Bakers Tank Loop off the Boreas Pass Trailhead has some of the best views of the town of Breckenridge and the valley, as well as views of the commanding 10-Mile range. This hike is very popular in the fall, when the aspen trees that line the trail transform from their cool summer greens into stunning fall yellows. This trail is also known for it’s namesake—Bakers Tank, which was once a source of water for the steam locomotives that navigated the mountain rails on their way through the Rockies.
What Makes It Great
The views are what makes this hike so popular, but it also holds a bit of history, too, offering a glimpse into the mining and railroad history of the area. The tank was built in the late 1800s and continued to be in use until the mid-1900s, serving as a water-filling station for the steam trains coming over the high Colorado passes. When it was in use, the tank served the South Park, Denver, Southern, Pacific Narrow Gauge, and Colorado Railroads. The tank was abandoned in 1937, and in 1958, Summit County began efforts to restore the tank in order to preserve the history of the area. There is a sign at the base of the tank that tells you all about it.
As you leave the parking lot, you’ll wind your way through a dense forest of aspen trees. If you are here in the fall, this is where you’ll encounter the most people. The majority of the climbing on this hike will be done within the first mile, but keep an eye out for views of the ski area of Breckenridge below you and the 10-Mile Range to the west. Three miles into the hike you will come out of the trees and arrive at Bakers Tank. Take some time to look around at a distinct part of Colorado history, and to take a little break at the nearby stream before heading back down.
Take the same path you took up to go back down to the parking lot. This trail is also popular with mountain bikers, so make sure you are paying attention on your way back down.
Who is Going to Love It
Hikers, photographers, history buffs, and mountain bikers all love the Baker’s Tank Loop. For hikers it is a great outing in the Summit County high country, perfect for a morning stroll to get your heart pumping before brunch in town, or for a history lesson. In the fall, the changing of the leaves is a beautiful sight to see for hikers and photographers.
Because the hike is a popular one, arrive early if you are visiting on a weekend in order to beat the crowds.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Head southbound out of downtown Breckenridge on Highway 9. Turn left onto Boreas Pass road, and drive past the ice rink. Stay on Boreas Pass Road for 3.5 miles until you see the dirt parking lot on the left side of the road.