Road along the water and through some wonderful aspens. Turn left onto highway 9 in Frisco and head back towards Breckenridge. Consider stopping at the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area for top notch mountain biking, beginner hiking and Frisbee golf.
Highway 9 to Ute Pass – 120 miles, about 3 hours and 15 minutes
Ute Pass is the longest drive on this list but is also the most rewarding drive for fall colors. To start this drive head up towards Frisco on highway 9 and eventually head towards Silverthorne on either I-70 or the Dillon Dam Road. Find highway 9 north towards Kremmling out of Silverthorne and follow that about 10 miles to Ute Pass Road. Highway 9 follows the Massive Gore Range to the west, dotted with golden aspen groves the whole way. Turn right on Ute Pass Road and climb through the best aspen groves in Summit County as you reach the summit of the pass. As you go down the other side into Grand County you will pass the Henderson Mill and the road will turn to gravel. It is an easy drive but you will slow down as you reach the forests on the other side. You will pass through forested rivers and farms until you reach Highway 40 at Parshall. Turn left towards Kremmling and enjoy the tight valley that makes up the headwaters of the Colorado River. Once in Kremmling, turn left and follow Highway 9 south to Silverthorne and eventually back to Breckenridge.
Fall in Breckenridge is the “secret season.” Autumn offers the best weather and smallest crowds. This golden shoulder season is a great option for a fall escape, and a leaf peeping drive can be the perfect way to spend a day in the High Country.
https://bestofbreck.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Tuesday-September-1.jpg15001500Nicole DeCesarehttps://bestofbreck.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/bob-horizontal-logo.pngNicole DeCesare2015-09-01 21:43:312015-09-01 21:51:04Fall into Autumn with these Four Summit County Cruises
Breckenridge is surrounded by miles and miles of hiking trails that offer a fantastic variety of terrain, elevation and difficulty levels. So often we have written blogs over the past years that highlight trails (as we should) that are pretty accessible to a large majority of the hiking population. This time, we thought we’d mix it up and highlight five hikes with bragging rights.
Hiking is one of the most popular summer activities in Breckenridge and Summit County. We realized that we have never really highlighted what we think are the hardest hikes in Breckenridge and Summit County. With so many towering peaks surrounding us, we thought it would be cool to talk about the truly painful, lung-busting, leg-burning hikes you can go out and bag. Here are our picks for the top 5 badass hikes in Summit County.
Bald Mountain seems to sit all by itself to the east of downtown Breckenridge. “Baldy,” as it is most often called, rises an impressive 13,684 feet above sea level and is a popular summer and winter hike. While Baldy looks like a single peak it is actually a six-mile-long ridgeline that divides into two sections. To the southeast is Boreas Mountain, which rises to 13,082 feet, and to the northwest is Bald Mountain, which is the “true” summit at 13,684 feet.
Baldy is a fairly gentle hike but it is long, has steep sections, is mostly exposed above treeline and reaches almost 14,000 feet, so it is an elevation challenge. The easiest way to hike Baldy is to start at the top of Boreas Pass. For a badass hike it is a pretty easy climb to the summit. That being said, it is a 2,700-foot elevation gain in just three miles so that’s like a 270-story building. It’s completely exposed above treeline, so even mild days offer a nice breeze and chilly temps. All in all it is an amazing view and a pretty easy day hike.
To reach the trailhead: Drive to the south end of Breckenridge on Route 9. Turn left onto Boreas Pass Road. At 3.3 miles the pavement ends but the road is well-graded and is passable by any car. At 9.5 miles from the traffic light, you will reach Boreas Pass.
Greys and Torreys Peaks
Greys and Torreys make up the “Twin Towers” of Colorado’s Front Range and are two of the three “Fourteeners” that touch Summit County. Torreys is the higher of the two peaks and sits at an impressive 14,267 feet. While these peaks are in and accessible from Summit County the easiest trail starts a little east back through the Eisenhower Tunnel in Clear Creek County. Both mountains offer multiple ways to ascend. Their proximity to Denver and relative ease (for a Fourteener) make this hike wildly popular, so go early on weekends if you want to find parking and also to avoid getting struck by lightning in the frequent afternoon storms that pop up in the summer.
Greys and Torreys get their “badassery” not so much from the altitude, which is super high, or the pitch of the climb or even the 3,600-foot vertical rise you have to climb in order to summit, but rather from the 9-mile round trip involved in getting there and back. The distance of this hike puts it over the edge.
To reach the trailhead: Take I-70 to the Bakerville exit #221. Drive south over to the dirt parking area near the start of Forest Road 189. Follow the dirt road three miles to the summer trailhead. Stay straight and follow the sign for the Grays Peak trailhead. Continue another two miles to the trailhead at 11,280 feet. There are restrooms and a few dispersed camping spots near the parking area.
Quandary Peak is the third Fourteener that touches Summit County and is a bit more difficult than Greys and Torreys. Although Quandary is pretty much the same elevation as Greys and Torreys at 14,265 feet, the climb of 3,450 vertical feet is condensed into about half the distance of Greys and Torreys. The easiest way up is the east ridge which starts south of Breckenridge and ascends the east side of the mountain for just under three miles to the summit.
After you clear the trees there is a steep pitch that delivers you onto a thin windswept ridgeline that runs west up to the summit. There is a “false” summit you will be looking at and when you reach that you will realize there is still another thousand feet or so you get to climb to reach the summit. Once you are up on the ridge, don’t get too close to the south side. There are 50-degree slopes dropping thousands of feet to Blue Lakes.
To reach the trailhead: Drive 8 miles south of Breckenridge on Highway 9. Turn right on (Blue Lakes) Road. Drive a few hundred yards and turn right on the 851 (McCullough Gulch) Road. Drive 0.1 mile to the signed trailhead and small parking area. If the trailhead lot is full it is ok to park on the side of the 851 road or the overflow lot but don’t park on the side of the 850 road, in front of homes.
This hike and the next aren’t Fourteeners but are arguably the two most difficult hikes in Summit County. It is the crushing pitch and vertical rise in such short distances that make these two hikes so badass. Peak 1 is the iconic pointy mountain that sits just above Frisco and is clearly visible from almost anywhere in Summit County. Peak 1 is only 12,805 feet but it offers an almost 4,000-foot climb in about three and a half miles. As with all the badass hikes it is primarily above treeline and totally exposed to all of the elements. The final 700 feet is a hair-raising knife-thin ridge walk through a loose scree field. It is non-technical so you don’t need ropes, just don’t bring a fear of heights.
To reach the trailhead: From Frisco’s Main Street stoplight on Highway 9, head west on Main Street and turn left on 2nd St. Follow 2nd Street to the parking area at the end of the road and the trailhead starts here.
If you come through the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70 heading west, the first thing you will see looking out towards Dillon and Silverthorne is Buffalo Mountain. Ironically the shortest mountain on this list at 12,777 feet is one of the most visibly imposing mountains in Summit County. You cannot miss the distinctive round hump and huge crater-like hole in the middle of the mountain. The best views are from Silverthorne and Dillon. Buffalo Mountain edges out Peak 1 as the most badass hike in Summit County based on its ridiculously steep middle section that includes a .6-mile 23% grade. The hike is about three miles one way and just over 3,000 vertical feet, but don’t let that fool you. The majority of that 3,000 feet is actually covered in about a mile and a half.
The climb is basically through a loose scree field in an avalanche chute. It’s hard on the way up but it is absolutely brutal on the joints on the way down. The views from the summit are truly stunning especially the view of Dillon Reservoir. One of the most interesting things is although the mountain looks round from down in Silverthorne, from the summit looking down, the back side is a 3,000-foot vertical cliff.
To reach the trailhead: From the town of Silverthorne, turn onto Wildernest Road (7-11 is on the right corner) and follow this road (it turns into Ryan Gulch Road about a third of the way up) to the very end. Take the trailhead to the right and follow the signs for Buffalo Mountain. After about a mile or so you will know you are on the right trail because you will be climbing a never-ending staircase.
If you do decide to tackle one of these Summit County hikes, do your homework first. They are all achievable for even moderate hikers if you prepare correctly and respect the mountains.
Two brothers from Boca Raton enjoying winter, snow and Main Street.
https://bestofbreck.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/blog_feb_15_mainstreet.jpg15001500Nicole DeCesarehttps://bestofbreck.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/bob-horizontal-logo.pngNicole DeCesare2015-01-07 21:14:032015-06-08 20:34:22Florida boys enjoying Main Street
There are so many outdoor activities in Breckenridge and the surrounding Rocky Mountains, it is easy to overlook the huge lake right in the middle of Summit County. Summertime is prime for catching big hungry fish in Lake Dillon.
Lake Dillon was built in 1963 by Denver Water to store water for Denver and the Front Range. It is the largest body of water in Summit County and one of the largest in the state. Lake Dillon has 27 miles of fishable shoreline and 2 lively marinas. It is known as a challenging spot to go sailing each summer, hosting numerous Colorado races and regattas.
Lake Dillon, although popular, is often overlooked as a prime Colorado fishing destination in the summer. The lake is overshadowed by the many rivers and streams that dot Summit County’s landscape, including the Blue River—a Colorado Gold Medal fishing river.
What makes Lake Dillon such a great family fishing spot? The ease of shoreline access, lack of special fishing regulations like those found in most mountain rivers and high-alpine lakes, friendly boating regulations with rentals and tours available and— most importantly—the diversity of species found in the lake. Throughout the year, you can fish for Brown, Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee and Koho Salmon, Walleye Pike, Char, catfish, Crappie, Smallmouth Bass and other Colorado species.
Shore fishing offers easy access from many points in Summit County. There is free parking at various marked points around the lake. It is said the fishing is best in the early summer between mid-May and early July. For shore fishing, the best fare for the fishies is good old-fashioned worms. Use a bobber and test your length from the hook until you find success. There are tons of smaller fish close to the shore but the big ones are a little further out. Use a weight and hook for bottom fishing and keep your line tight so you can feel bites. Later in the season, troll a Rapala lure near the feeder creaks of the Blue, Snake or Ten Mile dump into the lake for large trout.
If you are so inclined, rent a boat and get out onto Lake Dillon. This is a great spot for trolling. This is most effective in the later season and will produce big brown trout, Kokanee and Walleye Pike. Even if you don’t catch fish, it’s a peaceful and beautiful experience just to be out on the lake.
Fishing is a time-honored family activity that everyone should try at least once. If you are looking for a fresh high-country experience, try fishing in Lake Dillon.
Don’t forget that you do need a fishing license in Colorado if you are 16 or older. You can pick one up at many locations throughout Breckenridge and Summit County.
https://bestofbreck.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Friday-June-20-20141.jpg15001500Nicole DeCesarehttps://bestofbreck.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/bob-horizontal-logo.pngNicole DeCesare2014-06-20 13:00:452022-01-07 07:22:39Summer Fishing in Lake Dillon
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