The Best Family Hikes in Breckenridge, Colorado
People enjoy hiking for many different reasons. Some crave the workout. Others like to explore and take in fantastic mountain views. And many just enjoy an activity the whole family can share together.
Skill ratings for each hike vary from easy to expert. But, when the kids are joining, it’s best to choose an easy to moderate hike that everyone can enjoy. We have decided on a handful of family-friendly hikes in the Breckenridge area to use as a guide on your next trip out to Colorado.
Breckenridge’s Iowa Hill Mine Hike
This 1.2 mile loop is full of mining ruins that date back over 100 years. You can take the hike on your own or join a tour by the Breckenridge Historical Alliance. If you go on your own or with your family, look for the signs along the way with historical facts and explanations about the area.
What is the Iowa Hill Mine Hike Like?
The hike starts with a gradual uphill climb where you will be surrounded by aspen and pine trees. At the end, you will finish going downhill and have a beautiful view that looks out over Breckenridge.but the end finishes downhill. For those who are beginner hikers and looking to get acclimated to the elevation, this is the perfect start. It’s also fun for kids who want to explore the old mining relics!
How To Drive To The Iowa Hill Mine Trailhead
Head North on Highway 9 out of town. Turn left onto Valley Brook Road at the 2nd stop light after the roundabout and then right onto Airport Rd. The trail head will be .25 miles down on the left. There is a dirt lot for parking.
Sawmill Creek Trail
Follow this shaded trail about a mile and end up at the gorgeous Sawmill Reservoir! It’s an easy afternoon hike to take with the family. Pack a lunch and have a picnic at the Reservoir with views of Breckenridge and the 10-Mile Mountain Range that surrounds you.
What Is The Sawmill Creek Trail Hike Like?
The hike itself is short and very well shaded by surrounding pine trees. It’s gentle elevation gain makes it suitable for hikers of varying abilities, and especially for families with small children. If you aren’t used to the altitude of Breckenridge, this would be a great starter hike for you.
How Do You Get To The Sawmill Creek Trail?
One of the best parts about this hike is it’s proximity to downtown Breckenridge! Most people walk up the Four O’Clock Road to the Snowflake lift. Or, you can also hop on the Yellow Route of the Breckenridge Free Ride to the base of the lift. From there, signs will point you where you need to go.
Hoosier Pass Loop
Hoosier Pass Loop is a beautiful hike that is great for beginner hikers and for families looking for a daytime adventure. This hike is located less than 10 miles from downtown Breckenridge, so it’s easy to get to. At the top, you will 360-degree views that will take your breath away!
How To Drive To The Hoosier Pass Loop Hike
The drive to the Hoosier Pass Loop hike is easy—just head south on State Highway 9 through Blue River. When you get to the top of Hoosier Pass, parking will be on your right at the Continental Divide sign.
What Is The Hoosier Pass Loop Trail Like?
After parking, you will take the Jeep road on the far side of the parking lot and head west. As you hike, you will see the Montgomery Reservoir off of the left side of the trail. This is your cue to pay careful attention to the trail! From here on out, the trail is much less obvious. Keep your eyes peeled for cairns (stacks of rocks) that mark the trail. Follow them to your destination!
The hike itself is about 3 miles long with only 700 feet of elevation gain. While that sounds incredibly easy, be aware that the starting elevation is a whopping 11,540 feet above sea level. Our recommendation is you take it slow and stay well hydrated! If you are hiking with kids, bring them a little snack to refuel at the top.
You will experience everything from a high alpine environment to some cool geological boundaries. Be sure to keep your eyes out for native plants such as the Rocky Mountain Columbine and other interesting flora.
McCullough Gulch Trail
The McCullough Gulch Trail is the most advanced of the 4 family-friendly hikes listed. It’s a great trail for an active family with older kids. Along the hike, you will pass White Falls and end up at the Upper Blue Reservoir. Pack a lunch and get to hiking!
What Is The McCullough Gulch Hike Like?
The hike is approximately 2.7 miles to the upper reservoir. It begins on an old, steep mining road. Rising alongside the creek, you will come to a fork in the road. Veer left, and continue along the rocky path until you arrive at your end destination—the Upper Blue Reservoir!
The elevation gain of this hike is approximately 800 feet. Be sure to bring a camera because the views at the end are gorgeous! You can even pack a lunch and enjoy a family picnic along the banks of the reservoir.
Please note: This trail can have unstable footing in various places. Please make sure you have appropriate gear including hiking boots. This will help you significantly in places where the footing is unstable. Not sure what to pack or what appropriate gear is? View our blog post on 10 Must-Haves for your Hiking Pack for more information.
How To Drive To The McCullough Gulch Trail Head
Head south on Highway 9 and make a left onto Blue Lakes Reservoir Road (Road #850). From there, take an immediate right onto Road #851 toward the Quandary Peak Trailhead. Keep driving for about 2 miles to the gated trailhead. Park your car, sunscreen up, and start hiking!
Our Favorite Lake Hikes
Interested in hiking three prestige lakes, perched on a mountain top? Read about our “top 3 lake hikes in Breckenridge“.