Camping in Breckenridge and Summit County, Colorado
By Julian Gothard, Examiner.com
The attractive alpine town of Breckenridge was founded by General George E. Spencer and populated by pioneers and prospectors during the 1859 Pike’s Peak gold rush in the Blue River Valley. The town has grown from a small 320-acre mining base camp, consisting of a handful of stores, notorious saloons like the “Gold Pan,” seedy brothels and hotels; to the current 5.3-square mile, modern resort town. Today, it is an immensely popular destination for hikers, cyclists, golfers and fishermen; as well as being one of the premier ski resorts in the Unites States.
Breck, A Ski Town
Skiing came to Breckenridge in the early 1960s and the resort presently attracts in excess of 1.6 million skiers and snowboarders every season. It incorporates four ski areas and a number of terrain parks on Peaks 7 through 10. Peak 8, at a height of 12,998 feet, boasts the ski slope at the highest elevation, though in actuality Peaks 9 and 10 are higher. Most of the two diamond “expert” pistes can be found on Peaks 7 and 8. Snowfall in Breckenridge averages 168 inches per year – though there was a record high of 404 inches in 1893. The resort is at its coldest in January and warmest in July. Sleigh rides, Snow Cat tours, dog sledding and snow shoe walking round-off the winter entertainment.
The town is also a fashionable summer destination for hikers and mountain bikers as both activities enable visitors to take-in the breathtaking scenery and stunning mountain vistas. There are a number of paved and dirt mountain bike trails, of varying distances, in and around Breckenridge. Peaks 8 and 9 offer a number of testing bike trails including the Game Trail, Pioneer Trail, Frosty’s Challenge and the Wagon Trail. The popularity of cycling in the area has spawned events like the “Breckenridge 100,” an epic backcountry challenge that has been held annually since 2005. In addition, Summit County provides an abundance of easy to strenuous hikes including treks at Loveland Pass (3.0 miles round-trip), Mohawk Lake (7.0 miles round-trip) and McCullough Gulch (2.8 miles round-trip).
The “Summer Trails” trailheads all originate from within Breckenridge and nearly all trails, with the exception of Cucumber Gulch, are dog friendly. The scenic Lily Pad Lakes Trail (3.0 miles round-trip) with its moderate grades is an especially good hike for our four-legged friends. This trail, like many trails in the area, is at approximately 10,000 feet, so unless you are acclimated to the elevation, walking may prove very taxing. Closer to town you can take the dog friendly three mile Morning Thunder loop trail or, four blocks from Main Street, you can visit Carter Park Dog Park.
Fly-fishing for Rainbow and Brown Trout in the Blue River is also a popular recreation activity as is whitewater rafting, horseback riding and off-roading in your own or a hired 4×4 whether crossing the Georgia Pass, tooling around Camp Hale, or exploring the surrounding mountains. Getting around town and the ski area is facilitated by the free shuttle bus service that operates daily from 6:15 am to 11:45 pm.
RV at Tiger Run Resort
RV’ers should definitely consider staying at the Tiger Run Resort in Breckenridge. This is a superb vacation resort located just above Dillon Reservoir and resting beneath the Ten Mile-Mosquito mountain range close to the 723,000 acre Arapaho National Forest. The resort offers an eclectic mix of modern log cabins ($77-$172) and paved RV back-in and pull-through sites, full hook-ups including Wi-Fi and cable. RV sites are located adjacent to the Swan River and the Blue River (36’ or longer) both of which run through the resort. There are also RV sites outside the Lodge. At the center of the resort you will find the 12,000-foot recreation center with an indoor pool and spa, game room, TV room and 24-hour laundry and shower facilities. Outside they have tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.
Check in: 1:00pm Check out: 11:00am | Clubhouse hours: 10am-10pm | Restrictions: No tent trailers, pop-ups or truck campers. RV length 20’ minimum |
Pets: Pets are welcome but are not permitted in the clubhouse or cabins |