Breckenridge Ski Resort

Breckenridge Ski Resort is one of several in its immediate area. Summit County Colorado is ski country. Home to Copper Mountain, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, and Breckenridge Ski Resort, the area is a Mecca for destination skiers and residents of Colorado's Front Range cities alike. Taking a Breckenridge ski vacation does not mean you are confined to one resort.

Breckenridge Colorado Ski Resort (simply "Breck" to locals) is one of the most popular of the Summit County resorts. Parking near the resort is at a premium and the pay lot near the lifts often fills up quickly. Not to worry, there are regular shuttles from the outlying parking lots (be sure to remember which one you parked at) and a new gondola to ferry passengers from the downtown transportation center to the base areas.

For many years, a Breckenridge ski vacation was most suited to intermediates and beginners. This changed with the opening of the Peak 8 bowls, the Peak 9 face, and other expert runs. Today, over half of the mountain is labeled double- or single-black diamond. There are still plenty of cruising runs for easygoing skiers and riders, but Breckenridge Ski Resort is now one of the best Colorado resorts for advanced skiers.

The base area at Breckenridge Colorado Ski Resort is at a dizzying 9,600 feet, higher than the peaks of most North American resorts. Breck's Imperial Express Superchair takes riders to 12,840 feet above sea level — the highest lift in North America when it was completed. It opens onto the wide-open face of Imperial Bowl and some great expert pick-your-own-route trails. Adventurous skiers can hike farther, to begin their descent at over 13,000 feet. If you have a few days on a Breckenridge ski vacation, you may want to save this hike until you are acclimatized to the elevation.

Locals love the snow on Peak 7, but some hiking is necessary to reach the best bowls here too. Its worth the effort: the snow here is as good as it gets anywhere in the world. The North Face on Peak 9 is another experts-only area; its runs are a challenge to even the best skiers. Mogul fans should head to Peak 10 and try their luck (and knees) on the bumps of Mustang and Blackhawk.

Intermediates can also find some nice trails on Peak 10; Centennial and Crystal runs are especially recommended. Peak 8 and Peak 9 also have some well-groomed and open trails, but take notice: some of the blue-rated runs at Breckenridge Colorado Ski Resort would be black elsewhere. Novices should stick to the green runs on these hills; they will probably enjoy the trails from Quicksilver lift best.

Snowboarders will not be disappointed at Breckenridge Ski Resort. Breck's Freeway Terrain Park is legendary. It was the first Colorado mountain to build a superpipe, an enormous type of halfpipe. Do not attempt this unless you know what you are doing. The walls can be sculpted to over 15 feet tall and there are always expert boarders around to let you know what you are doing wrong.

A Breckenridge ski vacation has everything: good and varied terrain, slopeside accommodation, other resorts within a short distance, and a charming base town. The only drawback might be its increasing popularity. On weekend traffic to Breckenridge is slow: a trip to Denver can take three or four hours, more than twice the time than on clear roads. All the Front Range visitors can lead to long lift lines, though these are not hard to escape if you head to the bowls.

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