What To Do In The Shoulder Season

Seasons: Winter/Spring

If you’re in Breckenridge in late spring, you may have noticed locals referring to the time of year as “Shoulder Season.” It’s that time of year after Breckenridge Ski Resort has closed but there is still too much snow to kick off summer. During shoulder season, there are a lot of great deals happening. Lodging is significantly cheaper and select restaurants offer the dining passport which is filled with discounts and dining deals. Shoulder Season is the perfect time to take advantage of the last perks of winter, as well as year-round activities to fill the off-season with fun.

Top Shoulder Season Activities:


A couple taking in the view on a hike.
Snow is still abundant during shoulder season in Breckenridge.

The trick to hitting the trails hiking in the off-season is planning. Pack warm waterproof boots and be prepared to encounter deep snow, light snow, a little mud and dry trails. Unless there’s a recent snowfall, you’ll be able to hike on snowy trails. The trick is staying on the packed down portion of a trail. The packed snow on the trail will hold you up on Boreas Pass Road, the Peaks Trail, or along McCullough Gulch Road. The snow on these public access trailheads has been packed all winter, and if you stick to where it’s packed, the snow will support you during Shoulder Season.

You can’t wander off the trail, however, or you’ll be post-holing up to your knees or beyond. As the snow gets more and more rotten, melting out towards the ground where it hasn’t been packed by traffic, even snowshoes and skis will not keep you from sinking, and you’ll be slogging through the sticky slush. Stick to the packed routes and you’ll have a great time.

Find more trail recommendations and trail conditions updates.

During the later parts of Shoulder Season, you’ll encounter dry trails at lower elevations. Turn around if you encounter serious mud or puddles. Use the Trail Conditions Report to learn which trails are in good to poor condition before heading out.

Riding Bikes

A group of road bikers in Breckenridge.
Road biking is a great way to experience the outdoors during Shoulder Season.

Don’t plan on hitting any single-track during Shoulder Season. Many of the trails are formally closed until they melt out and dry, to prevent excess erosion. Instead, plan to cruise along the scenic Rec Path that runs throughout Breckenridge and Summit County.  The Rec Path gets plowed of snow pretty early in Shoulder Season, offering a nice, paved riding zone around town and through the county. If there’s still snow on the rec path and around town we recommend renting a fat tire bike to get through the slush. Guided tours are available in-town and are a great way to learn the sport and find the best trails for this time of year.  If you are looking for a low-key bike ride with some serious perks, sign-up for a fat tire brewery and distillery tour. If you still want to head out on the trails on your mountain bike, make sure to check the town’s muddy meter to find trails ready to ride.


A man fly fishing in the river during shoulder season in Breckenridge
Once the snow starts to melt the rivers start to rage, and fly fishermen take to the water.

As the weather warms up and the daytime temperature slowly climbs out of freezing towards 40’s and 50’s, fly-fishing is a great activity to welcome the change in seasons. The Blue River as it flows north out of Breckenridge offers lots of pools and riffles to cast your fly about. The water is cold, and starts to increase its flow the warmer it gets outside, but the fish are there, and eager for a meal. Fly shops in Breckenridge are open and happy to give specific advice on where to go, what to fish, and when. The angler shops in town also offer guided tours. Guided tours include all the equipment you’ll need, a lesson on fly fishing and local know-how on area fish and waters.

BreckCreate Workshops

Arts District in the Evening in Breckenridge
The ceramic studio offers ceramics classes throughout shoulder season.

For those looking to tap into their artistic side, BreckCreate offers workshops throughout the shoulder season covering a wide variety of mediums. From painting to glassblowing to clay-making to drip art to making sculptures using only natural materials, BreckCreate allows people of all ages to re-explore their artistic expressions.

Breckenridge Historic Walking Tours

A young girl intrigued on a Breckenridge Heritage Alliance tour.
The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance offers a variety of historic tours suited for all ages.

If tales of scandals, folklore and ghost get your heart pumping, sign up for a guided historic tour through town. An expert guide share tales of Breckenridge’s past. From gold mines to bawdy saloons, Victorian ladies to lingering spirits—there’s a tour for everyone.

In Town and Indoors

Of course, with Shoulder Season comes restaurant discounts from the Dining Passport, a fund-raising dining deals coupon book for the off-season. Costing $10 these passports will give you dining deals throughout town that range from free apps, percentages off and 2 for 1 meal deals.

You’d never want to escape Breckenridge but you might want to try one of our Escape Rooms!  If you haven’t tried this popular indoor activity it’s a real-life version of the board game Clue. Your group gets put in building filled with clues on how to figure who the bad guy is an how you’ll escape from a tight situation. There are three escape rooms in town. Pick your favorite theme or try escaping from each one.

If you’re looking for more Shoulder Season fun:

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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