If you’re in Breckenridge in the late Spring, you may have noticed locals referring to the time of year as Mud Season. You may end up asking yourself some of these questions: With lodging deals and restaurant discounts abounding, how about other activities? Won’t all the biking trails be muddy, snowy, and impassable? How about hiking? Will I need snowshoes if I want to go on a walk in the woods? Can I fish while there’s still snow on the ground? These are great questions, and if you’ve found yourself in Breckenridge in late April or the month of May, you’ve probably thought of these yourself.
It’s true, you may be limited for mountain biking or hiking because of leftover snow and mud once it melts. But, as long as there have been people using the trail in the winter for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, you can at least go for a walk on the surface without worrying too much about getting snowshoes or cross-country skis. The packed snow on the trail will hold you up on Boreas Pass Road, the Peaks Trail, or along McCullough Gulch Road, to name a few. The snow on these public access trailheads has been packed all winter, and if you stick to where it’s packed, the snow will support you.
You can’t wander off the trail, however, or you’ll be post-holing up to your knees or beyond. As the snow gets more and more rotten, melting out towards the ground where it hasn’t been packed by traffic, even snowshoes and skis will not keep you from sinking, and you’ll be slogging through the sticky slush. Stick to the packed routes and you’ll have a great time.
If you bring your mountain bike, you’re pretty much out of luck for riding single-track, or anywhere in the woods for that matter. Many of the trails are formally closed until they melt out and dry, to prevent excess erosion. You can ride, though. The bike path all over Summit County gets plowed of snow pretty early in Mud Season, offering a nice, paved riding zone around town and through the county. Here’s a post about when you CAN mountain bike on the trails.
As the weather warms up and the daytime temperature slowly climbs out of freezing towards 40’s and 50’s, fly-fishing is a great activity to welcome the change in seasons. The Blue River as it flows north out of Breckenridge offers lots of pools and riffles to cast your fly about. The water is cold, and starts to increase its flow the warmer it gets outside, but the fish are there, and eager for a meal. Fly shops in Breck are open and happy to give specific advice on where to go, what to fish, and when. Mountain Angler on Main Street is open starting May 1 from 9am-6pm, and reservations are recommended at least a day in advance for guided fishing.
White Water Rafting
With the amount of snow in the snowpack right now, after a big winter, the Rafting season is predicted to be a great one. Starting now, several Rafting Outfitters have started their season, including Kodi Rafting (Blue River open now, Upper Colorado River and the Arkansas River starting May 1) and Colorado River Runs (starting May 15).
Breckenridge Historic Walking Tours
The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance gives excellent and interesting walking tours. The schedule of guided tours this spring is on their website, right here. The walks occur on weekends only, through June 13, 2014.
In Town and Indoors
Of course, with Mud Season comes restaurant discounts, two-for-one deals and the Dining Passport, a fund-raising dining deals coupon book for the off-season. See this post for details and restaurant offerings this off-season.
Walking around town in Breck in a sweatshirt instead of a parka is always a novel experience in the spring, with the weather warming up and the sun shining. You may want to keep a jacket and a beanie close-by for easy access, however, as the weather can turn back to winter for a quick squall or a morning of snowy roads before the season reclaims its sun and warmth again.
If you’re looking for more:
- Alpine Sports: Renting bikes out of their City Market store
- Ready Paint Fire: Closed until May 22nd
- Breckenridge Distillery: Tours Tues-Sun 11-6, last tour at 5:30. Tasting Room: M,W & Th 11-8, Fri& Sat 11-9, Sun 11-7. Closed on Tuesday’s. Free
- Mountain Top Museum: Fri-Mon, 10-4:30
- Casino, Beer Shuttles & Train Rides: Running everyday
- Breckenridge Outfitters: 9am-5pm 7 days a week
- Mountain Angler: May 1st, 9am-6pm, at least 1 day in advance for booking
- Nova Guides: Will continue snow activities as long as the snow permits
- Kodi Rafting – Blue now, noon trips Upper Colorado & Arkansas starting May 1st
- Colorado River Runs: Open for rafting on May 15th
- Stand Up Paddle Colorado: Breck Rec Center, starts running on the Colorado May 15th
- Ice Arena: Skate times always change; check schedule online for more info
- Georgetown Train: Georgetown station May 3 – 18 weekends only until May 24
- Leadville Train: May 24 – June 13 departures at 1pm
- Rusty Spur Ranch is starting horseback riding on May 15th
- Top of the Rockies Zip line is starting May 15th
- Mountain Wave is opening May 26th and will be operating their Vail Pass Bike Shuttle