Destination: Breckenridge, Colorado
About: Located in Summit County, CO, along the Blue River.
Route: I-70 West to CO-9 S or 285 West to CO-9 North (longer 2 lane road, but sometimes less traffic)
Distance: 80.2 Miles
Time: 1h 30 mins
Trip Length: Overnight or Day Trip
Sleeping: Airbnb or Hotel
Breckenridge is a quintessential Colorado ski town. Settled in the 1850’s by gold miners, the first ski trails were made in 1961. Today, “Breck” is a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts with access to every sport imaginable. IMO, Breck has the best mountain town feel of any of the resorts on i70. Breck is great for family trips or a bachelorette. Clay and I even got engaged on Peak 7 in Breck! Looking for restaurant recommendations – check out this post!
Where to Stay in Breckenridge
Breckenridge has a great public transportation system with stops all over, making navigating between the slopes and the town a breeze. It’s not imperative to stay “on the mountain”. I recommend staying closer to town so you can walk around and enjoy all that Breck has to offer. However, the bigger houses for large groups are going to be found outside of town so just try and book near a bus stop or see if they offer a private shuttle.
Airbnb & VRBO– You can find mega-mansions to sleep a group of 20, a small ski-in, ski-out condo or a quaint house right in town. If Breck’s prices are a little too high, try expanding your search to include Frisco. There is great transportation between both locales, so no need to find parking at the slopes or in town.
Chesnut Hill Townhouse (VRBO) – North/Nordic Center – We spent a great weekend in Breck staying at this Chesnut Hill 4 bedroom 3.5 bath townhouse (plus a private hot tub). It was the perfect spot for our group to hang out, cook amazing dinners and hit the slopes. The townhome is situated just north of town near the golf course and nordic center but offers a free private shuttle to and from the mountain/town – win!
Mountain Blue (VRBO) – In Town – The same owner as Chesnut Hill has a great one-bedroom condo RIGHT in town. The condo is located just across the street from the 4 o’clock run as it hits town and right on the bus stop as well. I mean, look at that view! Head out the “back” of the building, and you are right on the Blue River, which has a gorgeous walking path and is the place to be in summer. We stayed here with Callie so being walking aka “stroller” distance from everything was so nice. A perfect option for a small family or couples!
Gravity Haus Breckenridge – This brand new hotel/private club is the new hip spot to stay in town. Plus, they have a killer location right next to Peak 9
How to get around Breckenridge
Parking – Breckenridge parking can be difficult, especially during ski season. Rentals and resorts will offer at least one free space, but if you’re going to have multiple vehicles, you will need to double-check where you can park with your host.
Buses -The free buses are great and can take you everywhere you need to go, plus it’s totally free! Learn more here.
Uber & Lyft – There are a few Ubers/Lyfts in the mountains so if you need one to take to dinner or home after a night out, you should be able to find one.
Drunk Passes – If you drive into town and find yourself a few too many sheets to the wind to drive home, you can ask for a “drunk pass” from a bar or restaurant. This will allow you to leave your car parked overnight but you must pick up your car by 9 a.m. the next day.
Where To Eat & Drink in Breckenridge
Breck has so many great places to eat and drink these days I had to create a separate post! Head here for my Breck Restaurant Guide
Skiing & Snowboarding Tips For Breckenridge
- Buy your ski passes in advance and online!! You are guaranteed the cheapest ticket and you can avoid some long lines.
- If you know your boot size and type of ski you can also reserve all your gear online and pick it up when you get to town. I highly suggest reserving all your rental gear online before your trip. I have had friends hop from ski shop to ski shop just trying to find skis to rent on busy weekends. Christy Sports or Main Street Sports is where I have rented from in the past.
How To Get To The Mountain
Breckenridge is really wide. From town looking at the resort, the furthest peak to your left is Peak 10. The peaks go down to the fairly new Peak 6 on the far right.
- Peak 9 and 10 is accessible from the south side of town. You can either get dropped off or park at a nearby lot and walk the 100 yards or so to the Quicksilver SuperChair. By bus, hop-off at the Beaver Run SuperChair.
- To access the rest of the mountain, you will need to take the gondola. Taking the gondola is the most popular way to access the mountain and is often very crowded. The gondola starts in the middle of town and makes three stops. The first is at a residential area, the second stop is at Peak 7 (Independence SuperChair) before continuing to the base of Peak 8. Peak 8 is the main base of the mountain.
- There is another chair accessible by bus or car (drop-off), the Snowflake Lift. If you are staying on the mountain, you will probably use this lift.
- Peak 8 can be very crowded because of the gondola drop-off so I tend to avoid this area. However, the T-Bar and patio are great on a sunny day.
Where to ski on Breck Mountain
New to Skiing? If you’re just learning to ski, I highly recommend going to the base of Peak 9. This area offers some great long flat runs to get your legs under you.
For the more advanced skiers, you will love Peak 10 and the T-Bar above Peak 8. 6-Chair and E-Chair are off the beaten track for most resort skiers. Ride the Imperial Express SuperChair, the highest lift in North America to hit the top bowls in Breck.
Love trees? Head over to Peak 9 and ski between Upper Lehman and Briar Rose. Peak 6 also has some great trees. These runs will literally take you all over the mountain.
- Peak 10 – Falcon SuperChair is never that crowded but the runs are steep and quick. Lots of bumps and trees of this peak too.
- Peak 9 – I tend to stay on Peak 9 when I ski Breck. Lots of great runs with a mix of bumps and trees. Plus the area is not as crowded.
- Peak 8 – Peak 8 can be very crowded because of the gondola drop-off so I tend to avoid this area. But it does offer a variety of blues, greens and blacks. Peak 8 T-bar is the spot to be for Apres ski
- Peak 7 – Great for ripping down blues, these long rolling runs are fun for everyone.
- Peak 6 – If the winds aren’t too bad I suggest heading up Peak 6 for spectacular views of Summit County. This very exposed peak offers great blacks and blues for the more advanced skier.
Summer in Breckenridge
Any activity you wanna do, Brecks got it. I hiked my first 14er outside Breck! For hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting, and more head to Go Breck to discover all Breck has to offer.
Breckenridge Epic Adventure – In the summer, Peak 8 is transformed into a outdoor playground. Think zip lines, roller coasters, rock climbing, and more. Plus, there are tons of activities for kids. Read more here.
- SUP on Maggie pond or on Lake Dillon
Hikes around Breck
- Black Powder Pass Hike – A short hike that gives you huge views. Read more here.
- Mt. Sherman – This is a shorter 14er hike near Breckenridge – for experienced, acclimated hikers!
- Sawmill Reservoir – Start from in town for this 1 mile RT hike
- Visit The Breck Troll on Trollstigen Trail – This larger-than-life troll is the creation of Danish artist Thomas Dambo who uses trash to build his beautiful art installations. Get the details on how to visit here.
- Blue River in Town – This gorgeous walking/bike path winds through town just behind Mainstreet and has lots of areas to jump in and play around for kids
Fall in Breckenridge
- Fall in Breck is gorgeous check out my fall leaf guide here and a how-to spend a day in Summit County here
** I intentionally left out Spring. From mid-April, when the mountain closes to May is “mud season.” The mountains are still getting sporadic snowstorms, and if it’s not snowing, it’s melting and therefore muddy. Best to avoid it until June!
Headed to Breckenridge and have some questions, leave me a comment, tweet or DM me.
Liz Pacini says
I love Breck in the fall but have never skied there.. it’s definitely on my bucket list! Such beautiful pictures!!!