The Ski Mountain
If you’re learning to ski, teaching kids to ski or traveling with a group that includes a non-skier, Breckenridge ski resort is one of North America’s classic destinations. Its beginner ski trails and inseparable ski-in/ski-out connection with the charming Victorian town that provides its name sees to that. Add in plenty of intermediate and advanced runs across four mountain peaks, the most above-tree-line extreme skiing in Colorado, and a top ski park and you have why Breckenridge is the most visited ski resort in North America.
The Mountain Experience
Breckenridge’s ski population is as varied as its terrain, a cross section of families, singles and empty nesters frequent the mountain. They’re made up of very passionate locals (“Breckies”), Denver locals, and many national and international visitors. Breckenridge can struggle with crowds at peak times, so the trick when you’re better than a beginner is heading to the higher lifts where the lines get shorter.
Breckenridge Ski Terrain
• Beginner: Breckenridge’s Peak 9 is a whole lower mountain dedicated to beginners with a teaching terrain as good as any in the world. Because of the long, wide and gentle runs, Peak 9 allows starting skiers ample uninterrupted time to learn at their own speed.
Current Snow Conditions
• Intermediate: At Breckenridge’s Peak 7, all trails (except one black diamond) are rated intermediate and fed by a six-seat high-speed chair.
• Advanced: More than one third of Breckenridge’s 2,358 acres are rated as expert skiing, with 700 acres above the tree line and served by the highest chair lift in North America.
• Terrain Park: Lots of pros train here, especially early season. Five terrain parks and four half pipes. If you’re not a park skier but are a good enough (intermediate level at least) to get to the terrain park, it’s a spectacular place to watch.
If you’re not a local, approach a control hut on the mountain or the “Guest Services” personnel at the base chair lifts and ask where you can find the best skiing that day for your level and the experience you’re after. Because of Breckenridge mountain’s direction and pitch, the conditions vary from day to day and shift the prime pockets of snow.
It’s all about the town. Besides ski-in/ski-out, a free gondola connects the town’s restaurant and retail-lined Main Street to three base lift and lodge areas on the mountain. This means non skiers can come up the mountain for lunch or photos and everyone can come back to town for its vibrant and varied bar and restaurant scene.
Charming Victorian town, with 75+ restaurants and bars, historic district and ski-in/ski-out access.
Breckenridge has an unusually wide and varied selection of lodging. Choose between ski-in/ski-out hotels, vacation homes and condos as well as hundreds of in and around the town hotels, rentals homes, bed and breakfasts and condos. There’s something for every preference and every budget. Use the “Explore Breckenridge’s Best Ski Lodging Deals” box above and right to find your best Lodging choices.
Skiing with Kids
The ease of ski-in/ski-out lodging makes skiing with kids a far more enjoyable experience than when you’re balancing multiple sets of skis, while trying to hold hands of your little ones schlepping from bus (or parking lot) to the slopes. But that’s not why Breckenridge is an ideal resort for young families. The mountain has a top quality ski school that turns learning into an adventure. You can enroll little ones as young as 3. And there’s child care for pre-skiers.
Lift Tickets and Season Pass Cost*
Lift Tickets (PURCHASE HERE): Adult $87-$99; Child $46-$57; Senior $77-$89 Season Pass: (purchase by 10/14/12) Adult $679; Child $349; Senior $539 Other Passes: 7 day pass (purchase by 10/14/12) Adult $529 Special Deals: Passes also good for Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Arapahoe *prices reflect our best effort to gather from resort published information.
By Rory Reily