Summit County and Breckenridge, Colorado are widely recognized as having some of the most scenic roads in the country. From perfect paved mountain passes to wild off-road adventures, Breckenridge serves as an exceptional starting point for scenic drives, offering unparalleled access to some of the most stunning landscapes in the region.
So, if you’re looking to literally get off the beaten path, or just experience breathtaking high-elevation views, these four scenic drives near Breckenridge, Colorado are the perfect way to experience all the breathtaking beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
Renowned for its high elevation and panoramic views, Loveland Pass sits at an impressive 11,990 feet above sea level. The drive begins in Dillon and winds its way up the mountain, offering travelers unparalleled vistas of the surrounding peaks and valleys. The journey through Loveland Pass takes you along the Continental Divide, with awe-inspiring views of the Rocky Mountains in every direction. The landscape is dominated by rugged peaks, including Grizzly Peak and Mount Sniktau.
Numerous hiking trails branch off from the pass, offering opportunities to explore the high-altitude terrain on foot. In the colder months, you will often see many backcountry ski and snowboard enthusiasts as this pass is well-known as the avenue to experience backcountry skiing.
To start the drive, leave from Breckenridge on Highway 9 North, turning onto Swan Mountain Road, and then to US Highway 6. Continue on Highway 6 through Keystone and A-Basin. As you ascend Loveland Pass, be prepared for tight curves and steep grades. The drive from Breckenridge to Loveland Pass takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes, covering a distance of about 15 miles.
For another incredible ride right out of beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado, check out the Boreas Pass route! Stretching approximately 20 miles, this high-altitude route winds through alpine meadows adorned with wildflowers, providing stunning views of Tenmile Range to the west. To begin this scenic adventure, head south on Main Street in Breckenridge and turn right onto Boreas Pass Road.
Ascending through the Arapaho National Forest, the drive reaches an elevation of over 11,000 feet, offering unparalleled panoramic views of Quandary Peak, Bald Mountain, and more. The drive also accesses hiking and biking trails and begins paved, turning into dirt with increases in elevation.
On this route, you will also pass Breckenridge’s Bakers Tank, a historic water tank, and eventually make it to the top and the Continental Divide. Here, you’ll find Section House, a former railroad house now refurbished into a ski hut. The drive will take about an hour and is especially renowned for its aspens and leaf-peeping opportunities in the fall.
4th of July Bowl
In the summer, the Breckenridge Ski Resort allows private motorists to use the ski resort access roads to reach the 4th of July Bowl – the summit of Peak 10. For those with vehicles with 4-wheel drive and enough clearance, a drive up to this bowl becomes possible. You’ll travel high into the mountains well above tree level.
The road can get a little rough but well worth it as you pass alpine meadows, vistas, and the tops of ski lifts before continuing all the way to the 4th of July Bowl. This drive is a can’t miss for summer visits to Breckenridge. The drive takes about an hour to ascend 6.8 miles.
Another scenic drive from Breckenridge, Colorado is up to Hoosier Pass, another spot on the Continental Divide. Hoosier Pass is one of the highest mountain passes in the United States, reaching an elevation of 11,542 feet (3,518 meters).
The drive on Highway 9 between the towns of Breckenridge and Fairplay offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and peaks, including Mount Lincoln, Mount Democrat, and Quandary Peak. The Continental Divide Trail also crosses Hoosier Pass, and there are access points for those interested in hiking a portion of this iconic long-distance trail.
If you’re coming from Breckenridge, you can head south on State Highway 9 to reach Hoosier Pass. The drive itself is about 21 miles and offers plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the views.
As a gateway to the Rocky Mountains, Breckenridge, Colorado is the perfect place to start your scenic drive. These drives boast panoramic views of towering peaks, alpine meadows, and dense forests, creating an unparalleled mountain experience. Whether winding through aspen-lined roads during fall or exploring high-altitude, snow-capped vistas in winter, your Breckenridge road trip adventure won’t disappoint.