Located about 80 miles (128km) southwest of Denver, Colorado, or about a 2-hour drive from Denver International Airport (DEN), Breckenridge Ski Resort is one of the most visited Ski Resorts in the Western Hemisphere. It’s owned by Vail Resorts, Inc., which owns and operates a plethora of other ski resorts such as Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Park City Mountain Resort, and Whistler Blackcomb.
Breckenridge Ski Resort offers over 180+ trails with 32 lifts across 600 acres of groomed runs and 1061 acres of alpine bowls and off-piste glades.
How to Get There
There are multiple ways to get to Breckenridge. The best way to get there is flying into Denver International Airport (DEN) and taking an airport shuttleto the resort. By Car, you drive straight from Denver International Airport on I-70 to exit 203 in Frisco and take CO-9 South all the way to Breckenridge, CO. You can also fly into Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) which is 63 miles west of Breck or Colorado Springs Aiport (COS) which is 110 miles away.
But if you’re here for a week or more, rent a car so you can ride the 7 mountains within an hour drive from Breckenridge. If you have an Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass, you’ll have access to Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, or Vail. Sometimes you need a change-up from the same mountain, and we recommend you trying the other mountains for a different flavor of riding. Before heading out to any of the resorts, be sure to pay attention to weather and traffic reports.
Tips and Tricks
Account for the altitude. The Breckenridge base is at 9600 feet and the Summit barely kisses 13000 feet (12998 feet if you like specifics), which means you’ll get exhausted a lot faster than you normally would, unless you’re a mountain goat. Walking up a flight of stairs can get you winded, so be sure to be drink plenty of fluids (beer doesn’t count) while your body acclimates itself. Don’t bum rush into a hard day of riding. Take it easy for the first day to ease into it or you’ll run the risk of getting Altitude Sickness: shortness of breath, nausea, and general weakness.
There’s a ton of options when it comes to renting ski and snowboard equipment. We found that Christie’s in Denver on University Blvd. was the easiest and most knowledgeable. Also, they have multiple locations at Breckenridge so if your boots are too tight and you need to change something, you can visit one of the other locations.
There’s a lot of terrain to navigate at Breckenridge, but luckily you can break it down pretty easily.
Peak 6 is for the Intermediate-Expert Crowd. Ride in the wide open bowls or through the trees.
Peak 7 is for those who are trying to graduate from Beginner to Intermediate.
Peak 8 is Homebase for Breck. There’s something for everyone on this Peak and perfect for groups with a variety of riding abilities. Be warned that it’s also one of the busiest areas. Expect the longest lines here.
Peak 9 is where you come to learn how to ski or board. It’s the family area so it’s also one of the slowest areas on the mountain. You’ll be wanting for more if you’re anything above an Intermediate Rider.
Peak 10 is not for the faint of heart. It has easily the most complicated terrain and expert trails that Breck has to offer. You can ruin relationships if you take an inexperienced rider up here.
The city of Breckenridge offers more fare than your typical ski resort. It’s a full fledged town that has a plethora of bars, restaurants, spas, and stores. And Breck Free Ride is a free bus system that will get you all over town with over 8 routes and a stop at nearly every street corner.
Located about 32 miles (51km) east of Salt Lake City, Utah, or about 35 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLT), Park City Mountain Resort is one of the best Ski Resorts in the Western US. With the recent merger of two iconic ski resorts by the Quicksilver Gondola—Park City and Canyons—Park City is now known as the largest Ski Resort in the United States. The whole area now operates as one giant resort called Park City Mountain Resort with Canyons referred to as “Canyons at Park City”.
Park City Mountain Resort offers more than 300+ trails across 7300 Acres of ski-able terrain with 41 lifts, 8 terrain parks, 14 bowls, 6 natural half pipes, a super pipe and a mini pipe. It also has a variety of ski-in and ski-out properties throughout the resort to make Park City one of the most easily accessible mountain destinations in the world.
How to Get There
The best way to get to Park City Mountain Resort is by flying into Salt Lake City International Airport (SLT), and taking one of the many shuttles or taxis to either the Main Park City Base Area or the Canyon’s Base Area. Since the Resort is the economic lifeblood of the city, transportation through buses, trolley, and shuttles around both base areas are free. If you need to get there fast, Ubers and Taxis are pretty easy to come by.
Tips and Tricks
If you’re going to Park City Mountain Resort to wake up early and immediately get on the slopes, stay in the Canyons Base Area, as they have the best ski-in/ski-out lodging options available. However, they don’t have much to offer when it comes to shops, nightlife, or dining.
If you’re going to Park City Mountain Resort with a more relaxed approach to skiing or snowboarding, stay closer to Main Street, the heart of Park City Proper. It’s harder to get to the mountain from the city, but the famous Town Lift from Main Street can get you there.
There’s an excellent, free bus system and hotel shuttles are available throughout the resort. You’ll never really need to call a taxi, but Uber is also available.
The best way to “conquer” the resort as a local is to take a shuttle or park your car at Canyons where there’s ample parking, ski to the west to main base area, have some apres-ski and dinner in town, and then take the shuttles back to Canyons.