Our Favorite Ski Runs in Summit County

There are several different ways to glide on snow in this world so it’s a good thing that there are so many different runs at each ski area in Summit County. Summit County offers 9,877 skiable acres of inbound terrain, so the variety of skiing and riding that is available to snow enthusiasts is almost infinite. Each of these ski areas offer a little something for everyone, but also have characteristics that make each one unique in Summit County. Here is a rundown of some of our favorite runs at each ski area.

Breckenridge – Known for a well-rounded mix of terrain that leans a little toward expert/extreme. Breckenridge is so expansive that beginners are skiing easy runs on the bottom of Peak 9 and don’t even know about the heart pounding extreme terrain just a couple thousand feet above them:

  • Imperial Bowl – The classic, accessible expert run at Breckenridge. Ride the Independence SuperChair to the top of Peak 9. Do the short (but lung-busting) hike to the ridge and take in the best view in Summit County before dropping into this long but wide open black diamond that runs next to the lift.
  • Lake Chutes – The Lake Chutes are located a very short hike to the skier’s right from the top of the Imperial Express, and are comprised of that steep wall you can see when looking up and just to the left of the lift. Starting at almost 13,000 feet, the Lake Chutes are the highest inbound runs at Breckenridge and one of the steepest.
  • The Burn – The Burn makes up a good bit of the north side of Peak 10. The Burn is named just for that very reason. Around 1900, a forest fire struck that area of Peak 10 and almost reached town. You can still see burnt tree stumps dotting the run. Classified as a single black diamond, the Burn offers fantastic tree skiing that is challenging and easily lapped on the Falcon Super Chair.
  • Horseshoe Bowl – The Horseshoe Bowl is the iconic bowl that you can see clearly on Peak 8. It is accessed by the T-Bar and offers a variety of steeps and chutes to test the best skiers on the mountain.

Keystone – Keystone is Summit County’s “family” resort. Not that Keystone doesn’t have some great expert skiing (especially tree skiing), but Keystone’s claim to fame is its long, mellow groomed runs on Dercum Mountain. Keystone is a great place to take beginners, drop them off at ski school, and head to the Outback for some hard-core tree skiing action.

  • Schoolmarm –Located right at the top of Dercum Mountain, Schoolmarm is the longest beginner’s run in Summit County. Running 3.5 miles and zig-zagging across the mountain, Schoolmarm is the perfect challenge for the beginner skier.
  • Frenchman – Keystone’s most popular ski run is Frenchman. Frenchman drops right off from the skier’s left of the Mountain House at the top of Dercum Mountain, and is an undulating mix of a semi-steep and gentle groomed run. It is long and you can get some pretty good speed on it.
  • The Grizz – Follow the Numbers! The Grizz is one of the best tree runs EVER! Located just skier’s left of the Outback Express in the Outback (more like a U-turn to the left off the lift) you know you are on the right run when you see the yellow placards on trees with numbers “1 – 14” on them. The run starts with pockets of moderately steep, well-spaced trees and gets steeper and tighter until you end up in a gully that goes on for what feels like forever. Eventually, you get spit out on the run that leads back to the OutBack Express.
  • A–51 Terrain parks – If you are into rails, boxes, and all kinds of original features A-51 has more different features than all the other ski acres put together. Well, maybe not that many – but it will feel like it. In fact, there are so many terrain parks and features that you could get lost just in the terrain parks! Also, there is a small (and short) 2-seater lift that will get you back, without having to go down to the Peru lift and take all that time to get back to the goods.

Arapaho Basin – There’s a reason they call it “The Legend.” Although A-Basin caters to the more advanced skier and rider, there are beginner runs and the high alpine scenery is jaw dropping.  If you are looking to test yourself, A-basin is the ski area for you.

  • The Steep Gullies and Beavers – Access to the newest terrain in Summit County is from the Pali chair. The Steep Gullies and Beavers at A-Basin are legendary indeed! The Steep Gullies and the Beavers are now open, and although you must hike back to the Pali Chair it is worth it. The Steep Gullies are exactly as advertised, providing a stunning steep chute skiing experience. The Beavers provide an expansive set of gladed runs and extreme terrain. If you can hit it on a powder day, get into Faceshot Gully – it will live up to its name.
  • The Spine to the Rock Garden – Ride the Pali for this one. The Spine to the Rock Garden is the “local’s favorite”, to be sure. The Spine is the “double fall line” that falls off just past the top of the Pali Cornice. Most nights, the wind blows on the Spine so it gets smooth and creamy. As you tear across the top of the Spine it quickly falls into a 40+ degree pitch and ends where a small ridge pops up about midway down the Pali Face. From there you can go in any direction. But if you bear skier’s right across Main Street and up the ridge on the other side, you come to the top of the Rock Garden, a steep set of “S” style turns that will take you down to a traverse out or straight through some trees to the Pali-Wog traverse, and back to the Pali chair.
  • The East Wall – Ride the Lenawee Lift to access the East Wall. If you like steeps and lots of rock drops, seek the East Wall. The Upper East Wall is an imposing edifice that can be accessed by hiking from the north Pole Gate or the staircases that go up from the Lower East Wall area. Simply put, it’s steep as hell! The Lower East Wall is accessed by taking Falcon to the entry gate. Get a lot of speed up going on Falcon, as the East Wall’s entrance is a steep uphill. Once inside, you’ll be in a playground of rock drops and other natural features.

Copper Mountain – Copper Mountain is an amazing experience. It offers a little bit of everything for everyone. From easy groomers to spine chilling steeps, a huge half pipe and some of the best tree skiing in the county, Copper has it all.

  • Lower Enchanted Forest – The Lower Enchanted Forest is a little bit difficult to get to but this is why the snow can be so amazing for so long – especially on a powder day. You can’t really “lap” it so it sees less traffic than other popular runs. It’s not super steep, but the trees are excellently spaced and you can just rip it up. The best way to access it is to take the Storm King lift and then drop in via Upper Enchanted Forest.
  • Little Burn – Located directly under the Timberline Express, Little Burn is one of the best mogul runs in the county. Little Burn offers low-angle bumps that seem to go on forever, and since it is directly under the lift you can show of your skills to a hopefully approving crowd.
  • Spaulding Bowl – Hop on the Storm King Express and hook a left to access Spaulding Bowl. Steeper, more challenging terrain is to your left, and mellower slopes are to your right.
  • Superpipe – We can’t write about the best ski runs without including at least one half-pipe. Copper’s Superpipe boasts 22’ high walls and is not for the faint of heart. If you are into park and pipe, Copper has a full variety of slopestyle features as well.

We love all the skiing in Summit County and encourage you to get out there and try some of our favorite runs. We also think that there’s other place to spend your down time than in Breckenridge. Breckenridge offers the best “real” town in Summit County, and has the right amount of activities, events and nightlife to make your next ski adventure truly memorable.

For the best deals on Breckenridge Lodging visit Breckenridge discount Lodging.

The Best Happy Hours in Breck: A Local’s Guide

After a long day of skiing, nothing sounds better than to sit back, relax, kick off your boots, and enjoy a cold one (or two). So where are the best places in Breckenridge to go for happy hour? Who has the best deals?

Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

flaming-drink-image

Here’s the inside scoop on the hot spots in Breckenridge. We asked some locals about their favorite happy hours in Breck. Here’s what they had to say…

Aurum Food & Wine | 209 S Ridge St

Price: $$
Gluten-Free Menu: No, but gluten-free options are available.
Happy Hour: Considered the best happy hour spot in Breck right now. 4-6 pm daily.
The Deals: Half-priced apps, half-priced wines by the glass, $3 draft beer and $7 classic cocktails!
The Cherry on Top: The food is to-die-for, the atmosphere is lovely, and the bartenders/servers are super friendly and accommodating!
Local’s Guide: Since this place is so awesome, you will most likely be battling for a seat at the bar. Get there early! Also, we recommend wetting your whistle with the “Corpse Reviver” or the “Bees Knees.” Then top it off with the signature House Rolls and the French Onion Burger (the best burger in Breckenridge – in our humble opinion.)

Modis | 113 S Main St

Price: $$$
Gluten-Free Menu: No, but gluten-free options are available.
Happy Hour: Modis has TWO daily happy hours as well! From 3-6 pm & 10-midnight daily.
The Deals: Appetizers for under $10, reduced price on cocktails, and wine pours.
The Cherry on Top: One of the original owners Eric, was feeding his son dinner one night. His son kept saying, “mo dis” (as in, I want “more of this”)… and that is how the name “Modis” was born.
Local’s Guide: Try “The Implication” if you’re a bourbon lover, or the “Powder-Hound Sour” if you want to try something truly unique and delicious.

The Blue River Bistro | 305 N Main St

Price: $$
Gluten-Free Menu: No, but gluten-free options are available.
Happy Hour: The Blue River actually has TWO happy hours every day! From 3-6 pm & 9-midnight daily.
The Deals: Two-for-one appetizer menu, two-for-one martinis and $2 off drafts.
The Cherry on Top: Live music to groove to from 5-10 pm.
Local’s Guide: Try a martini! They have an extensive and diverse list of different types of martinis. Check out the “Paloma Martini” with Espolon tequila, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Cappelletti Aperitivo, ruby red grapefruit, and muddled cucumber.

Ember | 106 E Adams Ave

Price: $$
Gluten-Free Menu: Yes
Happy Hour: Scratch that. At Ember, it’s called Euphoric Hour! From 4-6 pm daily.
The Deals: Reduced drink prices, great wines for $5/pour, and $5 appetizers.
The Cherry on Top: This place has a great atmosphere, everyone is friendly, and the bar is curved which makes it easy to chat with your neighbor.
Local’s Guide: The selection of appetizers is the best part, and the quality of the food is fantastic for the prices. Try the “Sexy Woman” with jalapeño infused vodka, passion fruit, and lime.

Motherloaded Tavern | 103 S Main St

Price: $$
Gluten-Free Menu: No, but gluten-free options are available.
Happy Hour: 3-6 pm daily.
The Deals: $1 off beer and wine, $2 off house infusions (shots, mixed drinks, mason jar cocktails, and hot drinks), and $5 food specials.
The Cherry on Top: Live music every Friday and Saturday. Football specials on Sunday and Monday night. Trivia Tuesdays:  9-midnight. Whiskey Wednesdays: $3 whiskey drinks. Thirsty Thursdays: happy hour drinks all day and night! There is always something going on here!
Local’s Guide: Motherloaded has a laidback vibe, with friendly and attentive staff. Everything they make is from scratch; try their infused vodka, the Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls, Disco Tots, or the Sweet Pepper Applewood Bacon (candied magical bacon deliciousness) and then toast marshmallows right at your own table!

Mi Casa | 600 S Park Ave

Price: $
Gluten-Free Menu: Yes
Happy Hour: 3-6 pm daily.
The Deals: Enjoy great drink specials, discounted tacos, and wings.
The Cherry on Top: Mi Casa has been a locals’ choice for après ski since 1981, so why not check it out for yourself? They have an impressive selection of Mexican cervezas and the largest tequila list in Summit County with over 100 selections!
Local’s Guide: There are also free chips and salsa and FREE NACHOS during happy hour! Check out their Specialty Margaritas with freshly squeezed lime juice and your choice of tequila!

Hearthstone | 130 S Ridge St

Price: $$
Gluten-Free Menu: Yes
Happy Hour: 4-6 pm daily.
The Deals: $5 small plates, $2.50-3.50 beers, $6 house-crafted cocktails, and $5 wine by the glass.
The Cherry on Top: The Hearthstone is the perfect destination for a romantic date night!
Local’s Guide: Head upstairs for a small, secluded bar with phenomenal views of the town and mountains. Try the “Strawberry Serrano Martini” or the “Moscow Mule.”

 

Cecilia’s Cocktail Bar & Nightclub | 520 S Main St

Price: $$
Gluten-Free Menu: No, gluten-free options available.
Happy Hour: 3-8 pm daily.
The Deals: 2 for 1 martinis, $2.50 empanadas and more
The Cherry on Top: Cecilia’s transforms into an incredible nightclub once the sun goes down that you seriously CANNOT miss. The dance floor is amazing and the cocktails are even better.
Local’s Guide: During happy hour, ask for the Satan’s Soulpatch cocktail. You won’t be disappointed! It’ll set your taste buds ablaze… literally ;).

 

Cheers!