boreas pass

View of Breckenridge from Boreas Pass Road

With autumn just around the corner, we can expect the Colorado foliage to begin trading its green hues for shades of warm orange, bright yellow, and deep red. Breckenridge is the perfect place to experience Colorado in the fall, and there are many areas to view this beautiful transition of seasons. One of the best places, according to many Breckenridge visitors, is Boreas Pass, a 22-mile road just south of town. The unpaved portion is closed when snow covered, from approximately December to early June.  While fall is typically when visitors make the drive to see the glorious foliage, this scenic drive and hiking trail is absolutely breathtaking during the summer as well, and its extensive history makes the journey even more enjoyable!

breckenridge boreas pass

Mountain Bikers pushing up Boreas Pass on a Beautiful Summer Day

Getting there:

Turn west on Boreas Pass Road off of Highway 9 at the red light on the south end of Breckenridge. Follow the road as far as you like, then turn around and come back down.

History of Boreas Pass

In the 1860’s, Boreas Pass was known as Breckenridge Pass and was heavily used during the gold rush. Just six years later, the trail’s popularity called attention, and it was widened so stagecoaches could begin using it. In 1882, a railroad connecting Como and Breckenridge swallowed the path and operated between the towns for many years. In 1937, the track was picked apart for resources during WWII. It wasn’t until 1952 that the road became the automobile pass and hiking trails we know today. You can see an interpretive brochure here.

Things to Do at Boreas Pass

Scenic Drive:

boreas pass

Boreas Pass “Aspen Alley” in the Fall

The aspen tree-lined road and lovely mountain views make Boreas Pass one of the top scenic drives in Breckenridge. Starting in the historic village of Como, the dirt road takes off on a journey of spectacular views including Blue River Valley and the Tenmile Range. In the fall, you’ll feel as if you are driving through a sea of color as the cool winds whisk by the window.

Boreas Pass Hiking Trails:

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Boreas Pass Hiker

There are many trails just begging to be explored in Boreas Pass. Many of these trails ride along the Continental Divide, so you can bet there will be plenty of gorgeous views in store during your hike, especially during the fall. You will get lost in a wonderland of autumn leaves underneath the cobalt sky. For directions to the best Boreas Pass hiking trails, visit AllTrails.


There are several designated camping sites along the Boreas Pass. Some you’ll find right off the road while others require a short trek into the woods. Most of these campsites are first come, first serve, but it’s usually never difficult to secure a spot in the fall. Spending a night roughing it is a great way to experience nature and explore more of the Boreas Pass that you would normally miss driving by. One of the most popular campsites along the pass is Selkirk, which features 15 spots for only $14 a night!

Mountain Biking:

breckenridge boreas pass

Mountain Bikers Entering the Baker’s Tank Trail on Boreas Pass

Many mountain bikers find the trails in the area to be both exhilarating yet relaxing. Boreas Pass Road is rated one of the most leisurely biking trails in Breckenridge, so the whole family may be able to participate in this adventure! You will wind through quiet neighborhoods before following the dirt road past scenic outlooks and gentle downhill slopes. The cool autumn weather makes this time of year ideal for mountain biking.

Outdoor Museums:

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Top of Boreas Pas

Don’t miss out on these historical gems and great photo ops!  The Sawmill Museum is the first outdoor museum you will see on your right on the drive up to Boreas Pass.  As you reach the top of Boreas pass, you will come upon a crop of cabins and railroad remnants.  The largest of these cabins is “Ken’s Cabin”, originally built in the 1860’s when Boreas Pass Road was a mere wagon trail, the Wagon Cabin as it was known.  It is one of the oldest buildings in the Breckenridge area.  On the way back down Boreas Pass to Breckenridge, you can take a short detour off Boreas Pass Road onto Illinois Gulch Road and take a look at the Washington Mine.  Tours and opportunites to gold mine are available through the Heritage Society, or you can explore the area on your own.

Find More Adventures in Breckenridge This Fall

Fall is a magical time for Breckenridge, and we invite you to join in on all the fun and beauty there is to experience! Book Breck offers luxury cabins and vacation homes just steps away from one of the world’s best ski resorts. We’re dedicated to providing you with a comfortable stay that will host memories for a lifetime! Let us introduce ourselves and let’s start planning your Fall Break getaway!

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