Heritage, Museums and Tours in Breckenridge

Experience Breckenridge

The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance preserves unique historic resources in the Breckenridge area and connects residents and visitors to our past through inspiring interpretation of heritage sites and stories. Through the BHA’s offerings of museums and tours in Breckenridge, visitor’s will be able to experience Breckenridge as it was in its yester-year.

Breckenridge Ghost Tours:

A ghost wandering the house as part of Breckenridge Heritage Alliance.
A ghost wandering a historic house as part of Breckenridge Heritage Alliance tours.

Breckenridge Haunted Tour

Join us for a late evening stroll through Breckenridge’s haunted historic district. Along the way, the eerie and unexplained stories from the town’s rough and uncertain past will be told, but remain unexplained! This fascinating tour includes a visit to the restored William H. Briggle Victorian home; was that chilling breeze or did you just meet the spirit of Katie Briggle?

Tours offered year-round; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

GHOSTLY TALES

This is the original ghost tour of Breckenridge (started in 2010), with new sites and updated information. Explore the darker side of our wild west past with our chilling tales of the ghosts that remain here. Ghost hunting equipment provided!!

Visit Breckenridge Ghost Tour’s website for current schedule and pricing.

Preston Ghost Town Hike

Over 130 years ago Preston was a bustling town of approximately 150 citizens but now only the ghostly remains of buildings reside here. Join a local expert on this guided hike to learn about the history of the town and many of the rich mines that operated in the area.

Hikes offered seasonally; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

Museums and Tours in Breckenridge:

Tour guide at the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance giving a family tour as part of one of the museums and tours in Breckenridge.
Tour guide dressed in Victorian clothing giving a tour of a historic home in Breckenridge

Barney Ford Victorian Home – 111 East Washington Avenue

The Barney Ford Victorian House honors Barney L. Ford, an escaped slave who prospered and became a prominent entrepreneur and black civil right leader in Colorado. Born into slavery in 1822, Ford was instilled with the importance of learning to read by his mother, who inspired his lifelong quest for education. The Barney Ford House was built in 1882 by prominent craftsman, Elias Nashold, for Ford, his wife Julia and their three children. Today, the Barney Ford House has been restored to its original Victorian style and each room in the home is dedicated to a different part of Barney’s life.

Open year-round; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

Behind Swinging Doors Saloon Tour

In 1880, Breckenridge was home to eighteen saloons! Learn about these historic businesses and the hardy souls who worked and frequented them. Visit several establishments that have survived in some form since the early days and sample the spirits of the modern-day Breckenridge Distillery (when available). Souvenir Distillery flasks are available at a discounted rate!

Tours offered year-round; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

Cemetery Walk (summer only)

This walking tour starts at the site of the original cemetery of Breckenridge.  Hear the history of the town’s burial grounds and also the stories of the locals that are buried here.  Visit their places of business or homes on the way.

Visit Breckenridge Ghost Tours’ website for current schedule and pricing.

Edwin Carter Discovery Center – 111 North Ridge Street

Edwin Carter came to Breckenridge in 1868 seeking gold and fortune, but his goals changed when he saw the devastation mining had on the environment and local wildlife. Carter became a taxidermist and collected Rocky Mountain animal specimens in his museum, which doubled as his home. After his death, his collection of almost 3,300 specimens formed the nucleus of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The rehabilitated center honors the life and legacy of Carter, featuring interactive exhibits, a hands-on taxidermy workbench, a children’s room and a theatre and is the recipient of several awards.

Open year-round; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

ENGLISH TEA TOUR

Join Mrs. Engle, the banker’s wife, or May Nicholson, the madam, as they take you on Breckenridge’s only living history tour through downtown. Hear the stories and catch up on the gossip of those Victorian ladies and gentlemen from 1910.  Finish with English tea and scones in an historic tea house.

Visit Breckenridge Ghost Tours’ website for current schedule and pricing.

French Gulch Dredge Boat Hike/Snowshoe Adventure

Join an experienced guide for a hike through Breckenridge’s fabled Golden Horseshoe, one of Colorado’s most fertile mining regions and the location of dozens of early mining operations. Along the way, take in scenic views of Ten Mile Range, hear about the local environment, and see the ruins of mine sites and the gold-gobbling Reiling Dredge boat.

Hikes offered year-round; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

High Line Railroad Park – 189 Boreas Pass Road

Engine No. 9 was one of a pioneering set of locomotives that used narrow-gauge rail to navigate the high and dangerous mountain terrain of Colorado. A true icon of railroad heritage, Engine No. 9, represents the life-blood that enabled Colorado mining communities to survive and thrive in the late 1800s and early 1900s. At that time, massive rotary snowplow machines with giant snow-blowing blades were used to clear snow from the railroad tracks. Today you can see Engine No. 9 on the original High Line track that came into Breckenridge from Boreas Pass and a restored rotary, one of only five known narrow-gauge rotaries still in existence.

Open seasonally; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

Historic Walking Tour of Breckenridge

Take a tour though Breckenridge’s nationally recognized Historic District with a local expert! Learn about historic businesses and families and view several of the earliest buildings in town, from log cabins to stately residences. Along the way, hear stories about the gold seekers, hardy souls, and socialites who lived in Breckenridge more than 100 years ago.

Tours offered year-round; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

Iowa Hill Gold Miner’s Hike/Snowshoe Tour

Enjoy a guided hike through the historic Iowa Hill mine site with a local expert. Along the way see authentic mining artifacts and interpretive signs that tell the story of how gold was extracted from the surrounding hills. Visit a restored miners’ boarding house (c. 1868) and experience life as a miner in Breckenridge’s early days.

Hikes offered year-round; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

Lomax Placer Mine Tour and Gold Panning

Gold panning during a Lomax Placer Mine Tour.
Gold panning during a Lomax Placer Mine Tour.

The first mining operations in Breckenridge were placer, or surface mines. Using water under high-pressure, miners scoured mountain hillsides, collected the released dirt and sediments from above and recovered gold deposits in long sluice boxes. The Lomax Mine, located near downtown Breckenridge, was an active hydraulic placer mining operation in the 1860’s. Today, one of our expert guides will take you back in time to Breckenridge’s early mining days. Step inside a miner’s cabin, see and feel original hydraulic mining equipment and learn to pan for gold. What you find is yours to keep!

Tours offered seasonally; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

Red, White & Blue Fire Museum – 308 North Main St.

In 1880, the all-volunteer Breckenridge Fire Department was created in response to the treat of a major town fire. Breckenridge was growing rapidly and with boardwalks, commercial business, and homes constructed of log and wood, even the occasional small blaze was potentially catastrophic. The department soon boasted three companies; the Red, White, and Blue! Through the years, the Breckenridge Fire Department was composed of miners, teamsters, saloon-keepers, merchants and others who worked side by side as equals to defeat the “fire demon.” The current Fire Museum displays an original human-powered ladder cart, a restored hose cart as well as firefighting equipment and uniforms from the first companies.

Open year-round; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

Summit Ski Exhibit – 308-B South Main Street

This exhibit celebrates the first 100 years of skiing in Summit County and provides a colorful look into the history of skiing. While people had been skiing in Breckenridge since they settled here, it wasn’t until the late-1900s that the town became a skiing destination.  After the end of major mining operations in the 1940s, hardy souls prevented Breckenridge from becoming a ghost town. In December, 1961 Breckenridge became Colorado’s first ski town with the opening of the Breckenridge Ski Area. Today visitors can watch a ski documentary with local experts, see vintage equipment and clothing (including “Snurfer” skis!) and learn about the 10th Mountain Division.

Open year-round; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

This 90 minute walking tour is all about disappearances, suspected kidnappings and other strange events, including the fate of the Breckenridge Navy.  Hear about the weird and unusual events that occurred in Breckenridge from 1961, when the ski area opened, until present day.  All true stories with a twist!

Visit Breckenridge Ghost Tours’ website for current schedule and pricing.

TAROT READINGS

Mr. E. will be offering Tarot readings following our ghost tour.  Mr. E. has been reading the cards for over 40 years.

Visit Breckenridge Ghost Tours’ website for current schedule and pricing.

Tombstone Tales at Twilight Tour

Hear tales of Breckenridge’s past from beyond the grave and see the ornate hand-carved gravestones that represent some of the town’s earliest art and written history. Stroll through the historic Valley Brook Cemetery and hear fascinating stories of Breckenridge’s earliest inhabitants. See their final resting places and learn the details of their rich and full lives or untimely demise.

Tours offered seasonally; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

Victorian Tour & Tea

Take a tour through Breckenridge’s nationally recognized Historic District with a local expert! Learn about the life of Katie Briggle, Breckenridge’s leading lady at the turn of the century and hear stories about life in a prosperous mining town. At the end of the tour, explore the restored Briggle home and enjoy a Victorian tea service and treats in the house.

Tours offered year-round; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

Washington Gold Mine Tour and Gold Panning

Once gold and silver were discovered in Summit County, hundreds of underground mines sprang up in Breckenridge and the surrounding region. In the mid-1880s, the Washington was one of the area’s largest gold and silver mines, with five main shafts and over 10,000 feet of underground workings. Today, you can take a journey back in time to Breckenridge’s hard rock mining era with one of our expert guides. Walk underground for a first-hand mining experience and learn to pan for gold. What you find is yours to keep!

Tours offered seasonally; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for current schedule and pricing.

Wild West Tour

Experience a taste of all our tours on this 90 minute walking tour.  Partly historic, partly strange and partly ghostly, this tour will give you a complete overview of this fascinating town.

Visit Breckenridge Ghost Tours’ website for current schedule and pricing.

By Breck Editorial

The Breckenridge Tourism Office works to enhance and promote the unique character and experience of Breckenridge as a world-renowned destination resort and to represent, serve and perpetuate the common interest and character of its membership and community.

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