Sallie Barber Mine Trail
After tackling the Spruce Creek Trail on our first full day in Breckenridge this year, we decided to take it easy on Day 2. The Sallie Barber Mine Trail is family friendly, relatively flat, and it’s only 2.8 miles round trip. However, we added on a little detour (Sallie Barber > Nightmare on Baldy > True Romance > Trail of Tears > Weber Trail > Sallie Barber) which made the day’s hike a nice 5.25 miles total. (For the record, that sounds way more complicated than it actually was!)
The trailhead for the Sallie Barber Mine is just east of downtown Breck on French Gulch Road. We found the signage and the parking area fairly easily, but the actually trailhead is a bit farther down the road. So don’t try to find the trail in the parking area – it’s not there!
We arrived early, and the path was nice and empty.
This is actually a road, so I didn’t expect to see much, but right away we saw a flowing creek running next to the path.
And then we just started walking. We enjoyed the chilly morning air and the peaceful space. (I never understood morning people, but I totally get it now!)
As we were walking, we noticed a little trail to the right full of mounds and rocks. It seems to be perfect for mountain biking, but we did see some people walking later in the day.
Insert the heart eye emoji here.
The whole time we were walking, there was a tiny bed of water flowing next to the road. Then we reached a larger area of ponding water with this cute little waterfall. I was already loving this trail and thankful we picked a simple hike!
Less than a mile and a half in, we found the mine.
I’m sure I read this whole informational sign, but I can’t tell you the first thing about what it says now. Because let’s be real – I’m just here for the pretty scenery.
It is pretty cool that you can go in and walk all around the remnants left in the inactive site.
And this view from the hill. Whoa.
So opposite the mine sits a trailhead and a sign detailing the area’s trails. You can actually keep going on the road (and we saw a mountain biker coming from that direction.) But we decided to connect a few trails and end up back on Sallie Barber Road – essentially creating a loop. We couldn’t tell how much mileage we’d add on, but this wasn’t exactly a strenuous hike so we figured we’d be fine. (And we were.)
So we set off on Nightmare on Baldy. As you head up the path, you’ll encounter an area of rocks and a path to your right. Take that path to the right.
We definitely got the feeling that this was more of a biking path as it was pretty narrow, uphill the whole way and not all that interesting. There were a few twists and turns along the way, but it was just a fairly simple walking trail.
We then got to the point where Nightmare on Baldy met up with True Romance. Now, True Romance is classified as a harder trail, but that’s if you head right. We didn’t do that, we headed left (north) and made our way up the wider trail.
And then we came to this clearing. How freaking fun is that post? (In case you can’t see, it says “True Romance”.) We set up the tripod, and I ran back and forth sixteen times because I forgot my remote at home. Oops.
This sign was a little confusing, because it kinda pointed toward the cliff, and the map indicated we’d be hitting Trail of Tears and not Weber Gulch at this point. However, there was a clearly defined trail going down sort of as a switchback to the one we’d just been on. So we took that.
We came across a freshly downed tree, but we just climbed under it.
And then we saw the post for Trail of Tears, so we knew we were on the right path. We could have kept going that way, and we would have ended up back at the mine.
Instead, we took the path down Weber Gulch so we could cut off some of the road.
It was pretty rocky and downhill, but it was super short.
And then we found the road again. (It wasn’t lost.)
There were a lot more people on the trail by this point, but I had wanted to capture this short earlier in the morning. So I set up my tripod and we just dodged people the best we could. (And yes, we were actually going the other way, but you know, you gotta do what you gotta do for the photo.
Gooooorgeous. And like I mentioned above, this could have been a hike that was less than three miles, but we made it a little more than five. It may not have been a hike full of oohs and aahs, but sometimes it’s okay to take a nice walk and appreciate the little things. We saw tons of birds and a few squirrels. And it geared us up for our HUGE hike the next day which we wouldn’t have even known about had we not been to this trailhead. So seriously, winning all around. How to get there: