How to Stay Safe on the Slopes in Breck

Wondering when the best conditions are at Breck? How about when the different Peaks open? We’ve got you covered!

Everything To Know About Ski Conditions in Breckenridge

Lining the mountainscape above the town of Breckenridge is the aptly named Breckenridge Ski Resort. Spanning across 5 peaks of the Ten Mile range, it is nearly impossible to not be in awe when you drive down the highway and see the town, mountains, and resort for the first time. With Breckenridge’s base elevation of 9600 ft above sea level, often you can find amazing snow conditions and lots of sunshine. Although, different times of the year present different terrain, conditions, and things to know about your time on the slopes. Having lived in Summit County for close to ten years, let me share some helpful knowledge on what to expect when visiting the resort.

Early Season: Mid-November to Mid-December. 

Breckenridge typically opens the second weekend of November. While not the first resort to open in Colorado or even Summit County, they usually have some of the best early season snow. With recent upgrades to the snowmaking system, gone are the days of the “White Ribbon of Death”. Opening Day is a great time to visit as it is full of energy and the town itself is still waking up from the off season. Early in the season, Breckenridge Ski Resort’s dedicated snowmaking and grooming teams follow a standard pattern of terrain openings: Open the mountain at Peak 8 with the Colorado chair and a few trails underneath it, usually a green and blue level run. After Colorado chair, with natural snowfall and favorable snowmaking conditions, shortly the Rocky Mountain Super Chair will open.

It is usually a goal of the resort team to have Peak 9 with its long mellow sloping groomers open by Thanksgiving. That means for the first big holiday of the season they will have the Quicksilver, Beaver Run, and Mercury chairlifts spinning. During this time more and more terrain will open from natural snowfall, but be cautious off of groomed run as natural terrain and “snow snakes” (sticks, rocks, or natural obstacles) that can be could be hiding under shallow snow. The snow on groomed runs will be good and can be great even with just a little natural snowfall. Temperatures will be milder these months with November usually having highs in the upper 30s and lows in mid 20s, while December begins to cool off with highs in the upper 20s and lows in the high teens.

If enough natural snowfall has occurred, Ski Patrol and Resort Ops teams will begin to expand up the mountain and look to open the famed T-bar or 6 Chair on Peak 8. These areas are heavily dependent on natural snowfall as they are a high alpine environment where snow making equipment is not installed. Getting the first run down Contest bowl or Horseshoe bowl could be an exhilarating experience, but with early season conditions still, caution must be exercised!

The next to open will be Peak 7! This depends a lot on favorable snowmaking temperatures and natural snowfall, so the range of dates for when the Independence and Freedom Super Chairs begin to run is quite large. On average snowfall years, you can expect this peak with its long blue groomed runs to open before Christmas.

The Holidays: Late December – Mid January

With three peaks open and plenty of visitors wanting to spend their holidays in a winter wonderland, more advanced terrain will begin to open up (once again, natural snowfall and good snowmaking temps dependent). The next terrain openings vary from year to year, but more often than not, once conditions are right, Peak 10 and its steep advanced runs will open up for some leg-burning fun. The average daily temperature this time of year is in the 20s with lows in the low to mid-teens. During this time, skiing on the weekdays is crucial to get more runs and avoid long lift lines. This peak opened in 2013 is the latest addition to Breckenridge’s expansive terrain. Peak 6 has a little bit of everything: Groomed runs, trees, open bowls, and a hike to high alpine chutes all accessed by the high-speed Kensho 6-pack chair. Peak 6 has several blue runs which are great for the intermediate skier or snowboarder.

Mid Season: Mid January – March

The heart of the season. By now hopefully, your ski legs are warmed up as the final pieces of the mountain to open will be accessed by the highest chair lift in North America. Unloading at 12,840ft above sea level, the Imperial Chair stands above them all. From here you can access black diamond and double black expert terrain in the Imperial Bowl and Whale’s Tail – or you can take a groomed single black-rated run, Imperial Ridge back down to lower elevation. The views from the top of this chair and the mountain are stunning and you can see mountain tops all the way to Pike’s Peak!

This is the time in the season when Breckenridge is most likely to have a good base of snow and your best chance to catch a powder day! March is typically Colorado’s snowiest month, and when the snow starts dropping & the whole resort is open, it is game on! Colorado enjoys over 300 days of sunshine annually, so you are able to soak up some rays on a bluebird day in the Mid Season. January and February typically have a high temperature of around 30 degrees and low temperatures in the low teens.

Spring: March – April 

Let the sun shine! While we often time get big dumps of snow in March, when it isn’t snowing, the temperatures are heating up to almost 40 degrees! Did someone say sweatshirt weather? These are great days for those who love skiing but maybe not the cold temps that are often associated with it. Breckenridge’s elevation keeps the snow in great condition and you can find stashes of powder for days after a storm.

April – May: Late Season 

Still yearning for a ski day? You can often find warmer temps and less crowded slopes in the late season. The mountain will begin to scale back operations and close down Peaks 10, 6, and 9 and the conclusion of April, leaving Peaks 8 & 7 open for the final month of the season. By this time, you can expect to be surfing the slush on warm sunny days – although, I’ve experienced a handful of sneaky late season snow storms at the beginning of May before! In April highs are consistently in the 40s and creep up even higher in May! Usually, the slopes are quiet this time of year, and the town has a little less foot traffic as well.

Once May rolls around, terrain availability is all dependent on the weather. The Resort intends to stay open until Memorial Day, but that is all weather dependent and trails will begin to close down. Closing day, whether on May 31st or earlier, is usually a blast. You’ll see (and should participate in)lots of costumes and celebrations of a season well spent.

Sometimes it is hard to think back, months and months ago to the first time you strapped in on a board or skis, but if you spent any of that time during one of the aforementioned seasons, hopefully, the interim is filled with happy memories. This guide on terrain, temperatures, and conditions is all very weather dependent and it is best to check our Breckenridge Ski Resort’s snow report and lift & terrain status page before planning your visit. In addition, you can utilize the great weather reporting service, OpenSnow to check on how much snow has fallen or what is in the forecast. No matter the season you decide to visit Breckenridge, staying slopeside offers amazing access to the slopes, I’d highly recommend the special offers at the Grand Colorado on Peak 8 or the Grand Lodge on Peak 7! Click here for some exclusive offers for these properties!

Breckenridge Girls Getaway

Let’s go girls! Whether you’re planning a bachelorette party or a girl’s getaway, Breckenridge is the perfect all-season destination. Think scenic mountain views, small town charm and endless adventure. There’s so much to do, we guarantee your BFF weekend will be jam-packed with fun.  

Summer Outdoor Activities

Take a Group Hike 

Breckenridge offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails for all skill levels. If your group is adventurous, hit one of the most scenic trails in Breckenridge to discover high alpine lakes, waterfalls and more. There are plenty of easy to moderate trails as well for a more casual stroll.  

Try SUP Yoga on Maggie Pond with Bhava Yoga 

Spend the Day on Lake Dillon 

Lake Dillon is a freshwater reservoir with expansive mountain views just a short drive from Breckenridge. There are endless options from boat rentals to kayaking to simply spending the day on the shores at one of the tiki bars.  

Ride Horses on the Slopes of Breckenridge Ski Resort 

E-Bike to Frisco on the Blue River Recreation Path 

There’s no need to break a sweat at 9,600’ thanks to electric bicycles. E-bike rentals are plentiful in town and a great way to explore the paved 55-mile Summit County Recreational Pathway System.  

Winter Outdoor Activities

Twirl & Loop at the Grand Colorado on Peak 8 Ice Rink 

Ice skating is the quintessential winter activity. This charming outdoor ice rink is located right at the base of the ski resort and Ullr Café. Warm up with a spiked hot chocolate between laps and gather around one of the fire pits. 

Take Ski or Snowboard Lessons at Breckenridge Ski Resort 

Feel Like a Kid Again on a Sledding Hill 

Nothing will make you more giddy than flying down a snow-covered hill in a plastic sled, take our word for it. Check out Breckenridge’s free sledding hills in town or head to the Frisco Adventure Park for some bigger hills. 

Let a Team of Siberian Huskies Guide You Through the Rockies with Good Times Adventures 

Snowshoe or Cross-Country Ski at a Wildlife Preserve 

The Breckenridge Nordic Center is the perfect spot for a relaxed and scenic group adventure. Rent cross country skis or snowshoes and enjoy a tour through Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Preserve with stunning mountain views.  

Indoor Activities

Have a Private In-Home Crafting Night with Frosted Flamingo 

Explore the Many Boutique Stores on Main Street 

Unwind with a Spa Day at Infinity Spa 

Discover ultimate relaxation with a girl’s spa day at Infinity Spa at the Grand Colorado on Peak 8. Body and skin therapies, massage treatments, nail treatments and more are available to book. As a bonus, Infinity Spa has a relaxation room, adult-only grotto with sauna, steam room, hot tub and cold plunge to relax in for as long as you need. 

Test Your Axe Throwing Skills with MTN AXE Breckenridge 

Sip Your Way Through Breckenridge 

Even at 9,600’ there is still wine to try! Take your girl gang on a self-guided wine tasting tour of Breckenridge. For a more spirited experience, book a private tasting tour at Breckenridge Distillery, the highest distillery in the world! 

Dining

Brunch It Up 

What is a girl’s trip without brunch? From diner-style meals to upscale bubbles, Breckenridge is full of great brunch options to fuel your crew for the day ahead. 

Dinner Spots 

There are over 80 bars and restaurants in Breckenridge to suit even the pickiest eaters in the group. Tacos, pizza, fine dining…your options are endless!  

Nightlife

We all know a night of dancing with your best friends is good for the soul. There are so many bars where you can catch live music or enjoy an elegant cocktail. These are a few spots that we recommend: 

Snowmobiling in the Rockies

Are you feeling adventurous and looking to try something new? Come to Breckenridge and try one of the many snowmobiling tours that will get your adrenaline pumping! Get out in the mountains, enjoy the thrill of snowmobiling and take in the beautiful mountain views — you won’t want to skip out on this adventure.

Good Times Adventures

Snowmobiling is one of the most popular activities in the winter, Good Times Adventures is located just minutes away from Breckenridge which makes for easy accessibility. Good Times is the perfect adventure for individuals and families. Their guides are very experienced and knowledgeable in the backcountry of Breckenridge.

Equipped with top-of-the-line snowmobiles, Good Times Adventures offers a two-hour trip that starts with a short snowmobiling instruction with your guide, then you will hit the trails. Once on the trails, you will be presented with some of the incredible scenery. You will take a few stops along the way to take it all in. To end this adventure, you will venture up Georgia Pass ending at the top of the Continental Divide at 11,585 feet above sea level!

Nova Guides Snowmobiling

For the ultimate snowmobile experience, Nova Guides offers half-day and full-day trips in the Rockies! Enjoy their Camp Hale location, which provides a variety of snowmobile tours for everyone! The most popular tour, Top of the Rockies, includes endless miles of open meadows and fabulous panoramic views of four surrounding mountain ranges, including the Continental Divide. Nova operates tours in the White River National Forest on the largest commercial snowmobile trail system in the Vail and Beaver Creek areas, reaching elevations of 12,500 feet.

All guided snowmobile tours include door-to-door transportation, a professional guide, a new model Ski-Doo snowmobile, snowsuit, boots and helmet. The morning half-day tour and full-day snowmobile tours include lunch.

White Mountain Snowmobiling

White Mountain Snowmobile Tours offers a prospector tour and a high-performance tour. If you’re looking for something family-friendly or are a snowmobile beginner, the prospector tour is for you! Guides will take you on a scenic ride through groomed trails with amazing mountain vistas.

For a more adventurous experience, try the performance tour. This two-hour trip will take you on a faster, adrenaline-boosting trip, that reaches altitudes between 10,000 and 12,600 feet.

So, whether you’d like a family-friendly scenic ride or a heart-pounding adventure, White Mountain Snowmobile Tours has you covered.

Helmets are provided and mandatory. Complimentary overalls and boots are available but be sure to wear warm layers. Guests must bring goggles or sunglasses as eye protection is not provided.

50 Things To Do in Breckenridge this Winter

Dreaming of a winter vacation? Make sure you don’t miss out on the 50 best things to do in Breckenridge this winter!

Let’s Go Sledding

Are you looking for a winter activity the entire family can enjoy to escape the hustle and bustle of the ski area? Perhaps a day of sledding in Breckenridge is just what you are looking for!

It may be a bit chilly outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shake those winter blues by playing in the snow right in downtown Breckenridge! What’s great about sledding is that you don’t need any fancy equipment — just pick up your sleds from the local City Market, bundle up in your snow gear, and head out for a Grand adventure!

Carter Park

Carter Park has a free walk-up, a sled-down hill located four blocks east of Main Street near the Breckenridge Elementary School. The sledding hill is wide, but it does get busy throughout the day, so make sure to plan ahead. The park offers stunning mountain views, bathroom facilities, and picnic tables where you can share a snack.

Don’t forget to bring your furry family members. In addition to the sledding hill, Carter Park has the largest dog park in town where your furry family member will be sure to make new friends.

Location: 300 S. High Street, Breckenridge, CO 80424

Runaway Sledding Hill

The new Runaway Sledding Hill is a walk-up man-made hill located off Airport Road on Fraction Drive. The hill is regularly groomed, and although there is no indoor warming hut, there are on-site porta-potties.

If you decide to buy a sled from our local City Market, there is a sled shed where you can donate the used sled for another guest to use!

Location: 1730 Airport Road, Breckenridge, CO 80424

Frisco Adventure Park

The Frisco Adventure Park tubing hill is made up of several lanes, with each lane having a different experience. There are some lanes that are less intense, while others are steeper with more rolling terrain. The tubing hill is accessible by a surface life, making it the ideal activity for the entire family.

Reservations are required! They can be made by calling 970-668-2558 or by clicking here.

Location: 621 Recreation Way, Frisco, CO 80443