Hiking & Backpacking
Hiking around Breckenridge offers an amazing variety of scenic beauty and can be enjoyed by everybody. From gentle paved paths winding along the scenic Blue River to extreme hikes up the highest mountains in the area, Breckenridge offers hiking for anybody's tastes and abilities.
There are many excellent hiking trails in Breckenridge. Download the Breckenridge Summer Trails Map here. View the trail conditions here. Each trail on the Breckenridge Summer Trails Map leaves from a trailhead in town. Directions to these trailheads are below.
Note: The following directions begin from the corner of Main Street and Ski Hill Road/Lincoln Avenue.
Go west on Ski Hill Road for about 750 feet then turn right on Park Avenue. Continue for 900 feet and then turn right on Watson Avenue, then immediately right into the skier parking lot. The Watson Trailhead is located on the southwest end of the lot.
Go West on Ski Hill Road to Park Avenue and then turn left. Stay on Park Avenue for 450 feet. Turn left at the intersection with Four O'clock Road. The trailhead is located in the northeast corner of the parking lot accessing the Riverwalk Center (large white tent in the summer).
Go west on Ski Hill Road to Park Avenue and then turn left. Stay on Park Avenue for 450 feet. Turn Right on Four O'clock Road. Continue uphill on Four O'clock Road for .3 miles. At the intersection of Four O'clock Road and King's Crown Road, turn left and the trailhead is located immediately on the right next to the Snowflake Lift parking areas.
Illinois Creek Trailhead
Go south on Main Street for .6 miles to Boreas Pass Road (last stoplight). Turn left on Boreas Pass Road and travel for 1,400 feet. Take a right into the second entrance of the parking lot next to the Stephen C. West Ice Arena (which can be seen on the right). The trailhead is located in the southeastern corner of the parking lot.
Carter Park Trailhead
Go east on Lincoln Avenue for 1,000 feet until it intersects with High Street and continue until the road dead ends at Carter Park. The trail is located at the eastern end of the Carter Park parking lot.
Iowa Hill Trailhead
Go west on Ski Hill Road to Park Avenue. Turn Right. Stay on Park Avenue for .6 miles until a traffic light at Airport Road. Turn Left. Continue past the intersection with Valley Brook Road (stop sign). After 1500 feet, look for the trailhead sign on your left. From the sign, follow the dirt road to the north (right) to a small parking area at the end.
Valley Brook Trailhead
Go west on Ski Hill Road to Park Avenue. Turn Right. Stay on Park Avenue for .6 miles until a traffic light at Airport Road. Turn Left. At the intersection with Valley Brook Road (stop sign), turn right. Stay on Valley Brook Road for 550 feet. You will find the trailhead on your left just past the Breckenridge Police Station.
Hiking is an activity that is easy and can be extremely rewarding but like any adventure requires planning and preparation. Below are some simple tips and ideas to help make hiking even more invigorating and enjoyable.
Bring plenty of water
Breckenridge is a picturesque high alpine environment but it is also at a high altitude with very dry air. Sweat evaporates from the body at a much faster rate so continual replenishment of fluid is essential.
Prepare for any weather
In the mountains the weather can change very quickly so always be prepared for different conditions on the trail.
Good hiking shoes and socks are essential
A good pair of hiking shoes and socks can be the difference between a marvelous hiking experience and a difficult hike.
Even though the air can be crisp and cool the sun in high elevations is more intense than at lower elevations. Make sure to bring sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more and apply often.
Many trails in Breckenridge are multi-use trails and shared by hikers, bikers and even horseback riders. Bikers must yield to hikers and horseback riders. Announce yourself when approaching. A little friendliness can go a long way!
Stay on the trail
Going off the trail even a little bit can damage or destroy sensitive areas. Please respect the beauty Breckenridge offers so others can enjoy.
Always leave hiking information with a friend before going out. Arrange to call that person by a certain time after the hike. That way if there is a problem help can be summoned.
Pick up after your dog
It's the law in Summit County and the right thing to do.
Leave no trace
If it's muddy or closed in the springtime, don't use it. Never create detours around mud.
No dogs in Cucumber Gulch
This preserve is a protected wetlands area with critical habitat, no pets please.