The world at large might know Breckenridge, Colorado, for its ski resort. But that, certainly, is to underestimate this alpine aerie’s other assets. Framed by forested mountains and often snowy peaks, this historic gold rush town has atmosphere, yes, but also an abundance of outdoor activities on offer to enjoy once ski season ends.
Said ski season is remarkably long, usually starting early November and finishing up at the end of April, long after much of the country has rounded the corner into spring. Between May and October, warmer weather melts snow and ice to reveal glittering lakes and scenic trails around Breckenridge, Colorado, the playground of outdoor enthusiasts.
Hikers and mountain bikers can penetrate the rugged Rocky Mountains from trailheads that start right in town; there’s even easy access to the 500-mile long Colorado Trail, which links Denver to the east with Durango to the southwest. And though you could stay busy for some time just tackling town trails, you’re close enough to the 2.3 million acre sprawl of White River National Forest to put long backpacking sojourns and weekend camping trips within easy reach.
Though it rarely gets particularly hot in these parts, it does warm up enough to make spending time on the water a pleasant past-time. Dillon Reservoir is only a stone’s throw to the north, a flurry of sailboats and fishermen during warmer months, the latter lured in by the promise of rainbow trout, kept stocked by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. If it is, in fact, fish that makes you pick up your ears, then take note: this is fantastic fly-fishing country, and for convenience it’s hard to beat the Blue River, which runs right through town. There’s also good white water rafting in these parts, whether you’re looking for a challenging run like Numbers or a more family-friendly float down the Colorado River.
In other words, jump all over those balmy 70 degree days of summer and get outside already. Breckenridge’s “between” season is deliciously short.