Road Trip Journal Entry #3: Biking in Breckenridge 1
Author thumbnail By M. Scott Smith, DCSki Editor

During September of 2000, DCSki’s Editor loaded his car up and headed west, with no fixed agenda - just a yearning for some adventure and fun.

Journal Entry #3: Biking in Breckenridge

Your choice. Breckenridge  offers an assortment of paved and unpaved bike trails with one thing in common: a great view.
Paved or unpaved? Your choice. Breckenridge offers an assortment of paved and unpaved bike trails with one thing in common: a great view. Photo by M. Scott Smith.

After spending a couple days in Breckenridge, Colorado, I think I’ve decided it’s my favorite ski town.

Unfortunately, I’ve never been skiing at Breck, but I have visited the town three times when there has been no snow on the slopes.

Normally, that would be downright depressing. Thankfully, Breck offers plenty of “off-season” activities, and the locals will tell you that summer is their favorite season.

Still, I look with a somewhat somber eye up to the grass-covered slopes and motionless lifts. Sigh.

Breckenridge enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a lively ski town, a favorite among the younger, 20-something crowd but also quite popular with families. Main Street in Breck is lined with dozens of shops and plenty of watering holes. Walk down the street at night and you’ll hear the sounds of discussion, the commentary of sports games, and the clicking of billiard balls coming from within packed establishments.

After camping in Rocky Mountain National Park and a quick side-trip to my hometown of Ft. Collins, I decided to temporarily leave camping behind and checked into the Beaver Run Resort, which offers ski-in, ski-out condos. (During the winter, of course.)

Main Street of Breckenridge  is packed with dozens of shops, restaurants, and pubs. Aprés  ski lasts year-round.
Great ski town. Main Street of Breckenridge is packed with dozens of shops, restaurants, and pubs. Aprés ski lasts year-round. Photo by M. Scott Smith.

Record-breaking high temperatures remained in Colorado, bringing daytime temps at Breck into the low-80’s. At night, a light jacket was necessary due to brisker temperatures. Most condos at Breck don’t have air-conditioning; even during mid-summer, temperatures rarely climb above the mid-80’s and always drop at night.

After a good night’s sleep, I pulled out my mountain bike, road around town a bit, and then headed for the hills in search of a trailhead. With hundreds of miles of biking trails in the region, this wasn’t much of a challenge. I road east of town and found a singletrack trail heading into the pine trees. I spent the next couple hours following the trail as it wound through scenes fit for a postcard: golden leaves shimmering on aspen trees, small lakes surrounded by meadows, and surprised chipmunks chattering as they ran off the trail.

Aspen trees turn golden yellow in a last  hurrah before winter arrives.
Singletrack through a fall paradise. Aspen trees turn golden yellow in a last hurrah before winter arrives. Photo by M. Scott Smith.

Other trails climb above treeline, or wind around old mining ruins. Before skiing, Breckenridge was a mining town, and evidence of this past life is easy to spot.

After my singletrack adventure, I headed back into town and spent a few miles on one of the most popular biking/jogging/roller blading trails at Breck - a paved trail connecting Breck with Frisco. This trail actually continues past Frisco and connects with ski resorts further west, including Copper Mountain and even Vail. Covering the entire trail is a real challenge due to its length and elevation change. The very existence of such an incredible trail, probably one of the most scenic bike trails in the world, shows the value Coloradans place on recreation.

A couple days in Breckenridge almost convinced me to pack my bags and move out there. (Hmm.. BreckSki.com?) Then I had a look at home prices. Like other ski towns in Colorado, house and condo pricing in Breckenridge is at a premium. Small condos run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A well-maintained, paved trail connects Breckenridge with Frisco. But it doesn't stop  there - after Frisco, it shadows I-70 all the way to Vail, crossing  the Continental Divide.
Biker friendly. A well-maintained, paved trail connects Breckenridge with Frisco. But it doesn’t stop there - after Frisco, it shadows I-70 all the way to Vail, crossing the Continental Divide. Photo by M. Scott Smith.

So for now I’ll remain content to visit Breckenridge. Some day, I imagine I’ll even try the skiing. I hear that’s pretty good, too.

Next stop: Moab, Utah.

Tips for visiting Breckenridge:

Other Journal Entries:

Entry #1: The Long Road West

Entry #2: Stairway to Heaven

Entry #3: Biking in Breckenridge

Entry #4: The Moab Mecca

Entry #5: Leaving Las Vegas

About M. Scott Smith

M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.

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Reader Comments

John
September 27, 2000
Sounds like an exciting trip!

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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