Boreas Pass: Must See in Breckenridge

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Activities, Blog, Summer

Breckenridge is the perfect place to experience Colorado summer, fall and winter. There are many areas to explore these beautiful seasons. Boreas Pass is a must-see activity in Breckenridge any time of year (it also makes the list for Best Free Activities in Breckenridge). This 22-mile road starts at the south end of town with the most popular sites being in the first 7 miles. Fall tends to be the most popular time to visit Boreas Pass for the glorious fall foliage, but this scenic drive, the historical sites and hiking trails just off the road make Boreas Pass a great activity anytime of year regardless of season. 

Getting there: Drive south on Main Street or Park Avenue/Highway 9 in Breckenridge. Turn left (east) onto Boreas Pass Road at the red light on the south end of Breckenridge. Follow the road as far as you like, then turn around and come back down into town. In winter, you will need to park at the gate and walk or snowshoe the rest of the way, as far as you want to go. 

History of Boreas Pass: In the 1860’s, Boreas Pass was known as Breckenridge Pass and was an important transportation area during the gold rush. Six years later, the trail’s popularity called attention, and it was widened so stagecoaches could begin using it. In 1882, a railroad connecting Breckenridge and Como was built to operate between the two towns for many years. In 1937, the track was disassembled for resources during WWII. Finally in 1952 Boreas Pass became the automobile road with hiking trails as we know it today. 

Things to Do at Boreas Pass: 

Take a Scenic Drive: From June to early November, drive east on Boreas Pass as far as you want to go, then turn around and come back to Breckenridge. There are many pull-in breathtaking overlooks to view the Ten Mile Range (the location of Breckenridge Ski Resort). In the fall, Boreas Pass is one of the most popular locations in the state of Colorado to view fall foliage. The aspen trees form an aspen tunnel over the road and the vistas showcase fall foliage at its best. You can drive all the way to the town of Como or Fairplay if you choose to do so.  

Boreas Pass Hiking/Biking Trails: There are many popular hiking trails to explore along Boreas Pass, ranging in difficulty and length, and a great place for a glorious winter walk or snowshoe. The trail is popular and gets packed down so you will likely only need waterproof boots until the snow gets soft in March. The trail is flat and the views are breathtaking. In summer/fall, Aspen Alley and Baker’s Tank are sites not to be missed, just to name a few. To see details on the trails in this area, check out AllTrails.

Mountain Biking: Many mountain bikers find the trails in the Boreas Pass area to be both exhilarating yet relaxing. Boreas Pass Road itself is rated easy and it’s leisurely flow makes it a popular mountain biking trail for the whole family.  

Outdoor Museums: Don’t miss out on these historical gems and great photo ops! The Sawmill Museum is the first outdoor museum you will see on your right on the drive up to Boreas Pass. This is also a hot spot for fall foliage photos.  At the summit of Boreas pass, you will come upon a crop of cabins and railroad remnants. The largest of these cabins is Ken’s Cabin, built in the 1860’s when Boreas Pass Road was just a wagon trail. Ken’s Cabin is one of the oldest buildings in the Breckenridge area.  On the way back down Boreas Pass to Breckenridge, you can take a short detour off Boreas Pass Road onto Illinois Gulch Road and take a look at the charming Washington Mine.  Tours and opportunities to gold mine are available through Breckenridge History or Most of the areas can be explored on your own. 

Summer and Fall are magical times in Breckenridge. We invite you to join in on all the fun and beauty there is to experience! Breck Mountain Rentals offers luxury cabins and vacation homes just steps away from the best Breckenridge activities and the ski resort.