Top 9 reasons to visit Breck in October

Breckenridge Gondola in the fall

Ahhhh, the off season. It’s that precious sliver of time between high summer and high winter. It’s when restaurants offer sweet dining deals, hotels and condos cut their prices, and all the tourists go home. It’s October in the mountains. Just because Labor Day is four weeks past doesn’t mean the mountains are off-limits until ski season starts. In fact, October is an awesome time to visit Breckenridge. Here’s why.

9. Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival (Oct. 5-7)
When we say “craft,” we’re not talking macramé and knitting. This is custom brews and liquors, and Breckenridge is the host of the state’s inaugural craft spirit festival. Featuring distilleries from across Colorado, artisan spirit seminars, delicious food and, naturally, Colorado-made spirits, this promises to be a good time.

8. Two-fer-ones
Pick up the local paper and look at the restaurant ads. Inevitably there will be two-for-one coupons or advertisements for some of the town’s best restaurants. This is a mountain town secret—most of the restaurants stay open during the off season and they want to fill their dining rooms. Let them lure you.

7. Lodging deals
Save 20% on lodging through the official Breckenridge website.

6. Empty trails
Where to hike in Breckenridge in the fall? Easy. Everywhere. If you want a guide, BreckTreks offers a multitude of scenic guided hikes. Learn about the resort’s history, flora and fauna, and everything you ever wanted to know about life above 8,000 feet.

5. Shopping
Most of the merchants on Main Street live in Breckenridge year-round, which means their stores are also open year round. Find quirky and trendy clothes at the Valleygirl Boutique. A multitude of galleries showcase prints, paintings, sculptures, and jewelry, and Breck Sports, a local gear shop will answer any goggle, boot, rental, or other gear question—plus they likely have last year’s ski gear on sale at rock bottom prices.

4. Experience Breck like a local
Locals call the Breckenridge Recreation Center the “poor man’s spa.” With lap and leisure pools, sauna, steam room, and two hot tubs with-five star views of the Tenmile Range, the affordable rec center (adult day pass: $15; under-18 day pass: $7.50) is a great way to burn energy.

3. Quandary Peak

HIking in Breckenridge
A couple hikes in Breckenridge.


You’ve always fantasized about hiking a 14er. Now’s your chance. March your way up the 14,265-foot Quandary Peak, a mountain so popular that hiking it in the summer feels more like going to the farmer’s market (a very steep, thin-aired market, but a crowded one). The crowds leave in the fall. Make sure you get to the summit by mid-morning and below timberline before noon to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. Any gear shop can outfit you with a map and directions.

2. Blue River Peace
On a normal day in the high season, you’ll hear children laughing, adults chatting, and rapids roaring at the Riverwalk Center in the middle of town. In October, you’ll hear next to nothing but the sound of the river. Ah, sweet, sweet peace.

1. Scope your ski season
Where are you going to stay once the flakes fly? Now’s the time to explore the Village at Breckenridge, One Ski Hill Place, and other winter lodging options.

— Rachel Walker