Winter is here! An activity that may become more popular this year for a safe and socially distanced adventure is snowshoeing. The tradition of snowshoeing is thought to be as old as 6,000 years beginning in Central Asia. The snowshoe as we know it today came from the North American Indigenous peoples in an effort to hunt and fish during the winters. Nowadays, we use snowshoes to hike for pleasure or to get the backcountry to ski or board down some fresh powder lines. Whether you are a first timer or a seasoned snowshoer, you’ll find the perfect trail for you right near the town of Breckenridge, Colorado.
1. Boreas Pass Road
During the summer, Boreas Pass Road This trail is a popular 4×4 stretch and is also home to incredible mountain biking in that area. During the winter, the gate shuts for vehicle access to this road, but incredible views are just a few hundred yards away from the parking area. The beauty of snowshoeing in and out of glades of spruce, aspen, and fir trees makes this a local hot spot, and you’ll catch some amazing sights high above Breckenridge looking west at the Mosquito Range and Tenmile Range.
2. Baker’s Tank
Venture away from the easy grade of Boreas Pass road for a 6.6 mile trek on a more intermediate rated trail called Baker’s Tank. This forest trail was created for snowshoes east of the Boreas Pass Road. The original route is still available on the former railroad bed, but is more crowded. This newer trail is more difficult with rises and falls through the woods. The snow will often be better than on the road due to less sun exposure and this will help in avoiding the foot and pet traffic on Boreas Pass Road. Baker’s Tank is a large restored water tank that’s right alongside the road on Boreas Pass.
3. Summit County’s Recreation Path
There is a path that extends from the Breckenridge Recreation Center over to the town of Frisco that has 8 miles of groomed free trails. It’s accessible from a lot of places in Breckenridge and the mellow grades aren’t too strenuous and welcoming for the whole family. You can venture out a little ways or make a day of it and take the bus from Frisco back to Breckenridge after warming up with a hot coffee from Rocky Mountain Coffee Roasters.
4. B&B Trail
The B&B Trail is close to town that transports you to early mining days. Look for piles of tailings and much more! After about a mile there will be a junction. Take a left to continue on the loop or hang a right to extend your day on Turk’s Trail before joining up with Sallie Barber Road. This area of trail systems can have you exploring the backcountry on the east side of Breckenridge for hours upon end. Make sure you print off a trail map and understand the area prior to departing!
5. Reiling Dredge
Reiling Dredge Trail is a short trail that is a great destination for beginners. The Reiling Gold Dredge is a mining dredge boat last used in 1922. Enjoy the views of peaks 6 and 7 of Breckenridge Ski Resort in the distance. This trail connects to the B&B Trail listed above if you are looking for a longer hike.
6. South Illinois Creek Trail
South Illinois Creek Trail is one of the easiest snowshoe trails to access because of its proximity to downtown Breckenridge. To get there, park at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena. Breckenridge’s notorious Isak Heartstone sculpture installation is also in the area, which is an incredible sight to see for visitors of all ages.
7. Iowa Hill Mine Trail
The trail goes through the Iowa Hill Mine and is an easy hike at only one and half miles total loop. If you’re looking for some cool views in a historic mining area, Iowa Hill is a great stop for you.
8. Breckenridge Nordic Center
Breckenridge Nordic Center is on Peak 8 and is an awesome pitstop for families and beginner snowshoers. There are three beginner trails. Here you can rent your snowshoes and choose your own adventure, or go on a guided hike. The Breckenridge Nordic Center also has ski lessons and snowcat adventures at their location as well!
These 8 trails are some of Breckenridge’s best. For tips on snowshoeing, head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uepDuBXXBM8 and watch the basics. Head out on a snowshoeing adventure the next time you’re in Breckenridge, then we’ll see you on the slopes!