Cucumber Gulch Nature Preserve
A fragile area of fen wetlands sandwiched between the town of Breckenridge and the ski area, Cucumber Gulch has been turned into a nature preserve to protect important habitat for wildlife including the endangered boreal toad, moose, beaver, and breeding birds including Wilson’s Snipe, Brown Creeper, Wilson’s Warbler, and Lincoln’s Sparrow. Although access to the gulch itself is restricted during the summer, the area is circled by hiking trails through lodgepole and spruce forest that allow many wildlife viewing opportunities. Hairy and American Three-toed Woodpeckers are possible, especially in areas with beetle-killed trees. Osprey may be seen in summer over the ponds. The gulch is bisected by the gondola, and one might see wildlife around the ponds while riding to the top of the ski area. In winter, cross-country skiing is allowed inside the gulch, and visitors must purchase a ski pass.
Directions: From I-70 exit 203, head south on CO 9 through Frisco about 9 miles to Breckenridge. Keep right at the roundabout to stay on CO 9. At second stoplight, turn right onto Ski Hill Road. The Nordic Center parking lot is on the right in about half a mile.
Dates of Access: Open all year
Admission: Ski pass purchase required for winter access
Parking: Paved lot
Lodging: Hotels in Breckenridge