Breckenridge ski area

Breckenridge ski area Colorado
Breckenridge, or "Breck," offers 155 trails and days of powder like this one. | Photo by Carl Scofield /

Staff writer

The Breckenridge ski area, also known as “Breck,” covers 2,358 acres of skiable terrain on Peaks 7 and 8 and the lower half of Peaks 9 and 10 in Colorado’s Ten Mile Range.

It is located about 80 miles west of Denver and draws 1.6 million visitors a year, making it one of the most popular ski areas in the United States.

The historic gold mining town of Breckenridge is nearby, with streets lined by brightly colored Victorian homes and commercial buildings. Summit County also is home to the Keystone, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland ski areas.

Breckenridge has 155 trails, with 14 percent rated beginner, 31 percent intermediate and 55 percent expert or advanced. It has five terrain parks and two half-pipes.

There are 31 lifts, including a gondola, with a capacity of 38,000 riders an hour. The Imperial Express lift is the highest chairlift in North America, topping out at 12,840 feet on Peak 8.

The ski area gets an average of 300 inches of snow a year, with a ski season that runs from mid-November to mid-April.

For beginners, there are longer runs on Peak 9, off the Quicksilver and A-Chair lifts, but they often get busy. The runs on Peak 8 are shorter but quieter, but it also has a beginner stretch of Breckenridge’s longest run, the 3 1/2-mile Four O’Clock, with access from the 5-Chair lift. First-timers may prefer to practice on moving carpets on Peaks 8 and 9.

For intermediates, Peak 9’s Cashier, Columbia and Sundown runs are popular. Advanced intermediates will like American, Peerless and Volunteer on the other side of the Beaver Run lift. On Peak 8, the combination of Pathfinder, Duke’s Run and Northstar offer long runs. Peak 7 is covered with intermediate trails, served by the high-speed Independence lift.

For experts, Peak 10 is covered with good trails, notably Centennial, Doublejack and Crystal, served by the high-speed Falcon lift. Those looking for small chutes with steep inclines (up to 55 degrees) can head to the Lake Chutes, available from the summit of Peak 8. Below them are double-diamond runs in the Horseshoe and Contest bowls.

There are eight mountainside restaurants.

The ski area opened in 1961, the vision of Bill Rounds of the Porter and Rounds Lumber Co. The Peak 8 Ski Area, as it was known, had a double chair and a midway unloading station, plus a short T-bar. The ski area is now owned by Vail Resorts, which also owns Vail, Beaver Creek and Keystone.

Breckenridge Ski Resort
1599 Summit County Road 3
Breckenridge, CO 80424
(970) 453-5000