Summer Hike with Boreas Pass Views
Summer Hike with Boreas Pass Views

Hiking in Breckenridge Without A Car

You don’t need a car to hike some spectacular trails in Breckenridge. Free public transportation can whisk you to many popular trailheads to make hiking in Breckenridge without a car simple and easy. Hop on the Breck Free Ride. The Breck Free Ride is a community-wide free transit system complete with an easy app and routes designed to get you to where you want to be.  All bus routes start at the Breckenridge Transit Center, located near the Gondola.  Check with your lodging company for shuttle options to the transit center or hiking trails.  Learn more about going car-free in Breckenridge.


Trails Accessible By Bus in Breckenridge:

Blue River Trail from the Ice Rink to the Sawmill Museum

Fairy Slipper Flower alongside the Blue River Trail.

Fairy Slipper Flower alongside the Blue River Trail.

Length: 2.5 miles round-trip +/-, allow 1.5-2 hours, relatively easy

Trail Description:

The Blue River Trail rolls gently along a ridge bordering Illinois Creek, crossing a variety of ecosystems, from thick spruce forest to aspen groves and open meadows. Mining relics, wildflowers, and views of Boreas Pass and the Ten Mile Range draw you along the trail.

Near the trailhead, you’ll find Sawmill Museum which is a project of the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, showing a wide variety of tools and steam-powered equipment used to saw lumber for the growing Breckenridge mining camp. A self-guided tour is available.  Return to the Ice Rink the way you came.

Bus Routes: Main Street Trolley as well as the Gray, Gold, Blue and Rec Center Express Routes all provide easy transportation to this trail
The Main Street Trolley loops up and down Main Street, making it easy to head back to town for lunch after your hike.

Directions from bus route to trail:  From the Ice Rink stop, walk across the parking lot to the forest on the south side, keeping the Ski Area on your west (right). The trail starts at the Illinois Creek Trailhead sign. Cross the creek on the wooden footbridge. At the fork, go left to Illinois Creek High. Look for Fairy Slipper Orchids in the spruce forest as the trail trends up toward the signed junction with the Blue River Bike Path, go left.  The trail name is a bit of a misnomer, as the path is clearly a single-track trail through the woods and not a bike path in the paved sense. However, do expect to see mountain bikes and other users on the trail.

Directions & More Info

Three More Trails Nearby:

  • Trollstigen Trail – This trail will bring you to the famous Breckenridge Troll!  It’s a short and easy trail to explore before or after your hike.
  • Illinois Creek Trail – This versatile trail can take you on a short loop behind the ice arena or all the way to the SawMill Museum and Aspen Alley.  If you take the upper path there’s some great scenic views of the mountain while other locations put your streamside among the trees.  This is a good option for hiking with kids due to proximity to the troll, icerink and ability to proximity to the bus stop.
  • Sunbeam Trail – You’ll find this easy connector trail across the street from the ice rink.  You can take the trail back into town or use it to connect to Hermit Placer or Moonstone trail for longer hikes.  It does connect to popular mountain biking trails so be sure to share the trail.

Beaver Run to the Ski Run or Burro Trail

The Burro Trail follows along a creek as it makes its way into the forest.

The Burro Trail follows along a creek as it makes its way into the forest.

Length: 1 to 5 miles round trip, allow at least an hour, easy to moderate

Trail Description:

The trail begins at the base of Peak 9 and the start of the trail offers views of the Breckenridge Ski Resort and town.  Once you head into the forest, you will quickly be surrounded by nature.  The trail takes you along a creek and a forest of pine trees.  Contine further along the trail for meadows and wildflowers. You’ll enjoy a secluded feel from a trail this conveniently located trail.

Burro Trail Option: From the sign, follow the Burro Trail along the delightfully bubbling Lehman Creek. Turn around when the mood strikes you, or follow the trail for miles to the Spruce Creek Trail. The Burro Trail is one of the easy hikes from downtown Breckenridge.

Option Two – Ski Run:  A popular option is to hike up the ski run on your right/west, travelling underneath the Quicksilver lift. The first hill is steep, but the path flattens out at the top and rewards you with sweeping views of Breckenridge and the Continental Divide.  Horses from the Breckenridge Stables can be seen ahead. Turn around when you’ve had enough.

Bus Routes: Gray, Gold and Blue Routes
The Gray Route stops at many of the major hotels and lodges in-town and is a popular way for conference guests to access all Breckenridge has to offer.

Directions from bus route to trail::  Disembark the bus at the main entrance to Beaver Run Resort. Proceed west toward the Beaver Run Super Chair. Walk between the building and the chairlift, heading south across the ski run and underneath the Quicksilver lift toward the sign for the Burro Trailhead.

Directions & More Info

Three More Trails Nearby:


River Trail from Rec Center to Colorado Mountain College

The River Trail follows the Blue River as it flows to the north of Breckenridge, and is one of the great spots for those people hiking in Breckenridge without a car.

The River Trail follows the Blue River as it flows to the north of Breckenridge.

Length: 1.3 miles one way, allow an hour or so, easy

Trail Description:

The River Trail offers mountain views of the 10-mile range as well as a close-up of Breckenridge’s might Blue River. Amble downstream along the Blue River soaking in the sounds of rushing water and birds calling, and watch for wildflowers and fishermen.  This is a great trail for those new to hiking or those nervous about getting lost in the woods. This trail offers line of sight and no forks which makes it easy to navigate.

Bus Routes: Gray & Green Routes Route

Directions from bus route to trail: Walk east toward the Breckenridge Recreation Center, following the green signs “To Rec Path.” After the skate park, turn left/north along the paved shared-use path a short distance. Cross Valley Brook Road and immediately turn right to follow the dirt River Trail path.  After about a mile and a quarter, you’ll see Colorado Mountain College on your left/west. Get close to the ski lift towers to find the asphalt path that takes you to the campus. The bus stop is in front of the building. Take the bus back to the Rec Center or the Breck Station Transit Center to complete your journey. You can also do this trail in reverse by taking the Gray Route bus to Colorado Mountain College and returning to the Rec Center by following the trail upstream.

Directions & More Info

Three More Trails Nearby:

  • Summit County Rec Path – This paved multiuse recreational path follows the Blue River and can take users all the way to Frisco, Dillon and beyond.
  • Lower + Middle +Upper Flume Trails – Cross the hwy to take advantage of this series of trails that form an easy loop through a mix of forests, fields and million-dollar homes.

Iowa Hill Trail

Details of the Blacksmith shop on Iowa Hill.

Details of the Blacksmith shop on Iowa Hill.

Length: 1.50 mile loop, allow 1.5 – 2 hours, more difficult

Trail Description:

Iowa Hill Trail meanders past interesting historic sites and mining artifacts so you might not even notice how much elevation you are gaining. Numerous interpretive signs along the way teach more about hydraulic mining innovations developed at Iowa Hill. This trail offers plenty of opportunities to break and has a few benches as well. Easily marked trails lead to interpretive sites such as a blacksmith shop and hydraulic piping. At the top is an 1868 log Boarding House. The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance offers a guided tour that includes entry into the historic building.

Bus Route: Gray, Purple and Green Routes

Directions from bus route to trail: To get there from the bus stop, stay on the sidewalk heading north a short distance until you see the Iowa Hill Trailhead sign and cross the street. Follow the dirt road 100 yards north to the trailhead. Talk about hiking in Breckenridge without a car!

Directions & More Info

Three More Trails Nearby:

  • Summit County Rec Path – This paved multiuse recreational path follows the Blue River and can take users all the way to Frisco, Dillon and beyond.
  • Lower + Middle +Upper Flume Trails – Cross the hwy to take advantage of this series of trails that form an easy loop through a mix of forests, fields and million-dollar homes.

French Gulch to Wellington Trail

A hiker on mining remnants near Country Boy Mine.

A hiker near mining remnants near Country Boy Mine.

Length: .75 mile loop with options, allow an hour, easy

Trail Description:

Relics of Depression-era gold-seeking, cobbled together from old truck beds and scavenged mining parts, can be seen from the trail. Heading east, enjoy stunning views of the Breckenridge Ski Area. For a longer option, use the French Gulch bus stop as a jumping-off point for the trail network system in French Gulch, starting at the B&B Trailhead, about .25 mile past the Country Boy Mine.

Longer Option Westbound: Return west on the Wellington Trail past the Wellington Neighborhood, about .75 miles through spruce forest and intimate meadows. Turn right at Stables Road and connect to the bus at the Lincoln Park stop or across the street at the Little Red Schoolhouse stop.

Bus Route: Purple Route 

Directions from bus route to trail: Exit the bus at the French Gulch turn-around and proceed on the gravel path to the east. Turn right at the green gate and take the old road south to the gravel Wellington Trail. Travel east on the trail along French Creek to the driveway for the Country Boy Mine. Continue east for further explorations, loop back by walking down French Gulch Road to the bus stop, or return the way you came.

Directions and More Info

Three More Trails Nearby:

  • B&B Trail Easy looped trail through the woods.  There are plenty of connector trails nearby that can make this a longer hike.
  • Reiling Dredge Trail – Connect from the B&B trail to find relics of an old mining dredge can be seen from this trail as well as tailing piles from dredge boat gold mining.
  • Minnie Mine Trail – This looping trail takes you past historic mines and is a great pick for fall leaf peeping.  Nearby connector trails can turn this one into a full day hike.

Find More Trails

If you’re looking for a few more trails, we’ve got them.  Our Buss-able Hikes Map highlights trails that are easily accessible on Breckenridge’s free public transportation system.   For more details and other great hikes, visit the Breckenridge Welcome Center.

What to know before you go

Before you head outdoors, follow these simple layering and packing tips.

Layers –  With changing weather patterns and higher elevations. Pack a few layers to stay warm and dry.

Sun Protection – With 300 days of annual sunshine, you’ll always want plenty of sunshine.

Water & Snacks – It’s easier to become dehydrated at 9600+ feet and you know, you’re climbing mountains.  Bring plenty of water and snacks to fuel you up and avoid the hangrys.

Leave No Trace Principles

Anytime you are out enjoying nature, it’s important to abide by Leave No Trace principles. Remember pack it in, pack it out always— this includes all trash, waste, gear etc. If you see trash along the trail, pick it up! It is best to leave the trail and the wilderness even more beautiful than when you arrived whenever possible. Stay on the trail and avoid the side trails or any shortcuts to preserve the natural environment as much as possible while avoiding erosion. You can help us preserve and protect what we love by following Leave No Trace practices during your visit.  Learn more by taking the Tree-Hugger Challenge.

Summer Hiking in Breckenridge

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downtown Breckenridge at dusk
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