Breckenridge Historical Tours
Beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado might primarily be known as a ski town in modern-day, but back in the day, it was a much different place. In the late 1850’s, pioneers heard rumors of riches to be found in the mountains, so they ventured out west and settled in Breckenridge to begin their search for precious metals. When the first traces of gold were discovered, the town boomed. It was suddenly flooded with miners and their families looking to change their lives. Today, the town and surrounding areas are filled with historical remains of this hard rock mining era. And those warm summer months are the best time to explore and learn the history of this renowned ski town.
Breckenridge Heritage Alliance
The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance offers numerous historic tours of the area. These are guided strolls with local experts and historians that will take you into historic—and sometimes haunted—buildings, guided hikes to mines, and more. Here is a full list of tours offered.
Historic Walking Tour of Breckenridge
Take a walk through Breck’s nationally recognized historic district where you will learn about businesses and families of the past. You will walk through some of the oldest buildings in town such as log cabins and various stately residences. Enjoy stories of the earliest residents from more than 100 years ago.
Victorian Tour & Tea
The Victorian Tour & Tea will give you an in depth look at the life of Breckenridge’s leading lady at the turn of the century—Katie Briggle. You will also explore the history of life in a prosperous mining town. The tour concludes with a traditional Victorian tea service and treats in the beautifully restored Briggle home!
Breckenridge Haunted Tour
For those who want more of a thrill, take the late evening stroll through Breck’s haunted historic district! Hear unexplained stories from the town’s mining days and visit the home of William H Briggle in search of the spirit of Katie Briggle. It’s a tour that will surely keep you guessing!
Behind Swinging Doors Saloon Tour
This tour will give you a real taste for life in the Wild West! In 1880, Breckenridge was home to a whopping eighteen saloons. Learn about the businesses of the past and those who frequented them. You will also visit several establishments that have survived since the early days such as Breckenridge Distillery.
Tombstone Tales at Twilight Tour
Prepare yourself for a rather eerie nighttime walk through the historic Valley Brook Cemetery. You will learn the fascinating stories behind some of the town’s earliest settlers and see their final resting place. Along the way, take note of the hand-carved gravestones that represent some of the town’s earliest art and written history.
Preston Ghost Town Hike
This is a 3 mile guided hike that takes you to a small town called Preston, Colorado. Over 130 years ago, this town had approximately 150 residents. Today, all that resides there are the ghostly remains of former Preston-ians.
French Gulch Dredge Boat Hike
Follow an experienced guide on a fun hike through the fabled Golden Horseshoe. This was one of the state’s most fertile mining regions and the home of numerous early mining operations. The hike itself offers stunning views of the Ten Mile Range, a little knowledge about the local environment, and ruins of old mine sites and the gold-gobbling Reiling Dredge boat.
Iowa Hill Gold Miner’s Hike
The historic Iowa Hill mine site is a fun guided hike for the whole family to enjoy. The trail is dotted with authentic mining artifacts which are complimented with interpretive signs. Learn about how gold was extracted from the hills around this ski town and you will even get to visit the restored miners’ boarding house. You’ll get to experience what life as a miner in Breckenridge was like.
Washington Gold Mine Tour and Gold Panning
As history tells us, once gold and silver were discovered in the Ten Mile Range area, hundreds of underground mines sprang up. The Washington was one of the area’s largest precious metal mines in the mid-1880’s. It had an impressive 5 main shafts and over 10,000 feet of underground workings. The modern-day tour will feel like you are stepping back in time! Take a walk underground for a true first-hand hard rock mining experience. Even cooler, what you find is yours to keep! This is definitely a tour the whole family will enjoy.
Lomax Placer Mine Tour and Gold Panning
Surface mines (also known as a placer) were the first mining operations in the City of Breckenridge. High-pressure water systems helped miners release dirt and sediments from various gold deposits. Located near downtown Breck is the Lomax Mine. In the 1860’s, this was an active hydraulic placer mining operation. Today you can take a tour of this placer mine, visit a miner’s cabin, as well as see and feel the original hydraulic mining equipment while you learn to pan for gold. This is another cool tour that the kids will love. Whatever they find is theirs’ to keep!