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36 Things to Do in Breckenridge: Summer Activities

Lush, green hiking trails. Adorable, charming downtown scene. Clear, rushing river. Scenic gondola rides up the mountain. Adventurous alpine slides back. Crisp, fresh, cool air. Wildflower covered hills. The number of things to do in Breckenridge in the summer are plenty!

When most people think of Breckenridge, they imagine it in all its winter glory covered in sparkling snow with ski bunnies zipping down the slopes and sipping hot chocolate, but while Breckenridge is incredible in the winter, Breckenridge in the summer is quite amazing too!

We spent the most magical summer in Breckenridge and surrounding mountain towns in 2022 and are so excited to share our favorite places with you! We are returning as quickly as we can and I expect that you will too – it is really THAT amazing.

Loosely plan your Breckenridge summer adventures with our helpful list of things to do. From hiking to museums to tasty treats, and scenic views, you’ll find it here. Whether your trip starts with a few days in Denver or you are heading straight for the mountains, we are here to help you plan your summer in Breckenridge, Colorado!

Some of the links below are affiliate links which means that we earn a small commission if you choose to purchase – at no additional cost to you. We only recommend products that we use and think you will love as much as we do.

Best Things to Do in Breckenridge in Summer

Traveling soon and planning in a hurry? We’ve got you covered!

Here are our top 6 recommendations:

Hiking in Breckenridge in Summer

1. Learn About Mining History on the Iowa Hill Trail

Breckenridge is filled with opportunities to learn more about its mining past (more on that below), but our favorite way was to explore the Iowa Hill Trail. Located just off of Main Street downtown, this trail is labeled moderate due to a few steep incline spots, but we found it pretty easy for all ages.

The loop is less than a mile long, so it will only take you twenty minutes or so if you hurry right through – but don’t do that! The trail is sprinkled with educational plaques and plenty of artifacts to explore so plan to take the paths that branch off from the main path in order to see it all.

Soak up all the incredible beautiful wildflowers that line this path too! The Iowa Hill trail is the perfect easy hike during summer in Breckenridge. The views from the highest point also offer a beautiful view of downtown.

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife – we saw a moose from this trail on our visit!

2. Watch the Sunset from Sawmill Reservoir

The Sawmill Reservoir Trail is another trail that leaves from town, and it is highly underrated! Head over to the Snowflake Lift at the Breckenridge Ski Resort and take the path to the 10 acre lake.

Expect to find picnic areas, pine trees, beautiful wildflowers, and an easy 1.3 mile loop trail if you decide to explore the Sawmill Reservoir. While the area can get busy during peak season, we recommend to visit at sunset for incredible views, less crowds, and a perfect spot for dinner by the lake.

3. Take in the View from Sapphire Point

Head north from downtown toward the Dillon Reservoir for one of the most incredible overlooks in all of Breckenridge. A very short trail leads to the beautiful Sapphire Point Overlook.

This trail overlooks the picturesque, turquoise Dillon Reservoir and makes for the perfect family photo spot. Don’t be surprised if you see a wedding take place here! And please resist the urge to feed the chipmunks snacks – it is not good for them!

Breckenridge Summer Activities for the Adventurous

4. Speed Down the Alpine Slide

A highlight of our trip during summer in Breckenridge, was taking the gondola up Peak 8, riding the chairlift up to the top of the mountain, and then speeding down on the Alpine Slide. Our children LOVED this activity and would have ridden it over and over again if they could!

There are a few important tips to note that we weren’t prepared for when we visited the Alpine Slides. Firstly, it will save you a TON of time if you buy your passes in advance. The line to purchase was very long and there are liability forms to sign as well. A very short line is separate for those that pre-purchased.

Also, a chairlift ride up the mountain is required to access the slides. Only those that purchase a slide ticket can ride the chairlift. I had not planned to ride, but I was not comfortable having my children ride the chairlift alone (its a long ride!), so had to purchase two more adult slide tickets in order to have them each seated with an adult on the lift (only two people per lift). Not a deal breaker, but just a heads up!

5. Rent a Bike and Coast Down Vail Pass

Vail Pass offers a beautiful scenic bike ride down the mountain that will reward you with some the BEST views that Breckenridge has to offer in the summer months.

Rent a bike and relax while the shuttle transports you to the top of the mountain. Then coast down the mountain and enjoy the ride!

6. Go White Water Rafting on the Colorado River

There are a few spots to hit up the rapids near Breckenridge and see the landscape and mountains from the water! For a thrilling white water adventure, Browns Canyon is a popular spot for Class III-IV rapids. We are fans of this fantastic Half Day White Water Rafting trip.

Just an hour up the road, is the launch point for an incredible Half Day Upper River Float in Kremmling. This is a great option for a more relaxing time on the water and perfect for families with young children too (lunch included!)

7. Bike Ride from Breckenridge to Frisco on the Blue River Rec Path

This beautiful Recreation path is a gorgeous way to see more of the scenery while also getting to explore historic downtown Frisco which is so very charming. Plan to grab breakfast or lunch from Butterhorn Bakery and Cafe (I don’t even know what to recommend – it is ALL so delicious!) while you explore the town.

The 10 mile ride to Frisco is mostly downhill, but it is uphill on the way back – so we highly recommend these Breckenridge to Frisco Ebike Rentals. They make for an adventurous and fun day trip that is not too difficult for the average traveler.

8. Climb in the Saddle with Breckenridge Stables

In order to explore the trails of Breckenridge by horseback, check out Breckenridge Stables for an hour and half ride through the mountain trails around Peaks 9 & 10. All ages are allowed to ride (with little ones riding with their adults) as this trail ride is scenic and gentle.

Things to Eat in Breckenridge Colorado in the Summer

9. Munch on a Cookie from Mountain Top Cookie Shop

You can smell the cookies from Mountain Top Cookie Shop wafting down Main Street as you stroll. Don’t pass up this tasty bakery with so many varieties to choose from!

10. Pick up Fresh Juice from Lolo

For a healthy, refreshing beverage (no judgement if you drink it with your cookie!), stop into Lolo Juice for a delicious juice or smoothie. If you are hungry, their Londoner Bowl and lemon energy balls are fantastic too!

11. Happy Hour with a View at Ollie’s Pub & Grub

This tasty spot is on the water with great views and tasty eats. We are huge fans of hearty burgers after a day of exploring and the appetizers were fantastic. Don’t miss the Spinach Artichoke Dip at Ollie’s!

12. Pick Up a Crepe from Crepes a la Cart

Lemon Soufflé Crepe?! Umm…yes please! The Crepe Atlantic looks amazing if you prefer a savory option. And if you just want dessert for breakfast and choose to order the Caramel Nut Brownie, we won’t judge.

Come hungry, but not too hungry, because this popular cart usually has a bit of a line. Sit in the outdoor seating area and watch as everyone that walks by Crepes a la Cart does so wishing that there were eating what you’re eating!

13. Get a Burger at Downstairs at Eric’s

Downstairs at Eric’s is a favorite among visitors and locals alike. This fun sports bar offers eat-in tables as well as takeout which can be enjoyed outdoors or at tables in the arcade. Fan favorites include their spinach artichoke dip, French Onion soup, bakes wings, and calzones (big enough to share!).

14. Attend the Breckenridge Hogfest for Bacon and Bourbon

If you are planning a late summer trip in order to beat the crowds, you are in luck! In late August, Breckenridge hosts a Hogfest when visitors get to indulge in samples of bacon and tastings from the distillery while enjoying live music too.

Hidden Gems in Breckenridge in the Summer

15. Pick up a Scavenger Hunt from the Welcome Center

The Breckenridge Welcome Center offers a fun scavenger hunt for kids (or kids at heart!) to keep them entertained while you explore downtown. It is sure to help you discover some hidden gems of your own too!

You’ll also find valuable information about Breckenridge in the Welcome Center itself, as well as as interactive museum teaching about the history of this charming town.

16. Book An Escape Room Challenge

Our family is a huge fan of Escape Room challenges and we always have so much fun! We love trying new themes in places where we travel too. In Breckenridge, the weather is so fantastic in the summer that we want to be outdoors as much as possible, so we LOVE this Outdoor Escape Room with buried treasure to discover!

If you find yourself with a stormy afternoon, head indoors to Mountain Time Escape Room instead and see if you can master the Bigfoot Challenge!

17. Watch the Main Street Parade on 4th of July

The 4th of July parade on Main Street in Breckenridge is not not to be missed if you are here visiting in summer. The decorative floats, festive décor, and food vendors and live music make for a perfect summer day in the mountains.

18. Search for Local Artwork Around Downtown

Sprinkled throughout downtown Breckenridge are several wonderful art displays often inspired by nature. No planning required, just leave time to stroll the streets and enjoy!

19. Paddle board on Maggie Lake

Maggie Lake is a beautiful component to downtown and getting out on the lake is on the best things to do in Breckenridge in the summer. Head to Charter Sports for paddleboard rentals by the hour.

This peaceful lake is the perfect spot for beginners, and the Tenmile Mountain Range view in the background is sure to delight everyone who takes the time to soak it all in!

20. Pick up a Christmas Ornament from The Christmas Store as a Fun Keepsake

We are not big shoppers, but we love picking up Christmas ornaments when we travel as a souvenir. Each year when we put up our Christmas tree, we spend time reminiscing over past travels and love having a tangible reminder of fun memories. This place is open year-round so no worries about missing out if you are there in July. And, honestly, who can pass up a store with so many adorable bears and moose?!

21. Buy Local at the Farmer’s Market

Checking out local Farmer’s Markets is one our favorite ways to try local foods and products when traveling. In Breckenridge, you can do this at the Sunday Market all summer long. Check out Pines’ Nut Butter for the perfect energy snack or a Roasted Garlic Dip Mix from Lori’s.

22. Play Mini Golf at Epic Discovery

Epic Discovery is accessed by riding the free BreckConnect gondola up Peak 8. Epic Discovery is a fun play area filled with adventurous activities such as the Alpine Slide mentioned above.

Try your hand at mini golf with beautiful vistas surrounding the course. Or bungee on the trampoline or ride the mountain coaster. There is plenty to offer – no matter what your jam!

Pro tip: Lines are long so arrive early! Also, order your tickets online and sign the waiver, then you can go straight to will call to collect your wristbands and skip the long lines!

Best of the Breckenridge Activities in the Summer

23. Visit The Breckenridge Troll

The Breckenridge Troll is a 15 foot statue made of repurposed scrap wood who lives in the forest on the south end of downtown. Originally created by Thomas Dambo in 2018, visiting the troll is a quick “hike” with a lot of payoff.

The troll is accessed via an easy .25 mile path. He is a fun to see, a great photo spot, and also very popular. You can find all the details for where to find him in our full Breckenridge Troll article.

24. Kayak at the Frisco Marina

Just a short jaunt down the mountain from Breckenridge (seriously, less than 15 minutes?), is the sweet town of Frisco. The marina along the Lake Dillon Reservoir offers a great space to play and kayak. Rent one from the marina or bring your own and enjoy the peaceful water and amazing mountain views.

We got lucky and the rain moved around us, but as it often thunderstorms in the late afternoons in summer in Breckenridge, morning is your safest bet for being out on the water. You can read about all our tips for visiting here.

25. Build Sandcastles at the Frisco Marina

Also on the Frisco side of Lake Dillion, like the kayaking above, is a sandy beach! My kids were thrilled to find sand in the mountains and spent hours building a moat and playing football on the great expanse of a beach. They later told me it was their favorite part of the trip. Its the simple things, right?

Pro tip: Swimming is not allowed in Lake Dillion, both for safety reasons due to its chilly temperatures and also for cleanliness as it is a water source. Wading and scooping up buckets of water for sand castles it perfectly allowable. 🙂

26. Pick up a New Water Bottle Sticker on Main Street

Do your water bottles and bike helmets look like ours? Several fun shops along Main Street offered fun, local waterproof stickers to add to our collection to always remember our amazing summer in Breckenridge!

27. Pan for Gold

Country Boy Mine is where you will want to go for gold panning in this historic mining town. You can add on a tour of the mine before panning for gold to get a real taste of the history here.

The tour will take you 1000 feet into the mountain, entertain you with stories about the hard life of being a miner, and end with historic exhibits. Gold panning allows you to dig for treasures and hopefully take some gold flakes home with you as a souvenir.

Expect some bonus activities to thrill the family, like sweet donkeys to visit, a large mining slide, axe throwing, and other outdoor fun!

28. Have a Picnic Near Blue River

Find a quiet spot near the river that runs through downtown and enjoy a picnic or ice cream cone from Higgles. The number of incredibly picturesque spots to just sit and take in the view are numerous!

29. Leave No Trace

In an effort to be sustainable and keep Breckenridge beautiful, remember to always leave no trace! Pack out all trash and only take photos and memories home with you from the trails.

30. Drive the Scenic Boreas Pass

While Boreas Pass may be filled with fall colors in the autumn, summer is sure to awe you with its green landscape and beautiful aspens in the summer too.

Start in Como and drive this dirt road to Breckenridge stopping at the historic railroad landmarks and scenic stops along the way. It is about 20 miles across the pass, so expect to take a couple of hours with stops.

Free Things to do in Breckenridge in Summer

31. Ride the Breckenridge Gondola up to Peak 8

While the top of Peak 8 boasts Epic Discovery with its alpine slides, coasters, mini golf and more, it is possible to JUST ride the gondola up and enjoy the views!

The BreckConnect Gondola is free! Ride it up and down the mountain all day if you want to and take in the incredible, green, lush mountains below.

Note that they keep the line moving here! They will split your party in order to fill each gondola to capacity and the line moves quickly, so be ready to hop on!

32. View the Wildflowers on the Iowa Hill Trail

The wildflowers are incredible in Breckenridge in July! Make sure to take the time to enjoy them. They bloom in many places, but our favorite was along the Iowa Hill Trail, where you can also learn about the history of the mining operations here. Can you spot the Colorado State Flower? Hint: It is a white and purple Columbine!

33. Stand on Both Sides of the Continental Divide at Hoosier Pass

The Continental Divide is the split which sends all water on the east side toward the Atlantic and all the water that falls on the west side toward the Pacific.

Hoosier Pass is one of many spots in Colorado where you can learn more about the Continental Divide and also take one of the beautiful trails that depart from the divide.

Expect hairpin turns on this drive along with those beautiful views!

34. Ride the Trolley around Downtown Breckenridge

Breckenridge has worked hard to be a walkable town with easy access to all it has to offer. When you visit, they encourage you to leave your car behind. Take the free trolley around town to get you where you need to be if your feet need a break. The trolley is a great way to see all that the town has to offer, so feel free to hop on and off all day.

35. Stop by the Welcome Center to Learn More About the Town

Not only an amazing resource for visitor’s regarding trails, activities, and the best places to eat, but the Welcome Center also acts as a mini museum with hands on exhibits to teach you more about Breckenridge.

Pro Tip: You’ll also find a clean restroom here that is open to the public. The center is closed Sundays and Mondays, but the restroom remains open.

36. Splash Around at the Blue River Plaza

The river running through town serves as the perfect spot to splash around and cool down as well as have a takeout picnic. Blue River Plaza also serves as a beautiful backdrop for the live music and community events that frequently take place here.

READ MORE ABOUT COLORADO TRAVEL HERE:

I hope you have an amazing time exploring these things to do in summer in Breckenridge! It is one of our favorite places – let us know if we missed anything amazing!

Thank you for sharing!

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