At 9,600 feet elevation, Breckenridge—situated in the aptly named Summit County—is a hugely popular ski destination. Luckily though, the fun doesn’t end when the snow melts. Summer and fall visitors to Breck have easy access to dozens of hiking trails in the Tenmile Range, many of which, like the Burro Trail, are close to downtown or the ski area. Trails are typically hikeable between March and October, though at this high elevation, snow often doesn’t completely melt (especially on the higher peaks above the ski area) until June or July. Also note that while the sky may be blue in the morning, weather in the Rockies can move in quickly. Hikers should get an early start be prepared with warm layers, even in mid-summer.
What Makes It Great
Though it’s easily accessed from downtown—no car required to get to the trailhead—the Burro Trail sees only light to medium traffic, which means you don’t have to go too far for an off-the-beaten-path experience. And once you’re up there, the Burro Trail offers up to about 8 total miles of out-and-back hiking, with access to tons of other trails, too.
The Burro Trail winds along the small creek at the base of Peak 9, eventually heading into pine forest and wide open, wildflower-filled meadows. No summits are accessible directly from the trail, so it’s relatively flat hiking, but there is no shortage of views of the Tenmile Range. The easy-to-follow trail, clearly marked with blue diamond blazes, ends at Spruce Creek Road. Here, it connects to tons of other trails, including the Wheeler and Mohawk Lakes trails, plus Crystal Lakes Road.
Who is Going to Love It
Few hikes would be better suited to families—because the trail is out-and-back. Hikers can go out for as long or short a walk as they’d like, and the trail itself is easy with only a few short stretches of moderate terrain. The Burro Trail is also well suited for folks looking to explore the Breckenridge area, as it’s the launching point for numerous other trails, including the Spruce Creek Trail.The Burro Trail's endpoint, Spruce Creek Road, provides access to the gorgeous Mohawk and Lower Mohawk Lakes.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The Burro Trail begins at the base of the Lehman ski run, at the ski area’s Peak 9. Thanks to its proximity to downtown, hikers can access the trail without a car, either on foot or by taking the Breckenridge Free Ride shuttle (brown or yellow line) to the Beaver Run stop. Simply get off the bus, walk up to the slopes (right between the Coppertop Cafe and the Beaver Run chairlift), and keep an eye out for the trailhead sign. You can also park downtown (F Lot is the closest) or in the paid Beaver Run Peak 9 parking lot.
No motorized vehicles are allowed on the Burro Trail—it’s open only to hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians.