Updated August 2020
As the leaves begin to change, our mountain landscape temporarily transforms into a golden glow of Aspens. This fleeting scene contrasts beautifully with the evergreen pines and the occasional early-season snowfall. It’s a perfect time to get outdoors and Breckenridge offers many ways to immerse yourself in this incredible transition time before snow starts to fall in earnest and our world turns white. Take a quiet stroll or hike with your friends and family on our wonderful trail system, check out a Fall 2020 event, or enjoy one of these scenic drives to experience fall in The Rockies. Read on to learn about the best leaf-peeping adventures in the high country near and around Breckenridge.
Boreas Pass - Enjoy panoramic town, mountain and valley views, spectacular clusters of Aspens and tunnels of trees known as Aspen Alley. Three and a half miles up Boreas Pass you will see Bakers Tank on your right. You can park here to hike the Baker's Tank Trail or keep driving to the summit of Boreas Pass. At the summit, another outdoor museum of sorts exists that provide great photo ops and interpretive signs about the history of Boreas Pass.
Directions: From Breckenridge, follow Main Street to the south end of town towards Alma/Fairplay. Turn left onto Boreas Pass Road. Follow the winding road up the mountain or stop at the outdoor Sawmill Museum to park, take a look around, and hike up the Aspen Alley trail to the parking area higher up on Boreas Pass Road.
Top of the Rockies National Scenic Byway - Expansive views of two iconic Colorado 14ers, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, and breathtaking valleys await you on this leisurely day drive. Not far into this drive on Highway 91 is the very popular Mayflower Gulch trail. The trailhead is located at the backside of a large parking lot on the left.
Directions: This byway start near Copper Mountain on I-70. Travel south on Highway 91 over Fremont Pass to Leadville. After arriving in Leadville, go west on 24 towards Red Cliff over Tennessee Pass, on through Minturn where you will meet up with I-70 East to head back to Summit County.
Hoosier Pass – This is one of the highest passes in Colorado—and it’s paved. Stop at the summit of Hoosier Pass where you will a Continental Divide sign and parking area on your right. There are trailheads from this parking lot or you can continue the drive over Hoosier Pass to the town of Fairplay.
Directions: Follow Highway 9 South through Breckenridge for approximately 20 miles. Hoosier Pass straddles the line between Summit and Park Counties.
Guanella Pass Scenic Byway – This is a 23-mile route through Pike and Arapaho National Forests linking Georgetown and Grant. From Georgetown, about 10 miles of the road is paved, with the remaining 12 miles unpaved. Slower speeds required. Great views of two 14ers—Gray’s and Torrey’s Peaks greet you along the way.
Directions: Follow I-70 East to Georgetown. Take exit 228 and drive to Guanella Pass Road.
Kenosha Pass - Drive through Park County along Highway 285 toward Denver to get to Kenosha Pass. As the Colorado Trail crosses the summit of Kenosha Pass, you’ll see a number of nearby hiking and biking trails. At this time of year, arriving early in the morning to watch the sunrise is a memorable experience—and it’s a very popular spot with leaf peepers, so if you can, visit during the week rather than on the weekend.
Directions: Follow Highway 9 through Breckenridge to Fairplay. At Fairplay turn left on to US-285 towards Denver.
Kebler Pass - The West Elk Loop Scenic Byway includes 30-mile Kebler Pass Road and passes through Crested Butte, Gunnison, Montrose and Carbondale. Kebler is lined with stands of Aspens for absolutely stunning scenery, and is home to the largest Aspen grove in Colorado. This is a destination drive from Breckenridge, so plan accordingly. In fact, consider stopping overnight to have plenty of time to enjoy this adventure.
Directions: Follow I-70 West to Highway 91 South. Take exit 195 for Highway 91 South toward Copper Mountain/Leadville. Follow US-50 West North Main Street in Gunnison. Then, Highway 135 North to Colorado Road 12.
The event calendar for Fall 2020 is entirely different than what we're used to in year's past, but that doesn't mean it won't still be fun!