The Sawmill Creek Trail is an excellent option for a warm-up hike, afternoon stroll, or as a family outing, especially for those who are still acclimating to the high altitude. The trail has minimal elevation gain and winds its way along an idyllic mountain creek before finally topping out at a small mountain reservoir. No matter your hiking experience, the Sawmill Creek Trail is a great option that comes right out of the heart of Breckenridge. Stop and have a picnic at the reservoir, or continue on to one of the other trails that connect to Sawmill via Breckenridge’s elaborate trail system.
What Makes It Great
Hikers on the Sawmill Creek Trail will enjoy almost constant shade from the surrounding pine trees as they follow a babbling mountain stream up the hill. The short and easy hike terminates with great views of the Sawmill Reservoir. Another perk for this trail is that it still offers beautiful views of Breckenridge mountain and the surrounding 10-Mile Range.
Once hikers hit the reservoir there is a wooden bench where families often choose to take a picnic lunch. To extend your hike, consider the Sawmill Reservoir Trail, which loops around the reservoir before connecting back to the original Sawmill Creek Trail. Keep an eye out for wildflowers interspersed among the trees! For the more seasoned hiker, the Sawmill Creek Trail can be used as a jumping off point to access the Pence Miller or Shock Hill trails, just remember to be aware of your surroundings as these trails are also used by mountain bikers. To make the hike a loop, turn right onto the Four O’Clock Road Trail and head back into town.
Besides its beauty, something else that makes the Sawmill Creek Trail remarkable is its proximity to downtown Breckenridge. One minute you’re walking along a quiet mountain path, and the next you’re just a few blocks off Main Street. For a great post-hike snack, consider Crepes A La Carte where you can get savory options like their B.E.S.T. crepe (bacon, egg, spinach, and tomatoes with mozzarella cheese), and the kids can enjoy something sweet like the Funky French Monkey crepe (chocolate chips, peanut butter, and banana). If you’d prefer a sit-down restaurant, head over to Mi Casa, a local favorite that is known for their amazing taco and margarita specials, and daily happy hour from 3-6 pm.
Who is Going to Love It
This hike is great for families, even those with small kids, and anyone interested in the local flora. The hike offers gentle elevation gain and the trail is well-maintained, making for an easy walk, suitable for hikers of all abilities. If you’re a nature lover, you can spend the hike spotting several types of local flowers that grow next to the stream, as well as different types of pine trees native to the area.
If you’re looking for a more guided experience, consider signing up for a wilderness hike through the town of Breckenridge (for $15/person). These tours specialize in teaching the public about the local flora and fauna and are great for educating future naturalists.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Most people opt to walk or ride their bikes from downtown Breckenridge. Alternately, hop on Breckenridge’s Free Ride yellow route and get off at the Snowflake lift.