Colorado is full of highways, interstates, cities…as well as back roads, windy roads, and small towns. When traveling from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge, there are a few options of which route to take and what to do along the way.
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Here are a few routes to take to get some scenic views, Colorado gems, and a beautiful drive whether you are going from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge or Breckenridge to Colorado Springs.
And if you don’t want to drive, I’ll also lay out a couple options for shuttles from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge.
Table of Contents
Scenic Route from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge
The scenic route from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge is also the quickest route (by a few minutes). Whether you’d like to make a road trip out of it (see below section for great stops) or a day trip, this is a beautiful route to take.
From Colorado Springs, you’ll get on US highway 24 west. You’ll pass by Manitou Springs and Woodland Park on your way top Hartsel. Once in Hartsel, take a right (north) toward Fairplay. Highway 9 will take you all the way to Breckenridge.
Why is this route scenic?
As you begin highway 24, you’ll pass by Manitou Springs. While you won’t drive through the city, you’ll be able to see Pikes Peak, as well as an impressive staircase called The Incline that goes up one flank of the mountain.
Continue down highway 24 for a road bordered by gorgeous rock walls. You’ll soon come to Woodland Park. We love driving through Woodland Park. This town is gorgeous, green, very wooded, and has spacious rolling hills (with a small city area as well).
The rest of the drive is gorgeous all the same, getting more taste of wooded areas as you get to Fairplay and beyond. You’ll pass over Hoosier Pass at the Continental Divide, giving stunning views.
The scenic route includes some tight turns (“hairpin turns”) as you go farther north on highway 9, but takes you past some beautiful scenery.
The Main Highway Route
This route isn’t necessarily faster, but stays more on the main route of civilization. To go this way, you’ll head north on I-25 toward Denver. You’ll exit on C-470 heading west and take that until I-70 West. Exit I-70 in Frisco onto highway 9 and that will take you into Breckenridge.
This route can be longer since traffic can get heavy as you head toward Denver (though you won’t go too close to Denver.) C-470 can also have heavy traffic during rush-hour hours.
In addition, if you are heading up during ski season or holidays, I-70 can also have heavy traffic.
If you go during low-traffic times, this route can move pretty quickly.
This main highway route will take you into the rockies of Colorado via I-70. You’ll pass by Idaho Springs and Georgetown on your way to Breckenridge.
Great Stops Along the Way
When you drive from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge, there are a few places worth a stop if you feel like getting out or just making the most of your drive. These are great stops to make with the family that everyone will enjoy.
Garden of the Gods
No matter which route you take, be sure to take some time to enjoy all the awesome things to do in Colorado Springs.
North Cheyenne Canyon is another great place for hiking with easy waterfalls and rivers. There are some great family-friendly trails in here.
Stops on the Scenic Route
Manitou Springs- After exploring Colorado Springs, make your way to Manitou Springs which is the neighboring city. Here you can take the cog up Pikes Peak, stop at the Penny Arcade, find the springs all over town, or visit Miramont Castle.
Cascade– You’ll drive by Cascade just after Manitou. Here you’ll find the North Pole amusement park. It’s great for families and even allows you to visit Santa. You can also access Pikes Peak highway here where you can drive yourself up to the top of Pikes Peak.
Woodland Park- Woodland Park is beautiful just to drive through. But if you’d like to get out, the kid’s will love stopping at the Dinosaur Resource Center. You’ll be able to witness full-size dinosaur replicas, watch paleontologists work, and browse through the fossils.
Divide– The next place worth stopping is Divide. Here you can step into the world of wolves at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. The center is home to many species of wolves who have been rescued (one was found roaming the streets in Colombia, South America, where wolves are not native.) You’ll also get to see other animals like the silver fox.
Florrisant– Next stop is in Florrisant. Here you’ll find a National Monument, so get that National Parks pass ready. The Florrisant Fossil Beds provide viewings of the most diverse array of fossils in the world. You can also visit the Big Stump and other tree stumps that are now petrified wood (and up to 14 feet wide!)
Lake George– Lake George is home to Eleven Mile State Park and Eleven Mile Canyon Recreation area. (Note that these two places require separate passes.) This is a great and beautiful area to take a small hike and enjoy the water. There is no swimming at Eleven Mile Reservoir, but you can boat or go fishing, or just enjoy the views during a picnic.
Fairplay- We had an unexpected stop at the mechanic shop once in Fairplay on our way to Telluride. We didn’t get to explore due to that unfortunate event. But if you have a good working car, make sure to stop by South Park City. This is a fun, educational stop to learn about mining history in the late 1800’s. You can actually walk through a mining town of 40+ buildings filled with thousands of artifacts from the time period.
Hoosier Pass– As you come to Hoosier Pass, you can pull over and take a picture as you are now at the Continental Divide.
Blue River– as you come out of the pass, you’ll end up in Blue River. Blue River is a great place near Breckenridge to go hiking with families. We personally love McCullough Gulch and seeing the awesome waterfall, but if you’d like something more challenging, you can hike to the top of one of Colorado’s 14ers, Quandry Peak.
At this point, you are just outside of Breckenridge.
Stops on the Main Highway Route
As you head north out of Colorado Springs, you’ll drive on I-25.
Castle Rock– after a stretch of highway where there isn’t much, you’ll come into Castle Rock. Castle Rock offers an Outlet Shopping mall with great discounts. You can also head to Phillip S Miller Park to try hiking up a mini-incline, soaring overhead on the zip lines, or trying out the Sky Trek, a 4 Story aerial obstacle course. Check out all the adventures at the park.
After Castle Rock, you’ll drive north a little farther and exit onto C-470. Here you’ll find Park Meadows, a resort shopping mall. The first time I went here it felt like I was in a ski lodge!
As you drive down C-470, there are a couple stops you can make if you’d like.
Chatfield State Park– this is a great (and very popular) place for boating. You can also hang out on the swim beach or do some stand up paddle boarding.
Waterton Canyon– Just down the road from Chatfield is Waterton Canyon. This is a popular place for hikers and bikers. It takes you down a long, wide dirt road (no vehicles, except employees) and into a canyon. Many people spot Bighorn Sheep while here.
Idaho Springs– As you merge onto I-70, you’ll drive a bit before you hit Idaho Springs. This is the first little mountain town you’ll come to. Here, you can visit the Indian Hot Springs, grab some Colorado Pizza at Beau Jo’s, or take the short hike up to St. Mary’s Glacier (which is beautiful).
Georgetown– this is the next town you’ll come to. Georgetown is a cute little town, perfect for visiting around Christmas. You can catch the Santa Train, or in summer enjoy doing the Georgetown Loop on the train. Keep is simple by enjoying a day on the lake.
Frisco– Frisco is the neighboring town to Breckenridge. It’s home to Lake Dillon, a beautiful place to stand up paddle or rent a kayak. The beach area is awesome even just for a picnic. During the winter, you can head to the nordic center for snowshoeing or cross country skiing.
At this point, you’ve just about completed your Colorado Springs to Breckenridge drive.
Breckenridge has many great hikes!
If you haven’t already planned out your Breckenridge adventure, check out the top things to do in Breck in summer.
Year Round Driving Conditions
Summer on either route should be a fairly easy drive. The exception is driving I-70 through the mountains on a holiday, which is always backed up. If you’re driving during a holiday, the scenic route will get you from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge with less aggravation.
Winter brings different conditions. The scenic route still works as Hoosier Pass stays open since it is the main route to get to the ski areas. The main highway route on I-70 is typically kept clear of any snow, through snowy weather can cause back ups. Ski traffic on the weekends is the main source of pain driving I-70 in the winter. If you must drive I-70 on the weekends in the winter, do so in later morning/early afternoon while everyone is on the slopes.
We use to go up skiing every single weekend. Coming home always took at least twice as long as it should have. At only about 1 hour and 40 minutes away, most drives took closer to 3 or 4 hours. One particular trip took us 8 hours to get home.
So seriously, avoid the ski traffic.
Distance/Time from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge
The scenic route from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge, taking highway 24 to CO-9 is 106 miles and will take roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes.
The main highway route is 147 miles and will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Not a huge difference either way. If you feel safer on main highways than on less popular, windy roads, then taking the main highway route will only add about 10 minutes.
Shuttle from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge
If you need a ride from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge, you can check out Rocky Mountain Ride. They provide rides from Labor Day to Memorial Day up to multiple ski resorts from Colorado Springs. Rock Mountain Ride has early pick ups, getting you to the resort by 8:30. You’ll have to leave the slopes before closing time, as the shuttle heads back to Colorado Springs at 3:00.
If you need a ride during the summer or at different times, another option, though less efficient, is to ride the Bustang. You can ride the Bustang from Colorado Springs to Denver and get off at Union Station. then you can ride the west line out to Frisco. Once in Frisco, you can take the shuttle that runs between Frisco and Breckenridge. Check the Bustang schedule.
If you are riding during ski season, you can also jump on the Snowstang at Union Station to get a ride all the way to Breckenridge.
Shuttle from Colorado Springs Airport to Breckenridge
If you need a ride from the Colorado Springs airport to Breckenridge, Rocky Mountain Ride can do that, too. Set up a reservation for your group to catch a ride to Breckenridge and your driver will be waiting for you when you land.
Driving Yourself- Rental Car
Shuttles can be really useful if you’d like to get from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge without a car. But if having a car isn’t the issue, then the most efficient way to make the drive is by renting a car.
Having your own car will allow you to make as many stops as you’d like on the way. Pull over and take in the views at Hoosier Pass and tour through a mining town. You can’t do that on a shuttle, so if you can, check out car rentals to make the trek.
FAQs about Colorado Springs to Breckenridge
Are There Shuttle from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge?
Yes, there are shuttles from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge! Skiers can take the Rocky Mountain Ride straight to Breckenridge either from the city or from the airport. Summer travelers can take the Bustang from Colorado Springs to Denver, then switch lines to continue to Breckenridge.
What Time of Year is Best to Go to Breckenridge?
Breckenridge is awesome any time of year. Winter brings sleigh rides and skiing. Summer brings adventure, hiking, and mountain town activities. Fall and Spring are less crowded but still beautiful.
What is there to do on the drive from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge?
As noted in this post, there are a lot of things to do from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge. Stop by a cool mining town, take a photo at the Continental Divide, and enjoy the scenic route. Or take the highway route for state parks, zip lining, and shopping.
How Long Does It Take To Get From Colorado Springs To Breckenridge?
The scenic route from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge takes 2 hours and 20 minutes, while the highway route is a little longer and takes 2 hours and 30 minutes. The highway route can take longer during holidays and ski season due to traffic.
Can I Drive from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge?
Yes! It’s easy to drive from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge. The scenic route is gorgeous and the mountain pass remains open year round to give people access to the ski resorts.
Driving From Colorado Springs to Breckenridge
If you are looking for the best route from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge, try taking highway 24 to CO-9. This is more direct, quicker, and more scenic! You’ll have plenty of options of things to do along the way.
If highways put you more at ease, it’s good to know that taking the highway route only adds 10 minutes on the average day.
If you don’t need to make stops, you can also take the shuttle from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge to make it easier.
Either way you choose, both Colorado Springs and Breckenridge are awesome places to enjoy time with family or friends and get some adventure in.