A fantastically high ski resort in Colorado that is an advanced skiers dream with plenty of black slopes to explore.
Breckenridge was founded in 1859 and had a gold-mining boom period at the end of the nineteenth century before falling into disrepair. Skiing began here in 1961 and the ski business has been responsible for the rebuilding of this charming mountain town and the restoration of over 250 Victorian buildings, in what is Colorado’s largest, national historic district.
In many ways Breckenridge remains a frontier ski town of the Rockies and is particularly popular with day and weekend visitors from Denver and the surrounding area. In the past the accommodation would be booked up by these weekend visitors but the resort has increased in size over the years and has a number of excellent hotels as well as chalets and condominiums dotted around.
The ski area is served by 30 lifts and is a leisurely stroll or short shuttle bus ride from the town. Most of the hotel accommodation is located in ski-out ski-in/ slope-side positions. The vertical drop is just over 1,000m - not a great deal by European standards, but the crucial thing to bear in mind is that the resort itself is located at almost 3,000m, with the highest lift-accessed terrain at nearly 4,000m. This means that visitors are sleeping at an altitude that is more than 1,000m higher than almost anywhere they would normally stay in the Alps.
The large ski area of Breckenridge is home to 139 pistes, served by 23 ski lifts, including the highest chair lift in Northern America, the Imperial Express, rising to an impressive 12,840ft (3913m). Remarkably 55% of the pistes are marked as black, and quite a few of those are double black diamonds (expert), making Breckenridge a must visit for advanced skiers. That said, there is some fantastic skiing on offer for intermediate and novice skiers. In fact, Peak 9, which is right next to the village, dedicates a third of its terrain to beginner slopes and 50% to intermediate.