If you talk to any local and ask them for a fun, easy hike in Summit County, they’re sure to mention Sapphire Point Overlook. It’s an easily accessible viewpoint located right outside of Breckenridge – it has great views, minimal (basically none) elevation gain, and is a fun little adventure for most ages and abilities. In fact, it made our list for the best hiking in Breckenridge, along with some other easier hikes in the area like Aspen Alley, Blue Lakes Waterfall Trail, and Old Dillon Reservoir Trail. It’s also centrally located between Breckenridge, Keystone, and Copper Mountain ski resorts. Because of its central location, there’s plenty of other nearby attractions.
Distance: 75 yards to overlook (0.6 for the whole loop)
Features: mountain views, pine forest, furry friends
Authority: Dillon Ranger District & White River National Forest
Sapphire Point Overlook offers amazing views and is located between the towns of Breckenridge, Keystone, and Frisco, and is just off Swan Mountain Road. It’s located in the heart of White River National Forest, which is home to eight wilderness areas, scenic rivers, forested valleys, alpine lakes, rocky ridges, and alpine regions. It’s a place where scenic rivers sustain populations of rainbow and brown trout, as well as the occasional cutthroat trout. Diverse forests and alpine regions provide habitat for a healthy population of moose, bears, birds, and more wildlife.
The overlook itself is easily accessible from the parking lot, and requires very minimal elevation gain. It’s only about 75 yards on a wide gravel path. Getting there is slightly downhill, so getting back to the parking lot is slightly uphill. There are benches located at the viewpoint and there are plenty of places to sit, so you can take a break if you need. Even though this trail is on the easier side, make sure you wear appropriate footwear and have supply water for your friends and family, especially on warm, summer days.
Most people don’t hike the loop, but we think it’s a great easy hike. It has minimal elevation gain as well, and is a great option for families and anyone getting adjusted to the altitude. The loop is only 0.6 miles roundtrip, and there’s a beautiful picnic area about halfway through that offers beautiful views of Lake Dillon reservoir, Rocky Mountains, the Gore and Tenmile Mountain Ranges, and surrounding undeveloped wilderness. This viewpoint is almost better than the Sapphire Point Overlook, and offers a more sweeping view of the area.
Getting to Sapphire Point Overlook
There’s limited parking at the Sapphire Point Overlook parking area, so plan on visiting during an off time on a weekday. There’s no parking on the road, so please do not risk your safety and try to park anywhere besides the parking area. Leaving Breckenridge on Hwy 9 going north, you’ll take a right on Swan Mountain Road by the Summit High School. Continue on this road until you reach the summit of the road, at which point there’s a parking area on the left hand side. Park here and head west on the trail to get to the overlook.
Sapphire Point Overlook is overrun by chipmunks! While it is technically illegal to feed wildlife, people do it anyways. Please make sure you’re at least using unsalted nuts like birdseed instead of the stuff you get for human food. Even if you don’t bring food, the chipmunks are curious enough to pose and look cute anyway. Both chipmunks photographed were not fed, they were just very curious about my camera and liked to pose!
Sapphire Point Wedding
This overlook is one of the most booked wedding venues in the county, and is quite affordable at only $118 for a two hour time slot. It’s the perfect spot for a Colorado elopement, and you can reserve Sapphire Point Overlook on Recreation.gov. It shows up as a campsite reservation, but there’s no camping here – that’s just you reserving the site. There’s a few things to take into consideration when looking at Sapphire Point Overlook for wedding ceremonies and private gatherings:
- There’s limited space and it’s best for very small intimate weddings (~20 max).
- The main con is limited privacy. While you are reserving this space, it is still technically open to the public. You’ll have people passing by trying to access the overlook, and while most people quietly pass on by, you may encounter people looking in on your ceremony or someone trying to get their own photos of the overlook despite you being there.
- A two hour window isn’t much time for set up and take down, especially if you encounter any type of delays (general lateness or weather delays).
- While the use of portable chairs and furniture is allowed, any vendors that deliver these rental or catering items must have a valid permit from the U.S. Forest Service.
- It’s a great location for an affordable mountain wedding site. At only $118, that’s an amazing price for a ceremony venue.
- It looks great year-round, whether you’re having a summer, winter, spring, or fall wedding ceremony. The area surrounding sapphire point is beautiful!
- The limited size could be a great excuse to not invite that weird uncle or that clingy Instagram friend from college.
Can you get married at Sapphire Point?
Yes, you can get married at this amazing overlook! Sapphire Point is open and beautiful year-round, and you can book a reservation online for an amazingly affordable price. There are a few pros and cons you should consider when looking at booking Sapphire Point Overlook as a ceremony venue, the main con being limited privacy.
How long is Sapphire Point Trail?
The whole loop is 0.6 miles, but the distance from the parking lot to the Sapphire Point Overlook is only about 75 yards. The whole trail is easily accessible with minimal elevation gain, making it a great option for families or anyone adjusting to the altitude.
Is Sapphire Point closed?
The trail to Sapphire Point Overlook is open year round, but you can expect snow on the trail from October through April. If you would like to reserve Sapphire Point for an event, reservations are now available post-COVID-19 and can be booked by following the link above.
How high is Sapphire Point?
Sapphire Point Overlook sits at an elevation of 9,500 feet.
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