Six of the Best Places to Go Hiking in Breckenridge

Hiking in and around Breckenridge is a popular activity, not only because of the many mountain trails but also the spectacular views that await at the peak. The varying western terrain is also exciting, from forest creek beds to rocky summits. From beginner trails to expert climbs, here are some of our favorite places to go hiking in Breckenridge! See our 6 best places to go hiking below:

Sawmill Creek

hiking in breckenridge

Sawmill Reservoir at top of Sawmill Creek Trail

An easy hike at only a 1.5-mile round trip, the Sawmill Creek trail starts beneath Snowflake Lift near Four O’ Clock and Kings Crown Roads. Take the Gray South route on the Breck Free Ride to reach trail head (there is no parking at trailhead). If you’re new to Colorado’s high altitude, this is a good starter hike, also perfect for families with children because of the short length. There is only an elevation gain of 240 feet with plenty of shade along the way and a gorgeous reservoir awaiting. Bring a picnic lunch and take in some spectacular mountain views surrounding the Sawmill Reservoir.

If you’re up for hunt, try to find the Fairy Forest near this area!  Exact directions are hard to come by; the hunt for it is part of the fun and the fairies like their hidden forest kept quiet!  We are happy to give detailed Fairy Forest directions to our Book Breck guests.

Lily Pad Lake

hiking breckenridge

A rainy afternoon hike to Lily Pad Lake

North of Breckenridge and I-70, the Lily Pad Lake Trail, with a 3.2-mile round trip and elevation gain of 795 feet, is fairly easy though it has some occasional rough terrain. This is suggested as a good starter trail as you prepare to hike more difficult routes during your stay in Breckenridge. Bubbling brooks, quaint bridges, and woodland creatures such as beavers and chipmunks are just a few sights along this path. There are two lakes along this trail as well, the second offering beautiful views of Buffalo Mountain.

McCullough Gulch

McCullough Gulch is more in the realm of a moderate hike at a 2.7-mile round trip with an elevation gain of 810 feet. This trail can be challenging in parts but will pass by waterfalls, caves, historic mines, and breeze-blown meadows. The views along the way are incredible, and the hike ends at an alpine lake. With all these different terrains, you are sure to stay enthralled by your surroundings the whole way. Read more about the McCullough Gulch trail here.

Blue Lakes-Monte Cristo Gulch

hiking breckenridge

An early July hike to Blue Lakes

The parking area for this trail is located just below a dam. The Blue Lakes-Monte Cristo Gulch trail will take you along 2.5 miles to a historic mining area surrounded by alpine lakes. The views are simply breathtaking, though the hike proves fairly difficult. Wildflowers, waterfalls, and wildlife can be seen along this path!  Mountain goats are a common siting in the area.

Quandary Peak

hiking breckenridge

A Quandary Trail Mountain Goat

One of the more difficult trails for hiking in Breckenridge is on Quandary Peak  This 6.2-mile round trip trail is accessible year-round unlike a lot of the area trails that get covered with snow and are impossible to scale in the winter months. Plan ahead for this 14’er hike! Start very early morning and be completely off the trail by noon to avoid the danger of afternoon lightening.  Wear durable hiking shoes, pack plenty of water and snacks as well as other appropriate clothing for changes in weather.

While this trail is dog-friendly, there are several issues to be aware of.  First, the very upper portions of this trail near the peak are covered in rocks which could badly injure a dog’s paws.  Second, your furry hiking buddies will need to be kept on leash as mountain goats are commonly spotted on the trail.  The mountain is home for these goats and we are only visitors.  Be respectful of their territory and keep dogs on leash at all times!

The east ridge route of Quandary is very popular, crowding up on summer weekends and giving you the chance for some hiking camaraderie.  Other routes to the peak require technical skills as well as vast experience in mountaineering and are not recommended for casual hikers. Do not disregard these warnings and end up in a Quandary Quagmire.

Mohawk Lakes

hiking breckenridge

Mining ruins at Mohawk Lakes

A beautiful round trip that might prove difficult. The area is often used for camping, fishing, and fly fishing in addition to hiking. You’ll have to start at the Spruce Creek Trailhead, which is a strenuous trek through a lodgepole pine and aspen forest. After this jaunt, you will meet up with the Mohawk Lakes Trail and continue to some amazing views and great areas for recreation.

More Hiking in Breckenridge

For a list of our Best Easy Hikes, click here.

See more suggested hikes here.

Want even more suggestions on hikes or other activities?  Email us at for more trail suggestions and link for comprehensive Summit County trails.

Click here for a list from the Dillon Ranger District of Summit County for trails of all types.

After Hiking in Breckenridge

After a day of hiking in Breckenridge, come back to your Book Breck vacation come and soak away your stress in one of our featured hot tubs. Choose from 2-6 bedroom rentals located throughout Breckenridge. You can escape to the mountains or stay close to town. The choice is yours!

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