Most mountain towns reach peak leaf season in mid-September. Because of the high elevation, the leaves in Breckenridge change color early and drop quickly. An overnight rain or a strong persistent breeze can bring autumn to a close even faster. Once the leaves start changing, don’t miss any opportunity to get up into the high country. While fall is short-lived, it’s spectacular. The intense golden glow of the aspen is unlike anything you will experience in any other part of the country.
Here are the best places to view aspen in Breckenridge. Don’t forget the days can get cool and the nights even cooler, so come prepared.
Boreas Pass Loop
Boreas Pass starts on the south end of town in Breckenridge. It follows a narrow and winding road, that is hugged by aspen on both sides. You will be rewarded with stunning views and fiery leaves. This is a popular road to hike and bike on, so watch out for those enjoying the leaves on foot. If you take Boreas Pass all of the way over, you will come out in Como, you can then take 285 South to Fairplay. Stop in Fairplay for lunch or ice cream on Front Street and take a stroll at the beach. You can continue north on Highway 9 back toward Breckenridge. You will again be rewarded with magnificent views and thick stands of aspen all the way up and over Hoosier Pass. For an off the beaten path view, take Beaver Creek Road on the north end of Fairplay. You can follow this road all the way back to Highway 9. The end of the road is not maintained, so be prepared for some large rocks. The aspens surround beaver ponds and create a quiet and serene area to enjoy thick woods and beautiful views of Silverheels Mountain. This is a great day trip and can take a few hours to all day, depending on the side adventures you take.
If you are willing to go for a little hike to see the leaves, McCullough Gulch offers a stunning meander through the forest. This trail follows along a stream and rewards you with a captivating waterfall at the end. It is an out and back trail that totals about three miles. Be aware that the first mile and a half to the waterfall gradually moves uphill the entire time. There are also moments where the trail navigates over rock piles and tree roots that can be challenging.
Pence Miller Ditch
This trail is easy to get to from town. You can head up Skill Hill Road and park at the overlook. The trailhead is across the street. The trail is a little over a mile and skirts Shock Hill. The trail is easy with a steep climb at the beginning being the most difficult part. It is surrounded by aspens for a wonderland like walk through the woods. Be aware that bikers commonly use this trail as well, so be respectful of one another.
Breckenridge Fall Colors
Any trail, patio, road, or overlook, will not disappoint you in September in Breckenridge. The mountainsides are thick with aspen and everywhere you look will offer a stunning golden glow. Take a trip to the high country this fall to experience the mountains at their finest.