Home » 2003 Cross Country Road Trip

Breckenridge, CO

Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 6:00am by Lolo
138 miles and 2.5 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


I feel like every time I write about a stop on this trip, I'm calling it a favorite, but that's kind of what this trip was--a "Best Of" journey through Utah and a bit of Colorado. Breckenridge wasn't even a planned stop--it was just an attempt at finding something fun to do on our long drive home on I70. I had read that the village had a free skateboard park, and I knew the boys would definitely be interested in that.

Andrew and Tommy on the Blue RiverAndrew and Tommy on the Blue RiverWhen we exited I70 and stopped at a Visitor Center, we weren't given much hope as to finding a campsite in the area. It was Saturday, and half of Denver spills out into Summit County on the weekends to take advantage of the countless recreational opportunities. We decided to drive the 10 miles into Breckenridge anyway, just to see it and spend the afternoon there.

Along the way, we found Tiger Run RV Resort, which had to be the most beautiful commercial campground I've ever seen--large, spacious sites, with concrete pads to park on and a manicured lawn around them; an incredible 12,000 square foot clubhouse, complete with indoor swimming pool, two hot tubs, game room, TV lounge, laundry facility, bathrooms with showers and dressing area; and million dollar RVs as far as the eye could see. It was like RV land for the rich and famous. In fact, since that time, we have seen Tiger Run featured on the Travel Channel as one of the top campgrounds in the country.

Needless to say, we didn't have much hope of getting one of the few transient sites--most of the sites were owned as a vacation getaway. Having nothing to lose, we stopped in the office to inquire on availability. As the girl was checking the book, we happened to notice a TV on the wall showing a view of the parking lot. There was our cute, yet classy, Lazy Daze on the screen. We must have passed muster because they found a site for us after all.

Gaidus family with the Lazy Daze RVGaidus family with the Lazy Daze RVBefore heading into the village on our bikes, we decided to head over to the clubhouse, which was right across from our campsite. While the kids played ping pong, Herb and I plopped our butts in the hot tub. I was having a lovely time until we were joined by a teenage figure skating team that was in Breckenridge for a competition. Just my luck. Herb grinned like an idiot as he sat there surrounded by the young, nubile group of giggling girls. I practically hurt myself trying to suck my 47-year old gut in. Well, I was ready to move on, so I extracted the unwilling Herb from the hot tub and we gathered the kids to go exploring.

After biking around the campground and checking out all the fancy RVs and chalet rental units, we headed out on the Blue River Bikeway towards the village of Breckenridge. The boys had their skateboards strapped to their backpacks, anxious to find the skateboard park I had read about. It was a beautiful day and the drive through the meadows along the Blue River was stunning. When we got to the village, we quickly found the Recreational Center. The kids almost died when they saw the skateboard park, which they informed us was a very impressive one--and it was free! We knew this was the end of their exploring, so we left them at the skate park for a few hours while Herb and I continued on. We did try to hang around awhile and watch them, but they seemed a little embarrassed by our presence, especially when Herb started videoing them.

Not far from the skateboard park was a kayak skill center. The Blue River flowed right through town, and this piece of it had a man-made rapids section for kayak enthusiasts to play in. What an incredible place! Herb and I just spent some time sitting on a bench alongside the river watching the kayakers practice their Eskimo rolls.

After what we thought was a sufficient amount of time and the promise to come back the next day, we collected the kids from the skate park and headed into the main part of the village. Unlike many ski towns, Breckenridge village was located literally at the base of the mountain so it seemed like you could ski right down onto Main Street. We found a place to lock our bikes up and wandered the streets stopping in shops along the way. Like Moab, there were lots of youthful, athletic types wandering the streets of the village and plenty of funky shops to browse in.

As we continued our bike journey, we failed to notice the pretty nasty clouds moving in over the mountains, and before we knew it our lovely summer afternoon had turned into a pretty intense hailstorm. It's amazing how fast the weather can change in the Rockies. We were totally underdressed and Herb, who has a body fat content of about 8%, was practically hypothermic. We desperately tried to find the shuttle bus that would take us and our bikes back up the road to Tiger Run. Finally, a bus came along, but it only had room for one bike. Since the kids and I really weren't that cold compared to Herb, we insisted that he go back ahead of us and that we would catch the next bus. I think Herb felt quite guilty leaving us behind, but he really was in bad shape and we were fine. Rather then wait for the next shuttle, the kids and I raced our bikes the 4 miles back to the campground. By the time we got there, the hail had stopped and the sun was shining again. I'm not sure if it had even stormed here at all. I think it might have just been localized in the village. Herb had taken a nice warm shower and was looking a whole lot better than when we last saw him.

As we were barbecuing that evening on our perfectly manicured campsite, we noticed a large crowd gathering in the Clubhouse pavilion right across from us. Soon the sounds of country music started drifting over to us. Herb and I grabbed a glass of wine and went over to the pavilion to check it out. A nice fire was going in the big stone fireplace and the guitar player was actually quite good. I coaxed the kids into joining us--country isn't exactly their favorite music genre, but it was the only game in town. It was really a very enjoyable evening and my first experience with live entertainment at a campground.

The next morning we drove into Breckenridge village once more to wander around again. It really is a beautiful place. After a little more skateboarding and a little more shopping, we got back in the RV to continue our journey east towards home. I don't think I'm going to be able to pull out another surprise stop like this one.


Breckenridge is located approximately 75 miles west of Denver in one of the premier skiing areas in the country. Most of the surrounding area is part of the Arapaho National Forest. The town itself is located in the beautiful Blue River Valley at the base of the Ten Mile Range of the Rockies.

Before it became a premier ski resort, Breckenridge was a thriving mining camp. In 1859, when word got out that gold was discovered in the Blue River near current day Breckenridge, hundreds of miners flocked here from Denver and set up a mining camp. In an attempt to get their own post office, the miners named their camp after the current Vice President, John C. Breckinridge (note the difference in spelling). Flattery worked and soon they had their own mail service. When the Civil War began, the town of Breckinridge sided with the South. No longer feeling loyalty to the Federal Government, they changed the spelling of the town to Breckenridge.

In many ways, the village, with its crowded bars and restaurants along its funky main street has maintained that frontier feeling. It was also one of the first ski areas in Colorado to allow snowboarding.

Besides the spectacular skiing, Breckenridge is an outdoor lover's paradise in all four seasons with such adventure highlights as:

  • Hiking the many trails in the Arapaho National Forest
  • Bicycling the paved Blue River Bikeway along the river between Frisco and Breckenridge
  • Biking the 20-mile Vail Pass Bikeway over the 10,600 foot pass into Vail
  • Sailing and windsurfing in the Dillon Reservoir just north of Breckenridge
  • Fishing for trout and salmon in the Dillon Reservoir
  • Fishing for trout in the world-class trout waters of the Blue River
  • Rafting the Blue River
  • Skateboarding in the outdoor, free skateboard park at the recreation center
  • Testing your kayak skills in the man-made rapids section of the Blue River near the recreation center

A few miles north of the town of Breckenridge is the Tiger Run RV Resort, one of the premier RV campgrounds in the country. Most of the sites are owned, but there are some sites available for transients. Some of the many amenities include: landscaped sites with patios, a beautiful clubhouse with fireplace, an indoor pool and hot tub, and lake and stream fishing.

Breckenridge location map in "high definition"

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