Breckenridge Ski Resort is our top rated ski destination located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Yes, there are a myriad of surrounding resorts to choose from like Vail, Aspen and Telluride, but without hesitation many a crunchy local snowboarder/skier choose to shred the gnar at ‘Breck’ to get the authentic Rocky Mountain High. It doesn’t take a genius to see 187 trails, 32 lifts (1 gondola, 3 high-speed six-packs, 25 acres of terrain parks and a top elevation of 12,988 feet equals an epic slopestyle experience.
Breckenridge is a laid back chill environment, which differs from resorts like Aspen or Vail which offer a more chic après-ski scene. This is a hardcore snowboarder/skier mountain, yet is a family friendly resort that features a small ski town with friendly locals and loads of entertainment options. No doubt its stellar facilities and reputation are a perfect setting for the annual Dew Tour’s only winter stop year in and year out. Now for the 411:
Snowfall? C’mon, this is the Rockies, winter storms are frequent so get used to shredding fresh powder on a daily basis. In fact, 370 inches per season is more snow than even a polar bear can handle. Breck’s season typically starts early November and ends mid to late April. It’s nicknamed the ‘Brecken-fridge’ for a reason, especially on the peaks, so dress warm. January is the coldest month averaging 30 degrees fahrenheit, and the warmest being April has an average temperature of 48 degrees fahrenheit.
BIG, in fact it’s ‘beef wellington’ big! Don’t be intimidated though, there’s something for everyone, from beginners all the way up to expert airdogs looking to seek new heights. Breckenridge features four terrain parks and three half-pipes that are consistently ranked among the world’s best. See the resort map for yourself.
There is lodging available at the base of Breck’s slopes, which are classified as ski-in and ski-out (typically this a short trail that leads to the slopes within walking distance) – see Breckenridge Peak 8 Lodging, The Village at Breckenridge, Trails End, or Beaver Run Resort.
Also, there’s plenty of lodging in town (where all the action is), or just outside of town on an adjacent slope. I prefer a large mountainside chalet with full accommodations like a hot tub for those post slope parties (dude soup) and a large fireplace for those acoustic fireside chill nights.
You definitely get more bang for your buck since you’re not paying to be on the actual resort slope. No worries though, just be sure to choose a location that is close enough for shuttle service into town so you can drink as much as you like during après-ski.
Part of going on a trip is trying out the local cuisine and Breck does not disappoint. Sure, it’s not fine dining, but a trip to Breck is about the snowboarding/skiing experience first and entertainment second.
Breakfast – Columbine Café; easily the top locale for your early calorie intake. No trip would be complete without an artery clogging breakfast – cinnamon rolls, bacon, crispy buttery hashbrowns, pancakes and more. Are you hungry yet? Traditional breakfast food served fast to locals and visitors. Combine all this with stellar service and you can’t go wrong.
Lunch – A mandatory mid-day break is required on the slope. Yes, there will be a dip in quality of food here simply because you’re on the actual mountain, but that’s the price you pay for convenience. Be aware that none of these stops represent a jaw-dropping dining experience, but they are effective. They basically get mentioned because of their excellent locations, so the convenience of grabbing a quick bite with a beautiful vista elevates their value for a brief yet mandatory pit-stop.
Dinner – Oscar’s of Breckenridge; no snowboard (or surf) trip would be complete without a proper Mexican feast. Yes, fresh ingredients mixed with some delicious Margaritas equal an all out food fest and the beginning of a great night out. Low key and not fancy, but extremely delicious and effective – this place personifies Breck. Also, Lucha Cantina is another solid choice. If you’re not into typical post-shred Mexican dining try chef-owned Ember, an upscale restaurant featuring a more creative menu with outstanding food and service accompanied by a lengthy wine list.
Downstairs at Eric’s – Who doesn’t like a good video game after a day on the slopes? Go downstairs and there’s plenty of arcade games, good beer selection, flat panel TV’s, seating everywhere, and delicious hot wings. You couldn’t ask for more from a sports bar in a ski town. Get in early, it gets busy!
Three20south – Live local music, everything from the blues to hip hop. Decent priced tickets and located on Main street it’s an easy-to-find location. Sip on an IPA or vodka martini, sit back and enjoy the tunes. If there’s a show – go!
Cecilia’s – Dance? Show off your inner MJ. We all live to let loose and your Breck trip should be no exception. There are three different bars inside to choose from and drink specials to 10pm. If you show up after 10pm this place turns into a drunken orgy. Featuring a live DJ, spacious dance floor where you can do your best Carlton Banks impersonation. There’s also a dance pole if you want show your inner stripper, look out for people dressed up in wild wigs and an assortment of other creative characters you’ll inevitably meet.
For more nightlife info visit the Breckenridge Bar Guide.
The Dew Tour iON Mountain Championship – The annual action sport’s tour’s winter session comes to the one and only Breckenridge Ski Resort every December. Featuring snowboarding and ski competitions with live music. Yes, it’s totally FREE to attend.
Ullr Fest – If you’re just too whooped to hit the mountain, Breck offers something different. Each year in early January for a week Ullr Fest is a festival that pays homage to the Norse god of winter and snow. The festival features a parade and live music. It’s basically a reason to dress up like Vikings, drink, and participate in the Ullympics and attend an ice-skating party. This is how the locals party – see for yourself!
The Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships – Held in late January teams compete from around the globe using only hand tools to create larger than life snow statues.
The Dew Tour only at Breckenridge
The Dew Tour only at Breckenridge
Budweiser International Snow Sculpting Competition in Breck
If all else fails you can always dance like Carlton