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How to Find Isak Heartstone, the Breckenridge Troll

 

The Story of the Breckenridge Troll

Isak Heartstone, the 25-foot tall Breckenridge Troll made completely from recycled materials, is just a couple years old, but he’s already made quite a splash.  Originally a part of the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts-, Isak was originally built by the Danish recycle art activist Thomas Dambo in 2017 on a local trail in a residential neighborhood of Breckenridge.  However, his immense popularity created severe problems for the residents, and he was later moved to his new home.  You can read more about Isak’s controversy here, as well as the efforts that went into creating a permanent spot for him.  

This article is custom curated by Breckenridge locals to help you create a full experience when visiting Isak Heartstone.  If you read nothing else here, please review and follow the “Leave No Trace Seven Principles” so that all can continue to enjoy meeting Isak Heartstone for years to come.   

Do you have a tip that you’d like to share?  Send an email to info@brecktroll.com and we’ll see if it makes sense to add!  

Respecting the Troll and Others

BreckCreate and the Town of Breckenridge have spend a considerable amount of time and money creating a new home for Isak Heartstone, and his longevity depends on you!  Please treat the trail and the troll with the utmost respect, and follow the "Leave No Trace" principles below.  

Leave No Trace Seven Principles

Before you plan your trip, please review the “The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace”, from the Center for Outdoor Ethics.  We all have a role in protecting and preserving our natural environment; please do your part!

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare 

https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/plan-ahead-and-prepare/Plan your Trip. Use this guide to determine how much you want to walk, how long you expect the trip to take, and set your expectations.  

Bring some water. Breckenridge’s altitude is 9,600 feet (2926 meters), and at that elevation you lose water through respiration twice as quickly as you do at sea level due to decreased humidity.  Further, high altitude can also cause you to urinate more often, exacerbating the dehydration effect. Bottom line: even though this is a short hike, we HIGHLY recommend bringing a bottle of water.  

Check the weather. Weather changes rapidly in Summit County, and it is ALWAYS a good idea to review the weather before you venture out.  While there is normally shelter available nearby between Breckenridge and Isak Heartstone, it can seriously ruin your day if you get caught in a heavy rainfall, and can be incredibly dangerous if you find yourself with the wrong gear during a blizzard.  

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces 

https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/travel-camp-on-durable-surfaces/ 

The walk to the trailhead and the Trollstigen trail itself have both been designed to be very durable.  Please stay on trail at all times. 

3. Dispose of Waste Properly

https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/dispose-of-waste-properly/ 

Please ensure that any and all waste is carried out and disposed of.  There are trash and recycling receptacles at the Trollstigen trailhead, and periodically on the streets in the town of Breckenridge. 

4. Leave What You Find 

https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/leave-what-you-find/ 

Leave any rocks, plants, or other natural items as you found them.  Do not damage any live trees or plants, and do not carve initials into trees.  If you see some beautiful flowers, take a photo instead of picking them so that the environment is preserved for the next visitor.  

5. Minimize Campfire Impacts 

https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/minimize-campfire-impacts/ 

No campfires are allowed at or near Isak Heartstone.  DO NOT create any type of campfire, BBQ, or even smoke cigarettes while in the woods around the Breckenridge Troll.  Due to the consistently dry weather in Colorado, all of these actions can lead to severe wildfires!

6. Respect Wildlife 

https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/respect-wildlife/
Encounters with wildlife are common in Breckenridge’s wilderness.  If you see an animal, please treat it with respect. Do not approach, antagonate, feed, or otherwise bother the animal.  Doing so could create a danger to you, to the animal, or to other visitors.  

7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/be-considerate-of-other-visitors/ 

When visiting Isak Heartstone, please treat others with respect. Please keep all dogs on leash at all times, and please do not use external speakers when visiting the troll.  And remember to pick up after your dog.  

 

Getting to the Troll

We’ve compiled a list of ways to get to the Troll, including walking, biking, using the FREE bus system, and many others.  All of the directions included here start at the Breckenridge Welcome Center, at 203 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO 80424.  

 

How to Walk to the Breckenridge Troll

Take some time to explore the town of Breckenridge, and walk down historic Main Street.  You’ll pass many local businesses that you may have missed if you had just driven through town!  For instance, you could stop by Crepes A La Cart to grab some food for the walk, snag a coffee at Clint’s, or just fill up your water bottle at the Welcome Center.

Walking directions from the Breckenridge Welcome Center (203 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO 80424):

  • First: Review the Leave No Trace Principles at the beginning of this article to ensure you leave the troll as beautiful as you found it.  
  • Turn Right (South) onto Main Street, and continue for 0.2 miles (meters) 
  • Stay Left at the intersection of Park Avenue and Main Street to continue on Main Street for 0.3 miles.
  • Turn Left onto Boreas Pass Road.  Continue for 0.2 miles.   
  • At the intersection of Sunbeam Drive and Boreas Pass Road, you will see a large parking lot on your left.  Cross Boreas Pass Road, and walk to the south-east corner of the lot to find the Trollstigen Trail.  
  • Once at the Trollstigen Trail, follow signs to find the Troll.  
  • Pro Tip: After you take your pictures at the troll and post them to Instagram, remember to tag @breck_troll.  

Expected Walking time from Welcome Center to trailhead: ~20 minutes
Round Trip duration of activity: ~60 minutes
Average number of steps: 4900
Walking directions to trailhead in Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/e3skvLh9WwvHwDPU7  

How to Bike to the Breckenridge Troll

From the Breckenridge Welcome Center (203 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO 80424):

  • First: Review the Leave No Trace Principles at the beginning of this article to ensure you leave the troll as beautiful as you found it.  
  • Cross Main Street to connect to Washington Avenue.  Continue 0.1 miles 
  • Turn Right onto French Street.  Continue for 0.6 miles.
  • Turn Left onto Boreas Pass Road.  Continue for ~300 feet.    
  • At the intersection of Sunbeam Drive and Boreas Pass Road, you will see a large parking lot on your left.  Cross Boreas Pass Road, and bike to the south-east corner of the lot to find the Trollstigen Trail.  
  • Park your bike at the bike racks provided at the trailhead.  
  • Once at the Trollstigen Trail, follow signs on foot to find the Troll.  
  • Pro Tip: After you take your pictures at the troll and post them to instagram, remember to tag @breck_troll.

 

Expected Biking time from Welcome Center to trailhead: less than 10 minutes
Expected Walking time from trailhead to Troll: ~5 minutes
Total expected duration of activity: ~40 minutes
Biking directions to trailhead in Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/vmqg5Xf9CAgkaEsB9

 

How to use FREE public transportation to the Breckenridge Troll

If you have trouble walking or biking, or are just a little tired, you should take advantage of the Breck Free Ride transportation system, which offers free buses throughout the Breckenridge area.  The Main Street Trolley is the most direct route from the Breckenridge Welcome Center, but the Blue Line and Brown Line also can get you there. We’ve included detailed instructions here on how to take the Main Street Trolley to the Troll, but depending on the time of day, you may find that one of the other routes offers a better schedule.  

No matter which route you choose, you should plan to get off of the bus at the “Ice Rink” stop, which is the end of the line for the Main Street Trolley, the Blue Line and the Brown Line.  

Pro Tip: Breck Free Ride offers a free app that includes bus schedules and the precise location of all of the buses currently operating.  

Transit directions from the Breckenridge Welcome Center to the Breckenridge Troll:

  • First: Review the Leave No Trace Principles at the beginning of this article to ensure you leave the troll as beautiful as you found it.  
  • There is a stop for the Main Street Trolley just outside of the Breckenridge Welcome Center.  Look for signs that say “Downtown Trolley”.
  • The bus runs from 9:00 AM until 10:00 PM.  From 9:00AM to 11:00AM, it will arrive every 30 minutes. Peak Service from 11:15 AM to 10:00 PM runs every 15 minutes. The full schedule is available here.  The “Welcome Center” column will tell you when it will arrive at the Breckenridge Welcome Center.  
  • Once you board the bus, ride to the 4th Stop, titled “Ice Rink”.  Exit the bus, and walk to the south-east corner of the parking lot to find the Trollstigen Trail.  
  • Once at the Trollstigen Trail, follow signs on foot to find the Troll.  

Expected Transit time from Welcome Center to trailhead: ~5 minutes
Expected Walking time from trailhead to Troll: ~5 minutes
Total expected duration of activity: ~40 minutes (including waiting for the bus)
Transit directions to trailhead in Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/vmqg5Xf9CAgkaEsB9

Instructions for taking a Taxi / Uber / Lyft to the Breckenridge Troll

Though we highly recommend walking, biking, or taking public transportation, you can definitely take a taxi (we recommend Jake's Mountain Shuttle), Uber, or Lyft.  Here are specific instructions:

  • Ask your driver to take you to the Stephen C West Ice Arena (or to the Breckenridge Troll Trailhead), at 189 Boreas Pass Rd, Breckenridge, CO 80424.
  • Walk to the south-east corner of the parking lot to find the Trollstigen Trail.  
  • Once at the Trollstigen Trail, follow signs to find the Troll. 

Driving Directions to the Breckenridge Troll

Please do not drive to the troll.  See information below about parking.  

Parking at the Troll

THERE IS NO DEDICATED TROLL PARKING AT THE TRAILHEAD.  In the off season, it is possible there may be parking in the Ice Rink lot, but it is not recommended.  There is plenty of parking in Breckenridge, and if you take another form of transportation to the troll, you’re helping ensure that the troll remains sustainable for years to come.  See the Breckenridge parking website, BreckPark, for more details about the best places to park your car.   

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Breckenridge Troll?

  • The Breckenridge Troll is located on the Trollstigen trail, near the Stephen C West Ice Arena.  Specific directions to walk, bike, or take the free bus are shown above in this article.  

Is the Breckenridge troll open?

  • Yes! The Breckenridge troll is now open!  There is no fee for admission, and you can visit him any time. 

Is the troll still in Breckenridge?

  • Yes!  The troll is still in Breckenridge.  There was a time when his fate was questionable, but he was so popular that he was rebuilt in a new location specifically designed for him.  

Are there restrooms at the Troll?

  • No, there are no restrooms at the trailhead.  Please plan ahead and use the public restrooms in town. 

How far is the trailhead from downtown Breckenridge?

  • The trailhead is about 1 mile from downtown Breckenridge.

    Where should I park my car to visit the Troll?

    • There is no dedicated parking at the trailhead.  Please park your car in one of the lots in Breckenridge.  More details on parking options can be found at the BreckPark website.

      What is the best way to get to the Trailhead?

      • We highly highly HIGHLY recommend that you walk, bike, use the FREE transportation, or take a Taxi / Uber / Lyft.  Please do not drive to the trailhead.    This article (above) includes many details about how to get to the Troll without driving.  

        How long is the hike to the Troll from the Trailhead?

        • From the trailhead, the Troll is only about 400 feet away. The hike is flat, but does cover uneven surfaces.   

          Is the hike wheelchair accessible?

          • Though the hike to the troll is built to be very durable, it does not meet ADA standards for wheelchair accessibility. 

            Is the troll accessible year-round?

            • The trail is open all year round, but it is NOT maintained during the winter season.   Please use caution when visiting the Breckenridge troll in the winter.  
              • Due to heavy foot traffic the winter trail is often tracked out, and you will walk on packed-snow.