The five impressive peaks at Breckenridge Ski Resort, less than two hours from Denver International Airport, boast the highest lift elevation in Colorado.
An Epic Pass destination, Breckenridge has runs that cater to a wide range of skill levels, and a number of additional slope-side amenities designed to round out your ski or snowboard vacation.
The ski and snowboard school offers private and group lessons for all ages, with specialized women and girls’ ski programs as well as an adaptive ski program. There are numerous equipment rental options at the resort, including RentSkis.com, which has seven slope-side pickup locations and offers drop-off service to accommodations. Breckenridge also boasts 11 on-mountain restaurants and slope-side lodging with ski-in/ski-out access. There is no night skiing available but there is cross-country skiing, snow biking, as well as sledding and tubing in Breckenridge’s Carter Park, in the historic district. Meanwhile, the Alpine Coaster provides guests the opportunity to take in the magnificent high country scenery.
Breckenridge Ski Resort generally opens in the first week of November and closes mid- to late April, though keep in mind that not all the runs will be open at the very beginning or end of the season. As with all resorts, the most expensive time to visit – and the most crowded – is on the weekends and holidays. Breckenridge temperatures are the coldest in January, hovering around 30 degrees, and the warmest in April, which generally sees daytime highs in the 40s.
Pricing for lift tickets vary by the selected dates through the season, with prices offered for children, adults and seniors, starting at $147 for adults for a day pass. Book online or phone 888-945-5429. For the best pricing, book seven days in advance. The resort also offers a Lift & Lodging package at the previous year’s rates.
Breckenridge Ski Resort has 187 trails spread across the resort’s five peaks – 14 percent of these are beginner; 31 percent are intermediate and 55 percent are for experts. Here are the best Breckenridge Ski Resort trails for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers, according to Sara Lococo, the resort’s communications manager:
Peak 9 is one of the best places to learn to ski, offering family-friendly learning zones and wide-open intermediate runs. Silverthorne [is] one of the best trails to learn to ski or ride, this lower Peak 9 green run offers up wide-open space to perfect your turns.
Peak 6 showcases high-alpine, above treeline, intermediate and expert terrain with awe-inspiring views of the entire valley. For intermediate bowl skiing, Bliss is the place to be. Wide open and mellow, drop in for epic turns on any day.
Peak 7 is an intermediate skier’s paradise. It features rolling, groomed terrain and gorgeous views. Swoop in and drop down along the contours of Angel’s Rest. Tree islands make it feel like an escape into a secluded forest.
Peak 10 is an expert’s paraHop on the six-person Falcon SuperChair for a fast track to some of Breck’s expert terrain including groomed steeps, challenging moguls and technical tree chutes. A swift ride up the Falcon SuperChair and a jaunt down skier’s left will deliver you to the thick trees of The Burn (which is what your legs will be doing after you finish this run).
Peak 8 At the top of Peak 8, side-step up to the gate and swoop down the curving ridge, dropping into the powder-loaded valley whenever the urge strikes. Nine Lives is a Double Diamond trail located off Lake Chutes, Nine Lives – at over 50 degrees at its steepest point – is one of the steepest in-bound runs in Colorado. After negotiating a large cornice at the top, skiers on Nine Lives must make their way through multiple cliff bands. The toughest run on the mountain offers a chance for a fast, quick double drop exit or a technical Billy Goat style run.
For ski-in/ski-out accommodation, One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort , has one- to three-bedroom condominiums at the base of Peak 8, near the BreckConnect Gondola, with stone fireplaces, granite countertops and alpine views from spacious decks. Just at the base of Peak 7, Crystal Peak Lodge has ski-in/ski-out access from its one- to four-bedroom apartments with fireplaces, private balconies, and an onsite restaurant.
Atrium Condominiums , in the historic district of Breckenridge across from Carter Park, have two- and three-bedroom loft units with gas fireplaces, an outdoor hot tub and free shuttle service to the ski base areas. Nearby, The DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge has mountain views, an indoor pool and is within walking distance of the Beaver Run SuperChair and Breckenridge’s Main Street.
Breckenridge has grown from a burgers-and-nachos après-ski scene to a burgeoning foodie town with options catering to a variety of dining experiences. For on-mountain dining, Sevens has cocktails, craft beers and New American cuisine in a rustic-chic setting at the base of Peak 7, within the Grand Lodge.
At the top of Peak 7, Pioneer Crossing has hearty breakfast and lunch options for guests looking for a bite before heading back onto the slopes, while Vista Haus on Peak 8, offers spectacular views and ample seating for families and large groups, as well as barbecue bowls, pulled pork sandwiches, and chili.
Located in a restored 1881 building in downtown Breckenridge, Twist offers a creative take on winter comfort food, with dishes like sunflower seed-crusted trout, roasted game hen with basil pistachio pesto, or the “Barn Door Meatloaf” with cheddar grits and tomato brown gravy. On Main Street, Blue River Bistro has Italian-American fare and renowned martinis in an casually elegant atmosphere, serving up classic dishes like fettuccine alfredo and tortellini carbonara as well as bison tacos and Colorado rack of lamb.
From beers on a mountainside patio to live music at a local bar or saloon, Breckenridge has an abundance of après-ski spots to choose from. Particularly popular with the après-ski crowd, Tbar features an oversized deck with views out to Peak 8, shareable appetizers and an impressive selection of microbrews. If you’re looking to venture into downtown Breckenridge, head to Kenosha Steakhouse, or the rooftop decks of Fatty’s or South Ridge Seafood.
Breckenridge is only 63 miles from Eagle Airport, which has non-stop flights from Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago and Miami, among other locations. For more options, Denver International Airport, just over 100 miles away, has more than 750 daily flights from major U.S. cities and some international hubs. For travelers who don’t want to hire a rental car, Colorado Mountain Express has airport shuttles and private car services from Denver International Airport to Breckenridge. Visitors can also fly to Colorado Springs, which is roughly the same distance from Breckenridge as Denver.
Once in Breckenridge, it is easy to go car-less if you prefer. The Breckenridge Free ride system has a complimentary bus and shuttle system through town and the downtown area is easily walkable. The free BreckConnect Gondola that connects skiers and boarders from downtown to the base of Peak 8. There are also several taxi companies that serve the town and surrounding area.
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