Look, there’s now arguing the fact that Breck gets crowded (don’t even try with our readers—“Breck is SO. DAMN. CROWDED.”). But let’s not forget, there’s a reason skiers from near and far flock to this resort: Breck is the complete package. Families especially love to make Breck their vacation destination because of everything it has to offer on and off the slopes: a nice variety of terrain sprawling across five peaks that’s sure to keep everyone in the pack happy and challenged (experts, don’t miss the high-alpine terrain off Peak 6, 7, and 8); convenient slopeside lodging (No. 13); and above all, Breck’s bustling Victorian ski town, home to some of the most highly praised après (No. 6), dining (No. 10), and down-day activity options (No. 6) in the West.
In short, there’s enough good stuff here to impress even the naysayers: “I pooh-poohed Breck for years … but the variety of alpine and expert terrain and vibrancy of the town make it my No. 1 destination these days.” Sure, you can find cheaper day passes elsewhere, but you’d be hardpressed to find another Colorado resort that has this much to offer skiers of all abilities. One astute reader gets at the heart of our feelings toward Breck: “It’s like Disney World. Do you have nostalgia from visiting as a kid? Yes! Is everything overpriced? Yes. Are the rides/runs fun? You bet! How are the lines? Umph…” Nevertheless, we keep going back and taking the kids because it’s SO. DAMN. FUN. — Jenny Wiegand
2021 Reader Resort Rank of Breckenridge, Colo.: No. 12 in the West
- LOCAL TIP: “Best skiing on crowded days is off the E-Chair” reveals one local, who will now need to enter witness protection.
- MANDATORY RUN: First timers, listen up: You don’t have to wait in the Peak 8 gondola line to download. You can ski all the way back to town from Peak 8 on the cruisy, green 4 O’Clock trail.
See who Breck Beat: No. 13 in the West – Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Wondering about No. 11? Read about Park City Mountain Resort
Breckenridge’s 2020 SKI Magazine Reader Resort Survey Rank: 9th in the West
It’s hard to beat Breck’s expansive list of offerings. Beginners to experts, dedicated skiers to ski town vacationers, young to old, and everybody in between—Breck has something for everyone, which is why it continues to crack the top 10 Western resorts and earn reader comments that mostly begin with “Breckenridge has it all.”
With five peaks connected by 34 lifts and 1,400 acres of groomed terrain, the resort has more than enough skiing to keep visitors exploring for days on end—especially when you factor in Breck’s expert high-alpine terrain, which accounts for 40 percent of the resort yet remains undiscovered or untouched by many visitors. No wonder skiers who only venture onto the “rather short blue groomers with long run outs” find Breck’s trails a little too “user-friendly.” Still, given the acreage and variety of runs, Breck’s terrain earns high marks (No. 10), though not as high as the amenities found in town. Readers rave about the “beautiful, quaint, and charming” Victorian town with excellent après (No. 6), nightlife (No. 6), and down-day activity options (No. 8). All of this makes Breck one of the best all-around ski resorts, “almost too great,” one reader notes.
True, Breckenridge is in danger of being loved to death, with crowds nearly forming a mosh pit at the base of Peak 8 throughout the season and skiers arriving an hour before lifts start spinning to get a coveted base area parking spot. But with so much terrain, “you can still find spots on the mountain where you have the place to yourself.” And for when you’re feeling more social, there’s arguably no better way to make new, like-minded friends than hopping on the complimentary shuttle to the free Airport Road parking lot, followed by a pint at nearby Broken Compass Brewing. — Jenny Wiegand
- WHAT’S NEW: The former Village Hotel at the base of Peak 9 debuts this season as the renovated, ski-in/ski-out Gravity Haus, with 60 modern alpine rooms, fitness center, backcountry discovery center, bowling lanes, a co-working space, and a Japanese-inspired onsen.
- LOCAL TIP: It may seem counter-intuitive, but when the wind is whipping, head for the Horseshoe Bowl T-Bar and Imperial Express SuperChair. Those gusting winds may be blowing snow in your face, but they’re also blowing grade-A chalk into the high-alpine expert terrain. Grin and bear it, then reap the reward.
SKI Magazine’s 2019 Review of Breckenridge, Colo.
If you’ve skied Breck and don’t like it … it’s you, not the mountain. Let’s talk stats. Just shy of 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, six peaks, four terrain parks—one with a 22-foot superpipe. High-alpine terrain like few other resorts in Colorado. Fast and efficient lifts, plenty of on-mountain eats and suds. Oh, and the town of Breckenridge, complete with Main Street’s hopping restaurants, bars, shops, and all the mountain-town amenities you’re looking for.
It’s crowded, you say. This is true. It’s expensive. Also, not untrue. Yet, if you know where to ski, it’s worth it. When conditions allow, the high-alpine is the place to be. There’s no magic password. If you’re an advanced to expert skier, this is for you: Colorado Super Chair -> Chair 6 -> Imperial Express. Offload point: 12,840 feet over the majestic Colorado Rockies. At your feet: Double-black-diamond adventure terrain, bowls, and chutes. You’ll never see Breck the same way again. Especially after you recount your day’s adventure over Ahi Tuna Nachos at Main Street’s Blue River Bistro. Best of both worlds. – Sam Berman
Come to Breckenridge for the…
- NIGHTLIFE Head to the Blue Stag Saloon for a selection of craft beers, a rotating tap, and a robust wine list in a woody, rustic ambiance.
- DINING A globally inspired menu is pleasing the skiing masses at Artisan 206, one the newest additions to Breck’s evolving culinary scene.
- FAMILY EXPERIENCE Slide down the free communal tubing hill at Carter Park, a couple blocks off Main Street.
- APRÈS SPOT Geek out over custom skis while enjoying a microbrew at RMU Tavern, a ski shop and tap house combined. Sample the 16 rotating craft beers inside or in the new outdoor beer garden.
- SIGNATURE EVENT Make it to town for Ullr Fest for the annual homage to the Norse god of snow and join in the festivities, including a town-wide snow dance, parade, ice plunge, and more.