One great town worth seeing this winter is Breckenridge in Colorado. Breckenridge has both modern and frontier-era buildings. As you see Breckinridge’s town, you notice it’s shaped like a frontier-era town. Walking along the sidewalk by all the shops is like walking on the plank board-walk of an old frontier town. Now, the town is covered in snow with winter events occurring.
Before discussing those, it is historically interesting to note that Breckenridge grew out of a cluster of “seed” settlements. According to Robert Brown of “Colorado Ghost Towns”, those settlements were Georgia Gulch, Parkville, and later, French gulch, Gold Run gulch, Dry Gulch and others.
The first prospectors sought gold in Georgia Gulch in 1859. Nearby, they settled a town they called Parkville. During that time, Breckenridge was part of “Utah Territory”. The prospectors built Fort Meribeth and soon pushed for a post office. Brown explains that they sped up its arrival by calling the area “Brackenridge”, after then-VP John C. Brackenridge. It soon got changed to “Breckenridge” when it was discovered that “Brackenridge” was a Confederate supporter during the Civil War. Gold ran out in the 1860’s. But people came back in the 1880's, after hydraulic mining methods found more riches.
Eventually, Breckenridge thrived and became the town it is today. A few of the frontier-era buildings still stand. To see them, you must drive near the historic towns of Alma, Park City and Buckskin Joe via Rt 9 South.
In addition to ghost town site seeing, there are winter events occurring in Breckenridge. Now through February 2nd they are showcasing Budweiser’s International Snow Sculpture Championships. There will also be the 5 Peaks Mountaineering Race on February 22nd and a Mardi Gras celebration in early March.
After those events, you can attempt snowmobile tours, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing.