Oftentimes we only have a couple of days to explore each of the many destinations throughout Colorado while on vacation. Here’s a summer season itinerary for two days of outdoor experiences in and around Breckenridge.
Alpineer Challenge Course
Start off your adventure with Breck’s Alpineer Challenge course. This is a high alpine ropes course experience where you can test your agility and balance on 15 different challenge routes, including swinging logs, rope bridges and more.
(If you’re a return visitor and looking forward to Breck’s Expedition Zipline Tour, you’ll have to wait until 2022. It will be closed this summer due to Breck’s construction of a new high-speed quad on Peak 7.)
Afternoon of Fly Fishing
Breckenridge is a great destination to try fly fishing since the headwaters start here for the Colorado, South Platte and Arkansas rivers plus the tail-waters of the Blue and the South Platte rivers. And, you don’t need to have any experience. Many people that hire guides have never picked up a fly rod.
With this much water within driving distance, an outfitter like Breckenridge Outfitters can put you on unpressured water so you can enjoy the experience without the crowds.
A guide provides all the equipment you need, all you need to bring is water bottle, government-issued ID, comfortable pants, socks, rain jacket, fleece or sweatshirt, hat/visor, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug repellant, and camera.
Don’t forget to bring cash to tip your guide. These guys and gals usually work 7 days a week during the summer season and work their tail off to provide a good experience for their guests.
Check COVID-19 restrictions prior to fishing. Breckenridge Outfitters is still encouraging guests to drive their own vehicles to fishing destinations.
Tackling a Fourteener
Want to take on a fourteener? (Locally, mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet are known as Fourteeners.) Here’s how.
Use a Guide
Quandary Peak is a good fourteener to hike without a guide, but if you are an inexperienced hiker or new to Colorado it’s always a good idea to use a guide like Colorado Adventures Guide in Breck. You can park close to the trail head if you get there early, but if you get there later in the morning you will be parking on the side of the road. Try to carpool if you’re hiking with a group, parking is very limited. Keep a close eye on the weather and it’s always a good idea to leave early to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.
For this hike you get out of the tree line early in the hike, so the majority of the hike is above it. There’s nowhere to hide from a thunderstorm, so play it safe and plan ahead. As a general rule, you should plan on leaving the trailhead no later than 6:30 am, and plan to be off the summit by noon at the latest.
Heads Up: Don’t forget some toilet paper and ziplock bags packing out your paper waste.
Since you want to start early, make sure and bring a head lamp for the first portion of the hike. This is a very popular hike so if you’re looking for a quiet hike, then plan on hiking early in the week. With the trailhead being at 10,850 feet, this is considered an “easier” fourteener because of the trailhead elevation, but you’re still looking at a 2-3 hour hike to the summit.
What to Take
There is very little scrambling, but don’t be fooled, it’s still a strenuous hike and I highly recommend a set of trekking poles. Here’s a complete equipment list you’ll need for this hike. Like any outdoor activity, make sure and pack out all of your trash and pick up any you see on your way up or down the mountain. Breck was just named the third destination in the United States to be certified by Green Destination, accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. (Check out B like Breckenridge for more information.)
Plan Like a Local
Parking on the road and on the highway near Quandary is not permitted for summer 2021. So, for the best experience, do this climb mid-week. Weekends are busy and if the parking lot is full than you are out of luck. Even better, be a local and try a 13er instead. These peaks under 14,000 feet are less busy so you’ll escape the crowds yet still get magnificent views.
The Lodge at Breckenridge is located on the edge of a forested cliff at 10,200 feet. The Lodge started as a comedy club in the mid-80s and has transitioned over the years into an all-suites property. (It’s also a popular wedding destination, hosting 50+ weddings a year.) Looking for ultimate Instagram shot? Then head out to balcony in the back for stunning views of Boreas Pass, Breckenridge Ski Resort, and the Tenmile Range.
Briar Rose has impeccable service and white tablecloth dining. The Mac n Cheese, Brussel Sprouts & Chorizo, Cervena Elk Medallions, short ribs and USDA prime and choice steaks are supreme choices. Happy Hour means two-for-one drinks daily and half-priced appetizers on Fridays and Saturdays in the bar area.
Like any travel during COVID-19, always research before you go, especially as areas around the country start to make the transition from being partially closed to various stages of open. Here’s a good link to have regarding rules and restrictions in Breck.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of Texas in your inbox.
Cover: Sunset over Mount Baldy with Breckenridge and the ski resort in the background. Photo courtesy Breckenridge Tourism Office
Doug Flatt is the publisher of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. When not running small businesses you can find him on a mountain bike or a body of water with a fly rod in hand.