One of our most favorite places to be in the fall is the mountains of Colorado and specifically the Breckenridge area. The changing of the colors, the quaking of the aspen leaves, the crisp air and the majestic mountains. This was our 4th visit to Breck, each time to the same area and at the same time of year. Each visit has been unique and special. After the warm weather in the Cascades and the Tetons, we were ready for some cool Colorado fall weather. While our first day was in the low 80s, the remainder of our stay was much cooler. We were so grateful!
We split the 620-mile drive from the Tetons to Breckenridge into two days, hey no reason not to, we were on “vacation” and just enjoying the journey. We even spent the night in Craig, CO! It really is a pretty drive with lots of diverse scenery, especially in the fall. We saw cowboys moving their cattle herds down the highways, peaceful river valleys encompassed with fall color, antelope grazing on the plains and deep blue skies. Once into Colorado, the drive along Interstate 70 is always pretty, even with construction. Wildfires had left their mark around the Glenwood Springs area and it was heartbreaking to see.
We have stayed at the same location each visit to Breckenridge, Tiger Run Resort. While it is pretty upscale from our usual spots, we really enjoy staying there. It is quiet, they have wonderful facilities, the grounds are beautiful and the sites are all spacious with great amenities. Our site even had a river (stream) running behind us so we could hear the water at night with the windows open. We spent some days walking the streets of the resort, admiring the color and beauty of the trees and just relaxing.
This year’s visit, compared to the previous visits, was much more laid back. After a few months on the road, it was nice to be in a familiar place and just relax. We spent time exploring more of Summit County including Dillon and Frisco, and we enjoyed a couple days just walking around and hanging out in Breckenridge. Both Dillon and Frisco are right off I-70. Dillon is more of a consumer area with lots of big chain stores and lots of areas to get those things we all seem to need, which is why we were there. Though we did have a great lunch at The Dillon Dam Brewery. Frisco is much more of a “local” town. We really enjoyed the village atmosphere of downtown Frisco. We had a great breakfast at Bread and Salt, and the cinnamon roll from The Breakfast Deli was the best of our entire road trip. This year we even made a stop at the Breckenridge Distillery for some bourbon tasting. Not to judge, but we did bring home a bottle! Both Frisco and Breckenridge had closed off their Main St and turned them into pedestrian zones. Restaurants were able to put tables out and stores had outdoor displays. Really nice. Wish they would just keep it that way.
The warm, dry summer and late fall had the leaves turning earlier than in the past, but still lots of color. We had to find some new places to visit, as our usual places had all finished and dropped their leaves. We had a very windy first couple days and the wind seemed to have cleaned all the leaves off the branches. We drove the Boras Pass road, a usual staple for us of wonderful aspen colors and solitude. This year, most of the leaves had fallen, though we did find a few nice pops of color. Our biggest surprise was the number of people pulled off in the turnouts camping. Vans, tents, trucks, even small RVs all set up as campsites. Not only did it make traversing the road more difficult, but there was nowhere to stop or pull over for oncoming traffic. Sorry, it all just looked trashy. We were very disappointed! We did stop are Railroad Park again on the way back in to town, can’t miss a chance for a train. Plus, the leaves were very colorful there.
We took a new drive for us down French Gulch Road. It is on the north end of town and heads east out towards some old mines and trailheads. Sure glad we went on this drive. The old mines were very cool. You can tour some of them, but we elected not to this time. There are some great hikes out near the end of the road.
Once again, we had a wonderful time in one of our favorite places. Every time we visit, we find something new and fun. Summit County will always be a top ten fall destination for us.