There’s More than Just Skiing in Breckenridge [VIDEO]

When Colorado natives aren’t out skiing or snowboarding, they’re getting a thrill of a different sort — one experienced while zooming down a hill on an inner tube or sled at the speed of light.

If skiing isn’t your game, or even if it is and you just want to take in all the different winter sports while at Lodge by The Blue, here are some places to enjoy tubing and sledding (both are done sitting down, which I find particularly appealing).

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3 Seasons of Wildflowers & 4 Places to Enjoy Them

There’s nothing more beautiful than fresh powder that’s just fallen on the mountains and trails of Breckenridge. Or is there?

When you’re visiting Lodge by The Blue and it’s not ski season, there are some exquisite wildflowers to see. GoBreck has put together a handy guide for when and where to find them.

Wildflowers bloom in Breckenridge from late-April through early-October, which means if it isn’t ski season, it’s wildflower season. The first spring blossoms peer out from under a late dusting of snow, and the last compete to spread their seeds before winter’s snowy inundation. We High Country dwellers treasure our wildflowers for their beauty and because they mark time: colorful Pasqueflowers tell us that spring has arrived, and the bright magenta Fireweed lets us know when winter is on its way. -GoBreck.com

Early Season Wildflowers – April through June

early season
Lupine and Sneezeweed along the Blue River Trail near the Sawmill Museum.

The earliest wildflowers will be found in sage meadows as soon as the snow melts. The scrubby plants serve as shade and protection for the tiny beauties to be discovered there. Some of the first flowers to bloom will be Pasqueflowers, Low Chiming Bells and the appropriately named Snowdrops. As spring makes way to summer, look to the sage/forest edge for the “wow” combination of red and purple together, the Scarlet Gilia and Silvery Lupine.

Height of Summer – June through August

The uncommon Fairy Slipper Orchid is a treat to find in the forest zone.
The uncommon Fairy Slipper Orchid is a treat to find in the forest zone.

Wildflowers really take off in late June and climax by the third week in July, with a slow diminishing of blooms through the fall. If wildflowers are your thing, be sure to visit Breckenridge in mid- to late-July for the most glorious show.

Wet areas will host the charming Elephant Heads and Tall Chiming Bells. Forests will add yellow Arnica, Wild Roses, and the elusive Fairy Slipper Orchids to their mix. Meadows will see Sneezeweed, several kinds of Penstemon, and the famous Colorado State Flower, the Columbine.

Late Summer – August through October

Late-blooming Fireweed (not really a weed) lets us know when winter is on the way.

The high alpine zone is the place to check for late summer flowers, such as the diminutive Forget-Me-Not, brilliant red Queen’s Crown, and several varieties of Gentian. As summer turns to fall, watch for the brilliant pink Fireweed.  According to some Old Wives, when the Fireweed blooms to the top of its stalk, winter’s snows are 6 weeks away. 

Easy Places to Find Wildflowers around Breckenridge

Indian Paintbrush can be found on the hill at Carter Park.
Indian Paintbrush can be found on the hill at Carter Park.

Ice Rink and Sawmill Museum Trails:  Park at the Sawmill Museum on Boreas Pass Road and venture along the Blue River Trail for some of the best wildflowers in any season. 

Carter Museum and Carter Park: The great 19th century naturalist, Edwin Carter, left a legacy of natural lands. In any season you’ll find a variety of Penstemons and other wildflowers with almost no effort.  Or venture to Carter Park at the south end of High Street and take a short walk up the hill for a combination of views and wildflowers that you won’t soon forget.

Fields of Alpine Sunflower can be found along Boreas Pass Road.
Fields of Alpine Sunflower can be found along Boreas Pass Road.

Boreas Pass Road: It’s a dirt road, but easily passable by most vehicles.  As you approach the alpine zone, you’ll find huge meadows of brilliant yellow Alpine Sunflower. 

Burro Trail:  Starting at Beaver Run Resort on Village Road, follow the Burro Trail along Lehman Creek for a gentle climb, a burbling creek, and plenty of water-loving wildflowers.

Combine hiking with flower hunting for a great daytime activity during your stay at Lodge by The Blue.

Have you spotted especially pretty flora in Breck? Give us your tips on where to go.

Read the source article at Breckenridge CO Blog. All photos by Leigh Girvin.